SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Cooks enjoy coming across a new cookie recipe, but once in while there's a back story that gives the delectable snack another dimension.
Here's one: A year's supply of new recipes sweetens up another edition of last year's firefighters' recipe calendar that raised about $10,000 for the California Fire Foundation.
The 2005 Milk & Cookies Calendar features 12 recipes and photographs of firefighter-bakers and their cookies. All proceeds benefit the California Fire Foundation, a charitable organization committed to honoring fallen firefighters and assisting their families.
The calendar is sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board, which challenged firefighters from across California to create cookies using at least ½ cup of butter, and then chose the 12 best for the calendar.
The recipe for October is an original from firefighter Dangkhoa Nguyen of Chula Vista, Calif., who names his cookies "Dalmatians." Yes, they do have spots: When you make them you press chocolate chips into the butter and cream-cheese frosting that tops sugar cookies already good enough to eat on their own.
"I wanted to submit a clever recipe that was representative of the firefighters," Nguyen said, explaining how he got going with his entry. "The Dalmatians turned out great, and they taste the best when I wash them down with a tall glass of milk."
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
For the frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1-pound box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips for topping
In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and flour and mix well. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
While cookie dough chills, make frosting: In separate bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar gradually, beating until smooth after each addition. Stir in vanilla and set aside.
Preheat oven to 300 F.
Roll chilled cookie dough into tablespoon-sized balls and place on lightly buttered cookie sheets. Flatten each ball until they are about 1/4-inch thick. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on wire racks. Spread frosting on each cookie and top with chocolate chips.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
(Recipe by firefighter Dangkhoa Nguyen)
The 2005 Milk & Cookies Calendar is available from Oct. 9 for $15, including shipping and handling.
Information on how to purchase the calendar online is at:
The calendar is also available by sending a check or money order payable to California Fire Foundation to: Milk & Cookies Calendar, c/o California Fire Foundation, 1780 Creekside Oaks, Sacramento, CA 95833.