It’s no secret that I love baking and I put my heart into it. My baking is a labor of love that I enjoy sharing with others. In the end of 2009, close to the holidays I decided to sign up for a program online. The program’s mission is to have people in the states adopt U.S. soldiers who were deployed and provide them with support. The program is called Adopt a U.S. Soldier. I think it’s still up and running to this day. Through the program I adopted 5 soldiers. 1 soldier had his wife contact me and tell me to stop sending mail because he was married. 1 soldier told me I sent “bad care packages” and I never heard from her again. All the mail I sent to one soldier was returned to him because I think he returned back to the states already. Of the five, I still keep in contact with two of them. One of them is from Arizona and is stationed in Texas. The other one is originally from Africa and was stationed in Georgia. He left the army a few years after our correspondence.
Of the five soldiers, the one from Arizona is my favorite. His name’s Anthony. He’s such an amazing person it’s difficult to put in words. He never judged me because of my age, the packages I sent, and always thanked me for everything. He’s a big brother figure to me and such an inspiration. He’s been on multiple deployments and has been through hell and back. Yet his integrity, courage, and self-identity never waivered. When he was deployed to Africa, I sent him a care package full of cookies. My famous white chocolate blueberry cookies to be exact. He was a platoon sergeant at the time and shared them with his soldiers. I had asked him to take a picture and send it to me through Facebook. He obliged and I received the wonderful photo that is included in this post. A few weeks ago I found the picture on Facebook and posted it on my wall. I tagged him in the picture and one of the soldiers that he shared the cookies with told me he remembered those cookies, how good they were, and how he was craving some at the moment. That’s when it really hit home for me. My ultimate goal is for others to have that experience. He was in the desert with 120 degree heat and yet that cookie brought back nostalgic memories for him. That cookie turned bad experiences and memories into ones of happiness, laughter and unity. That right there is the power of a cookie.
White Chocolate Blueberry Cookies
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract (I used Madagascar Bourbon)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp hot water
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups white chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli or Guittard)
1 cup fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and salt. Dissolve baking soda in hot water and add to mixture. Add 3 cups of flour one cup at a time. Be sure to mix well after each addition. Pour in 2 cups of white chocolate chips and mix. Take paddle attachment off and scrape excess dough back into bowl. Using a spatula, fold in 1 cup of fresh blueberries. Do not use mixer to mix the blueberries. They are delicate and will stain the cookies and make them look a greenish/blackish color if over mixed. Use a spatula! Use a cookie scoop and scoop out dough onto a mat/parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!
The power of these cookies are incredible. These cookies hold up quite well. The gooey and sweetness of the white chocolate mixes well with the tartness of the blueberries. If you’re worried about the blueberries going bad if sending overseas you could use dried blueberries. The taste will be slightly different depending on which brand you buy. Fresh blueberries are always best. I sent these made with fresh blueberries and they held up. Make these and send them in a care package for that special someone. They’ll love you for it. xoxo, J.