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Holiday messages are included with an assortment of cookies as part of a previous Chamber of Commerce Cookies for the Troops drive.

The Carteret County Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee is once again soliciting donations for the Cookies for the Troops drive and is looking forward to the community support that makes the annual event possible.

“Due to requests from the military recipients, the collection dates and times have changed somewhat this year, but the MAC is optimistic the community will rise to the occasion as always,” Anna Smith, Chamber of Commerce program manager and staff liaison to the MAC, said in a recent press release.

Donations can be delivered between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, Dec. 13. Treats can also be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. This is the same date as the Morehead City Christmas Parade, and the committee hopes parade participants and viewers will drop by the chamber to deliver tasty donations for military members.

“This is an easy and effective way to show your support of our men and women who will be on duty over the holidays,” Ms. Smith said. “The recipients are also excited to receive the treats, and it means a lot to them that Carteret County cares.”

Homemade or store-bought cookies and treats can be dropped off at the chamber at 801 Arendell St., Suite 1, in Morehead City.

They can come grouped in large bags, on disposable plates wrapped in plastic or in reusable plastic containers you can come back and collect if you wish. For those planning on collecting their containers, the chamber asks you to mark your name and phone number on them. They can be picked up starting the afternoon of Monday, Dec. 16 through Friday, Dec. 20 during regular business hours.

Cookies can also be pre-sorted into groupings of five treats per sandwich bag. MAC members will sort, package and deliver the treats the morning of Dec. 16. Due to the timeframe, cookies will not be able to be accepted Dec. 16.

“Last year we were able to collect around 20,000 individual treats, which was an amazing feat, considering how the area was still recovering from Hurricane Florence,” Ms. Smith said. “The generosity during such a difficult time for Carteret County really highlighted why this area is such a wonderful place to live. We would love to see this number grow this year, so even more men and women can receive cookies.”

Christmas cards by children and adults can be dropped off at the chamber, as well.

“While the hardworking men and women who receive the cookies are thrilled for the desserts, they also enjoy the homemade cards from the community,” Ms. Smith said. “While printed cards are also accepted, seeing the drawings and handwritten messages really help make these donations special. They recognized the time and effort it took for the cards to be created.”

The treats are delivered to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, U.S. Coast Guard stations Fort Macon and Emerald Isle and Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue by members of MAC, and the commanding officers at each location help distribute them to those who will be on duty over the holidays and unable to go home to see family and friends.

For more information, contact Ms. Smith at 252-726-6350 or email anna@nccoastchamber.com.

Following is a recipe for peppermint shortbread cookies, courtesy of Rachel Gurk of “Rachel Cooks” on behalf of Milk Means More.

Prep time: 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes freeze time

Cook time: 15 minutes

Servings: 40

2-2½ sticks unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon salt

21⁄3 cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup peppermint crunch baking chips

In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth. Gradually add flour and mix on low until combined. Add baking chips and continue mixing on low until fully combined.

On wax paper or parchment paper, form dough into 12- to 14-inch log and freeze at least 30 minutes, or until firm.

Heat oven to 350° F.

Cut shortbread dough into ¼-inch slices; bake 13-15 minutes on parchment-lined baking sheets.

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