Monday, December 6, 2010

Help the troops for FREE!

Hey there! I'm leading with the FREE part! :-) You should too! Just last week I kicked off a holiday "thank you" to our troops with Kenmore and it's a success so far! Thanks for all the clicks :-). Together we're Baking for the troops and it doesn't cost a thing! If you are just now hearing about this, it's super easy to send a dozen cookies to a deserving military member overseas at no cost to you. The smart people over at Kenmore are handling all the logistics, the baking, the packaging and the shipping. All you have to do is order them and pick one of the pre-written messages to accompany your dozen of cookies overseas. Next thing you know a deserving military member overseas is getting a dozen cookies for the holidays! Here's what to do:

1. Log on to and "Like" them
2. Click on the button that says SEND A DOZEN COOKIES FOR ME
3. Pick a message to go with your dozen.
4. Feel good that you are saying thanks in a unique way.
5. Tell as many people as you can that giving back is as simple as a few clicks! And it's FREE!

Here are some pics from last week's kick-off event at the Kenmore Live Studios in Chicago, IL. ...

That's the box the cookies will arrive in from you when you donate. I wrote a quick message on the box and started rolling out my Candy Bar Thumbprints. I'll share my recipe at the end of this post. I talked to television and radio stations all morning while baking, then took a break for breakfast. When I returned a class of students arrived to assist ...
jean lachat photography
jean lachat photography

We weren't the only ones baking, Kathleen from Katy's came by to make some of her My OH Mega Cookies ...
jean lachat photography

Here I am on oven duty at the Kenmore Elite ...
jean lachat photography

It can fit 100 cookies at a time! Double fan convection is no joke! We whizzed through many batches that afternoon and before I knew it, the day was over. Each student got a chance to write a personal message to afix to their box of cookies and some of them were just too cute ...
jean lachat photography

It says, "Thank you troops, hope you have an AWESOME holiday". Pretty cute. If you've already done this, thanks soooo much. If not, please head on over and join me, the students and countless others in some holiday spirit! "AWESOME" is exactly how I felt when I received and "Any Soldier" holiday card back in 1993. Baking cookies that day brought back such memories. I couldn't stop smiling!
jean lachat photography

Those boxes were really clever, they were labeled C.R.E's instead of M.R.E's. So, "Cookies Ready to Eat" instead of "Meals Ready to Eat", which are the infamous packaged meals for military members in the field. We used to call them Meals Rarely Edible lol. Me, being someone trying to always find happiness, favored the chicken and rice, at least it tasted good unheated with the little hot sauce packet that came with it. I had them a couple of times when I was field reporting on troops doing various missions out in the middle of no where. One of the perks of being a broadcaster was being able to leave that life then report on it, but imagine that being your only meal for weeks at a time. Suffice it to say, I'd easily take these cookies any day!!

Please spread the word. It's free, it's for a good cause and it only takes a second. Tell your Facebook friends and even strangers for small talk! I say for the person that always sends you mass Fwd emails, even if you never read theirs, they are obviously the kind of person that would read yours ... so send one to them too! And don't forget to tell them it's FREE to give and it only takes a couple of clicks to do. Maybe the passive aggressive approach, put it in your signature for your email ... something like;

"Join me in Baking for the Troops - It's FREE, takes a few seconds and you don't have to bake! visit"

Ok, here's my cookie recipe I baked for the troops last week ...

Sunny's Candy Bar Thumbprints
Recipe courtesy Sunny Anderson, 2010

1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup), room temperature
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the coating
1 cup turbinado or raw cane sugar (recommended: Sugar in the Raw)
1 cup chopped nuts (peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans)

For the topping
various candy bars, broken into 1-inch pieces (Skor, Twix, Snickers, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Kit Kat, etc)

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment blend butter and brown sugar on medium high until creamy. Turn off the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl, pushing everything back towards the center. Blend again, then add the vanilla, egg, salt and blend until combined. Lower the speed of the mixer and add flour in 1/2 cup intervals.
Between each addition be sure to completely blend in all the flour and scrape the sides again as before. Once completely combined scrape the dough out of the mixer and add to a container with a lid and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile make gather the coating ingredients. In separate bowls add turbinado sugar and various chopped nuts.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and using a tablespoon measure scoop out dough and roll into a ball between your hands. Continue to finish them all. Then divide the balls evenly and roll each group in one of the coatings, leaving a few un-coated for variety. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, separating them on the sheet by about 1 inch. Bake each batch for 12 minutes. Remove and immediately press one chunk of candy bar in the center of each ball. Remove to a wire rack. Let cool before serving.

Yield: 36 thumbprints

Ok, spread the word and have fun baking at home! I had a great breakfast down the street from the Kenmore Live Studios last week, I'll share photos in the next post just in case you have plans up there any time soon. They totally broke a rule, in a good way. Plus, stick around for some behind the scenes pics and details from the Food Network kitchens. I'm going through the menus for Season 9 and there's plenty of fun in the kitchen, you'll never guess who is baking up a storm in the kitchen station next to me!


Jen @ OneCurlyFry said...

I love the pictures! What a wonderful opportunity for these kids to help! This is what the holidays are about! I'm so happy I could do my part, even though it seems so small compared to what you and others are doing!

I'll definitely have to make a batch of these cookies - they sound delicious!

tamilyn said...

I need to write that recipe down-always looking for new ones for the cookie tray.

I have tried 3 different days to send the cookies on the Kenmore page, but every time I fill out the card and press 'send cookies' I get a page that says 'no page found'-have you heard this from anyone else? I will try again today.

melly said...

Dear Sunny,

Just wanted to know if you a management team that handles guest appearances and how to can they be contacted. Thanks for your time!


Charles said...

Hi Sunny! My friend Michelle and I are doing our Christmas cookies together in about a week or so, and this cookie recipe will be my new cookie this year. And I did my part in the cookie drive-what a truly great thing to do and it couldn't have been simpler. Thanks for all you do! And I bet it's Anne Thornton baking up a storm next to you in the FN kitchens ;)

Tulip said...

Yay! Sunny i love your show, i just discovered it last month. I am on mat leave and am able to watch the show, I was excited to watch todays episode but it turned out to be a repeat:(

I never knew wat grits was until i watched your show, i love the way you use bacon and butter.

Shamilicious said...

Dear Ms. Sunny, I just want to tell you that you are amazing! I just love your show. Being a young black woman who loooooves cooking and has a big inspire me beyond words. Thank you for inspiring me. Your oxtails were to die for. I just started a home based catering business and its people like you that make me realise that it is possible to realise your dream. kudos to you girrrrrl!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sunny,

I love watching your show. You have a great sense of style and personality. I'm writing because I'm trying to find out who makes the refrigerator on your show..I love it and I have been searching the web and stores and nothing.


San Francisco, CA