Operation Cookie Takeover – Easter Edition!

Every few months the awesome people at Operation Cookie Takeover ask for volunteers to bake and ship cookies to our deployed troops.  I’m proud to say I have participated in every round!  This time I was assigned a Marine stationed in Japan.  I sent out an email to my department at work saying that if anyone wanted to send a card, note, or small treat along with my cookie shipment that I’d be glad to add it to my box.

Today I shipped three large flat rate boxes full of cookies, Easter candy, crackers, toiletries, cards, Tastykakes and other goodies.  I work with some awesome people.  Here is a shot of all my cookies and just some of the other donated items:

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And here are some closeups of my cookies!

Easter Bunny Cookies - Shake Bake and PartyPatriotic Easter Bunny CookiesIf you want to check out all the amazing cookies being shipped out this week head over to Operation Cookie Takeover’s Facebook page, or search the hashtags #OCT2015 and #operationcookietakeover on Instagram!  If you know a deployed soldier be sure to follow their Facebook page and when the next mission rolls around you can sign up your soldier to be a cookie recipient!

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Cookie Postcards

I recently participated in another Operation Cookie Takeover mission.  If you don’t know what OCT is all about you should check out their Facebook page!  The quick rundown though is this – people nominate deployed soldiers to receive cookies from the volunteers who have signed up to bake and send them.  Volunteers have shipped over 37,000 cookies to deployed soldiers since 2013!

This was the fourth mission and my fourth time participating.  It was also, by far, my favorite experience.

My idea for this round of cookies was to create a cookie “postcard” – a handwritten, edible note of thanks.  I have been seeing a lot of cookie decorators using the stamping technique to embellish their cookies and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to give it a try.  I used a rectangular cookie cutter to make my postcards and covered them in a layer of white royal icing.  Then I picked up a few postage related stamps from the craft store, read this tutorial on cookie stamping from Fancy Flours and went to town.

Cookie Stamping
It’s always best to practice first… : )

After trying out a few stamps I decided I liked the postmark one the best, so I stamped each of my postcard cookies with it.  Because my cookies weren’t perfectly flat, sometimes the stamp didn’t lay the ink down evenly in all spots but I figured that was okay – most postmarks aren’t completely uniform so I’m calling it “authentic.”  I let the ink dry overnight and then packed the cookies up and took them into work the next day for the fun part!

Cookie Signing Station

Along with my cookies I brought in a few sets of edible ink markers and set up a cookie signing station in an empty cubicle.  I invited all my coworkers to stop by and write a note to the troops on one of the cookies.

Here are a few of them:

Cookie Postcard

Cookie Postcard

Cookie Postcard

And here are all 24 together!

Cookie Postcards for the Troops

Thanks to the help of all my awesome friends at work these turned out so much better than I imagined.  I was so excited to ship these off to the Marine that I was matched up with.  I hope they all made it in one piece!

Star Cookies

I recently had the pleasure of making two batches of star shaped cookies for very different purposes.  The first set was purple and pink starfish for a beach themed bridal shower.

Purple and Pink Starfish Cookies | Shake Bake and Party

 

The second set was for Operation Cookie Takeover.  Tons of awesome people have volunteered to send over 12,000 cookies to our troops serving overseas! I am so happy for the opportunity to contribute once again to such a great cause.

Fireworks Cookies | Shake Bake and Party

Patriotic Cookies for the 4th of July | Shake Bake and Party

 

Cookies for a Cause

Cookies are pretty awesome.

Cookie Monster
Cookie Monster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I mean, what kind of weirdo doesn’t like cookies?  They come in a zillion varieties, you don’t need utensils to eat them, you can dunk them in milk or turn them into ice cream sandwiches, they make fabulous birthday “cakes.”  They are fun to bake and decorate, especially with family or friends.  Some of my favorite Christmas memories are of making decorated sugar cookies with my mom, dad and brother.  They are great for gifts, party favors, breakfast.

You know the one thing that could possibly make cookies even more awesome than they already are?

If they tasted just the same but had no calories, you say?

Okay, okay, there are TWO things that could make cookies more awesome.  That’s one of them.  The other is when you get to make them for a cause, and I found a really good one!

I was poking around Facebook one day and came across a page for something called Operation Cookie Takeover.  They were looking to have people volunteer to bake cookies to send to our troops in Afghanistan.  Their original goal was to have 1,200 cookies pledged for shipment in March.  They have now surpassed 11,000 cookies pledged and shipping started on Friday!

I am proud to be a participant in such an amazing event.  I pledged two dozen cookies and I will be shipping them out today.  I decided to make ice cream cookies, because like cookies themselves – who doesn’t like ice cream?  It’s fun, and nostalgic and for me, always brings to mind memories of good times.

ice cream cookies 1

ice cream cookies 2

operation cookie takeover

ice cream cookies 3

ice cream cookies 4

The last day to ship cookies is March 22, so it’s not too late if you’d like to join the fun!  You can send ANY kind of cookies – they don’t need to be decorated.  If you would like more information, please go here.  Kudos to the folks at Operation Cookie Takeover for coming up with and organizing such a wonderful project and, as always, many thanks to all of the brave men and women who have served/are serving our country!