A Las Vegas pastry chef and instructor with the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts is sending members of the United States military serving abroad a sweet treat this year, dozens and dozens of cookies. The pastry chef and her students managed to make 15,000 cookies this year to send a bit of holiday cheer to those troops who will be away from their families during the holiday season.
Brenda Villatoro sends the cookies every year to show her appreciation to the military for all they do for the country. As reported by Yahoo!, her inspiration comes from her own family whom she described as patriotic. Along with always having a flag hung up at her childhood home, her brother Steven and many of her friends were drafted to Vietnam. “When soldiers returned from that war, they didn’t receive a warm welcome, and it just broke my heart.”
In order to bake 15,000, the chef had to enlist her students to help get them done so they could arrive to overseas troops by the holidays. She started sending out cookies in 2006 and donated 3,000 cookies that year. Each year, Villatoro and her students challenged themselves to make more cookies than the previous year. One year they made 7,000 and the next they made 10,000. Last year, the pastry chef sent 13,800 cookies to the troops.
As reported by KTNV Action 13 News in Las Vegas, Villatoro has the help of the U.S. Air Force to deliver her cookies. The carefully crafted cookies are delivered to nearby Nellis Air Force Base from where they are flown overseas.
“Nellis takes them, puts them on pallets, they have special transport and they go overseas. So they don’t just go to the officer’s club. They go to the men and women out there.”
Many companies and people make donations to the military, and their families, during the holiday season so those who have to serve away from home can have a bit of Christmas cheer. As the Inquisitr reported, military families received a donation of over 17,000 Christmas trees this year through the Trees for Troops program.
Chef Villatoro and her students make an assortment of cookies to send to troops. They include chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin, decorated sugar cookies, gingerbread men, Christmas butter cookies and several other flavors. They start baking the cookies right after Halloween so they will be ready in time to be delivered for Christmas. “If I could give them a taste of Christmas when they are so far away, it was my way of telling them thank you,” said Villatoro.
[Image via Yahoo!]