Tag Archives: International Order of The Rainbow For Girls

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

21 Jan

I LOVE chocolate. I have always loved chocolate and I always will love chocolate. So when I was appointed as Grand Representative to Ohio & Pennsylvania in the California Rainbow for Girls (a state office in a service organization for girls) and was told that I’d be collecting Hershey products, well that was just the cherry on top of this amazing honor. During the year I served I received a number of Hershey products, including a couple of cookbooks. I already wrote about the amazing Three Great Tastes Blondie Brownies from the Hershey’s Classic Recipe Cookbook, now I’m going to tell you about the just as amazing and delicious Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies. I did decide NOT to roll these in nuts like the recipe calls for, and I drizzled the vanilla filling over the cookies in addition to putting in the thumbprint. There are many, many versions of thumbprint cookies. They are usually a shortbread cookie with either chocolate or a fruit filling pressed in the middle. But these are for the ultimate chocolate lover, aka-me. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookie Ingredients from L-R: Salt, White Sugar, Dark Chocolate Kisses, Egg, Butter, Hershey Cocoa, Vanilla Extract, Flour, Milk, Powdered Sugar

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookie Ingredients from L-R: Salt, White Sugar, Dark Chocolate Kisses, Egg, Butter, Hershey Cocoa, Vanilla Extract, Flour, Milk, Powdered Sugar

CHOCOLATE THUMBPRINT COOKIES (about 3 dozen cookies)

  • 1/2 Cup Butter or Margarine
  • 2/3 Cup White Sugar
  • 1 Egg, Separated
  • 2 Tbsp Milk
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1/3 cup Hershey’s Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 26 Hershey’s Kisses (any variety, I used dark chocolate kisses)

VANILLA FILLING

  • 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Butter or Margarine
  • 2 Tsp Milk
  • 1/4 Tsp Vanilla Extract

NOTE: You must refrigerate your dough for at least an hour before baking, so don’t turn your oven on right away. I made the dough on a Sunday night and then made the cookies later in the week.

In your stand mixer (or large bowl if using a hand mixer), beat together your butter and sugar. Add in your egg yolk, milk and vanilla until the mixture is fluffy. To separate your egg, grab 2 small bowls and crack your egg on a flat surface (you’ll get a more even crack versus cracking on the side of the bowl). Don’t open the egg like you normally would, instead when you finish cracking with your nails, make sure you upend the egg so it’s vertical in your hand. This allows the egg white to fall into one bowl while the yolk stays in one half of the egg-shell. Move your egg yolk back and forth between the two egg-shell halves until all the egg white has fallen out. (If you would like to roll your cookies in nuts then set this aside to brush the cookies with later.)

Butter and sugar mixed together.

Butter and sugar mixed together.

In a separate bowl mix your dry ingredients together: flour, cocoa and salt. Put your stand mixer on its lowest setting and add the dry ingredients in slowly. (If you have your shield make sure you put it on.) Once it’s all blended together, lay out a piece of plastic wrap and put your dough in a large lump and wrap it up. Refrigerate for at least an hour before baking. It’s okay to refrigerate longer.

Dry Ingredients ready

Dry Ingredients ready

All the ingredients are mixed together and ready for the fridge.

All the ingredients are mixed together and ready for the fridge.

When you’re ready to bake, take out your dough and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Shape your dough into 1 inch balls and place on your cookie sheet. (If you decide to roll in the nuts, beat your egg white slightly and then dip each cookie ball in the egg white then roll in the nuts.) Before placing cookie sheet into the oven, place your thumb into each cookie making a small depression. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes. I start at 10 minutes and if they need another minute or two then I keep going.

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookie Dough after spending time in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookie Dough after spending time in the refrigerator.

Almost ready for the oven! Just have to press my thumb in next.

Almost ready for the oven! Just have to press my thumb in next.

Hershey's Dark Chocolate Kisses ready for the warm cookies.

Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Kisses ready for the warm cookies.

While your first set of cookies are baking, make your vanilla filling. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and beat until smooth with a hand mixer or a whisk. Next unwrap your chocolate kisses (at least enough for the first round of cookies). When the cookies come out let cool for a few minutes on a wire rack. Be sure to place a paper towel underneath to catch any of the filling that may spill over. Start rolling more cookies while the first batch cools, just be sure to only let the warm cookies cool no more than 5 minutes. Take a spoon and put about 1/4 of a teaspoon into each cookie, then gently press a kiss into each one as well. The vanilla filling will probably spill over, and this is why I decided to drizzle more filling over all the cookies. Repeat for all cookies.

Vanilla filling ready for the cookies.

Vanilla filling ready for the cookies.

These cookies stay soft and chewy and are absolutely delicious! One cookie won’t kill you, I promise. After I put some into each person’s Christmas tin, there were two left over just for me, and I savored each and every bite. Hope you enjoy them too!

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies. Yum!

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies. Yum!

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Feeding Others

13 Dec

I really can’t recall the first time I volunteered my time, it just seems to be a part of my childhood. I would go with my dad to his Lions Club events and help at the breakfast counter, or I’d join my mom in her classroom and read with her students. The first time I realized though what it really meant to help others was the first time I helped my mom and her Kiwanis Club pass out and deliver food to families. I must have been about 9 or 10, but that day sticks in my head like it was yesterday. What struck me the most was when we delivered the food baskets to some of the homes. The families didn’t have cars so we drove to about a dozen homes. Seeing a large family living in a one bedroom house that had a dirt floor (yes, there are still dirt floor homes in California) left me speechless. But the smiles on their faces when we brought them a turkey and enough food for a proper Christmas dinner plus more is what made me smile. I knew that I was helping kids my own age have a meal that I always took for granted.

The service organizations that have had a large impact on my life.

The service organizations that have had a large impact on my life.

As I grew up I continued to serve the communities I call home. The Three Rivers Lion Club members watched me grow up (literally), from sitting on the counter learning to count change with my dad to standing behind it on a milk carton calling out the orders, then finally standing all on my own as a young woman. The teachers my mom worked with for 20+ years at Farmersville Unified School District love to recall me sitting in their classrooms during the summer and reading to their students and as I got older being an extra TA so students could get more 1 on 1 attention. When I was 12 I joined an organization that opened me to a new world of volunteering and what it meant to be a leader and a young woman. The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls was a game changer for me. My cousin invited me and at first I just liked the beautiful dresses they wore and the chance to meet other girls. Rainbow is the embodiment of learning how to serve your community and transitioning into a young woman. I served dinners, raised money for various charities around the state, volunteered at assisted living homes, cleaned parks, ran toy drives and so much more. In college I joined a sorority, Sigma Kappa, and I continued to serve others, raising money for Alzheimer’s research and serving the college community.

So after being away from Rainbow and college for a few years and just trying to get my footing in Los Angeles, the one thing I hadn’t really been able to do was serve my community. Yes, I work for a non-profit theatre company and I volunteer at a couple of theatres in town. Yes, I’ve donated a few dollars to various charities, but I hadn’t actually gone out and done what I grew up doing, helping others. So last week I searched for the Glendale food bank and found it at our local Salvation Army. I emailed them and I told him I wanted to come in and help so we settled on a day that I could come in and help sort out the food donations.

Food is all sorted and ready to be handed out!

Food is all sorted and ready to be handed out!

I arrived and was shown into a large room with shelves full of food and boxes along one side and a couple of tables set up with empty boxes laid out. Next to the tables were those large bins you see around the holidays for food donations. There were six of them filled to the brim plus a shopping cart full of food. He asked me to sort out the food into various categories: vegetables, pasta/rice, soup, fruit, etc. Before I started he asked if I was doing this for school credit (aw, he thinks I’m still in school! Ego boost!), I said no, just wanted to come help out. He was a little surprised, but happy I was there. It saddens me that more of us don’t take an hour or two of our time, even just once a month, to volunteer our time just for the heck of it. It always seems to be a requirement when someone is volunteering.

Lots and lots of canned vegetables!

Lots and lots of canned vegetables!

I turned on Pandora to my Christmas radio station and got to work. At one point I thought I might fall into one of the barrels it was that tall (and yes, I’m that short). Ultimately I had to put it on its side so I could reach everything. At the end of two hours I had got through the shopping cart and three barrels (one more barrel was brought in while I was working) and my own stomach was starting to growl, definitely lunch time for me. I thought this was a good stopping point so I told my supervisor I was done and I’d be back another day. He thanked me and said I was welcome any time.

My three empty barrels. I almost fell into the one on the right, lol.

My three empty barrels. I almost fell into the one on the right, lol.

This holiday season I challenge everyone to two things: 1) Donate food to your local food bank or drive (but please, no canned corn or peas, I filled up 3 boxes of nothing but that, lol). Might I suggest canned fruit or breakfast items? and 2) Find an hour or two in your busy schedule and volunteer. Help your local food bank, or drop by an assisted living home to sit with the residents, call the children’s wing of your local hospital and see if you can go and read to the patients. It’s amazing what one hour of your busy day can mean to others. I’m looking forward to returning to the food bank soon. Do you have a favorite charity?

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