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Summertime is full of patriotic holidays, which for many, including my family, means cookouts and outdoors fun. It’s also a time to remember (and thank!) those that have served for our country. I come from a long line of retired and current members of the military. I also have friends in the military or are married to those who choose to serve.
My brother is currently in the Army, something I’ve discussed a few times on the site. He’s been deployed to Iraq twice and was actually deployed when my son was born. Currently he’s stationed in North Carolina, so not far from where we live, and we’ve seen him more in the past 6 months than we did over several years.
Each time he was deployed, family and friends made sure care packages were sent. I once made a giant curtain for him (the thing was bigger than my living room floor!) He needed a curtain to keep the sand out of his sleeping quarters. In addition to the necessities he asked for, we always included treats in his packages.
Right now, MARS/Wrigley is showing appreciation of our troops by donating M&M’s® to the troops for every bag of M&M’s® Red, White, Blue purchased at Walmart. The “1 For You, 1 For the Troops” promotion is exclusive to Walmart, so you can guess where I’ll be stocking up on my summertime candy.
This week I decided to do something a little different with my M&M’s® and Skittles® – and I made patriotic ice cream sandwiches with the M&M’s® Red, White, Blue. (These are also great with the M&M’s® Red, White, & Blue Peanut.)
I used my go to sugar cookie recipe and I added M&M’s® Red, White, Blue. The cookies are so soft, and I knew I could make them as big or small as I wanted.
- 2¾ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened or at room temperature
- ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cups M&M's® Red, White, Blue
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Once fluffy, add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in the M&M's® Red, White, Blue.
- Make 2 to 3.5 inch round balls of the dough and place on the cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes (1-2 minutes longer for the larger cookies.)
- Let the cookies cool and make sure your ice cream is soft. Use a spoon to scoop and spread the ice cream onto one cookie. Top with a second cookie.
- If you're saving these for later, wrap in a plastic wrap and stick them in the freezer. Otherwise, freeze the sandwiches on a plate until ready to serve.
The cookies would actually be a great care package gift. Clearly, the ice cream wouldn’t survive a trip to the post office. We sent my brother a lot of cookies when he was deployed. To keep the cookies fresh, stick a slice of bread in the plastic container with the cookies. In fact, a party size bag of the M&M’s® Red, White, Blue and Skittles® would be a perfect addition to a care package!
What is your favorite cookout treat? What kinds of treats would you include in a care package?