If making Christmas cookies rekindled your love of baking -- but you don't need sweets in the house tempting you to break your New Year's diet resolution -- Batavia Cares has a deal for you.
Bake cookies and send them to American troops stationed overseas.
Batavia Cares, which sends gifts to military personnel, is starting a "Cookie of the Month" campaign.
"They thoroughly enjoy them," Ralph Gebes said of home-baked treats Batavia Cares has sent in the past.
In this dedicated campaign, bakers are asked to make one batch of cookies a month. They can drop them off in the Batavia Cares donation bins at Ace Hardware, 1901 W. Wilson St., or at Berkeley Finer Foods, 28 S. Van Buren St., both in Batavia. There's no set date each month; Gebes checks the bins and "when I get a bunch of cookies, I send them," he said.
The cookies have been requested by the USO Pat Tillman Memorial Center at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Batavia Cares also sends to other units.
It takes one to two weeks for the packages to arrive in Afghanistan, Gebes said.
Batavia Cares can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling Gebes at (630) 687-1943.
He offered some tips for bakers.
• If you send peanut butter cookies or others that contain nuts, label each bag as "contains nuts."
• Do not send moist items such as banana bread during humid summer months, as they develop mold quickly.
• Underbake cookies by about one minute to preserve freshness.
• If sending during times of high humidity, add up to 1 teaspoon of baking powder per batch.
• Chocolate chip, oatmeal-raisin, peanut butter and snickerdoodles are the most popular cookies.
• From May to October, substitute M&M-type candies for chocolate chips, to avoid excessive melting.
More tips for baking cookies to send overseas, including how to use cake mixes to make cookies, can be found at
verybestbaking.com, under "Resources -- Related articles."