Friday, 2 November 2012

Care Package Special Feature Part 1: Big Batch Recipes

Baked goods can be a heartfelt gift, especially if you have loved ones living far away. Baked goods are also a big hit with deployed soldiers and with Remembrance Day upon us and my own care package for a soldier in the works, I've decided to dedicate three posts to the art of the baked care package. Today's post will cover big batch recipes - great for splitting up into smaller gifts or for sending to deployed soldiers.

Big Batch Care Package Recipe #1: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

2 cups butter
1.5 cups brown sugar
1.5 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking soda
1.5 cups oats (any kind will work in this recipe)
4 cups raisins

Cream butter and sugars. Beat in vanilla and eggs. Set aside.
Combine dry ingredients, except oats and raisins. Mix into wet ingredients.
Fold in oats. Stir in raisins.
Form into 1" balls and bake at 350F for about 15 minutes or until cookies are golden brown but still slightly soft in the centre.

Yield: 4-5 dozen cookies.

To make these cookies look more festive, swap out the raisins for holiday M&Ms or substitute half of the raisins for candied fruit.

Big Batch Care Package Recipe #2: Holiday Shortbread with Cinnamon and Black Pepper

Normally, I wouldn't even think of posting holiday recipes before Remembrance Day, but if you're baking for a soldier overseas, you're going to want to get those holiday goodies out soon if you want them to get to your loved one in time.

3 cups butter
1.5 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla
6 cups flour
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Beat butter until light and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla. Set aside.
Sift together flour, cinnamon and black pepper. Stir into butter mixture until just combined.

Form dough into two disks. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.
Roll out chilled dough to about 1/8" thick and cut into desired shapes.
Bake at 350F for 8-12 minutes.

Yield: 5-6 dozen cookies

Come back for Part 2: Going the Distance, where I'll share recipes that ship well over time and in hot weather, and tips for keeping things fresh.

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