Chocolate Cookies and a Thank You to Fire Fighters

by Lael Hazan on April 4, 2011

When words aren’t enough to say THANK YOU, sometimes chocolate cookies can do the trick.  It is fortunate that we had cocoa on hand to make them, as we wanted to thank our neighborhood fire fighters as soon as possible after our recent adventure.

The blaring in our ears awakened the entire family.  At first I thought it was the morning clock going off, it took a few seconds to register that it really was the fire alarm.   We quickly got up and looked to see what was the problem, the children running into our room frightened.  It was four in the morning and very dark, nothing in the kitchen seemed to be amiss but there was a smell of burnt toast.  Ironically, our dog, an usually exuberant toy poodle, continued to sleep soundly.

The phone rang, it was ADT on the line, asking if we were alright.  When I told the lady that we hadn’t been able to find the source of the fire, she said she was notifying emergency services and that we should leave the house.  Feeling like one of those people in a State Farm commercial, we bundled the girls up and got ready to leave.

All of this probably took place in less than five minutes; however, it felt like hours.  On the advice of the lady on the other end of the phone we turned off the circuit breaker and were plunged into the unseasonably cold and dark Florida night.  Immediately after the ADT lady hung up, I received a call from the fire department letting us know they were on their way. I was worried about our neighbors and asked if they could not come with sirens, but they said they had protocol to follow.

Soon fire fighters in huge yellow suits were walking down the driveway.  Our driveway is so narrow that the truck didn’t fit; however, firefighter/paramedic Debroah Schuster said that if she had seen flames, the truck would have come, probably taking some trees with it.  The firefighters looked through our home, and said that they too smelled “burnt toast”.   But even with their thermal scanner they couldn’t find a heat source.  Eventually they did find burnt toast in the toaster, although the toaster was cold.  They told us to make sure the alarm was reset and that we should probably throw out the toaster.

My husband, being male, wasn’t ready to throw out the toaster.  The very next day someone again tried to make toast (guess who), yes, the fire alarm went off.  This time the department didn’t need to come.  Right now the toaster is sitting on our lanai.  Has it become an art piece, or are we just too lazy to throw it out?

We are very appreciative of the Bee Ridge Fire Station. Yes, it was their job, but they were efficient and kind.  The girls were so impressed with the firefighters that they wanted to thank them.  In our house, making cards isn’t enough.  We need to make food too.  I’m of the belief that when kids want to do something for others, one does it as soon as possible.  Therefore, we raided the pantry to find items to make cookies.  Who knew we could be out of chocolate chips?  Here is our recipe for chocolate cookies, made with cocoa.  The firefighters were pleased with their gift, and we feel very fortunate that they came to our rescue.


No Michela, its not time to lick the bowl.

These are fun and easy cookies to make.  Even the smallest child can assist.  The greatest challenge is to get them to actually make the cookies rather than just eating the yummy dough.

Recipe: Easy Chocolate Cookie: Firefighter Thank You Cookies

Summary: Fun and Easy to make, these cookies are perfect for a firefighter thank you


  1. One 1/2 cups brown sugar
  2. 1/3 cup butter
  3. One tablespoon water
  4. One teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 2 eggs
  6. One 1/2 cups flour
  7. 1/3 cups unsweetened cocoa
  8. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1/4 teaspoon
  10. salt
  11. One cup confectioner’s sugar


  1. Let eggs and butter come to room temperature.
  2. Whip brown sugar, butter, water & vanilla in a mixer.
  3. Beat in eggs.
  4. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in another bowl.
  5. Slowly add four mixture with sugar mixture. Mix until smooth.
  6. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 375°.
  8. Shape the chilled dough into 1-inch balls, roll them in confectioners sugar, and place on cookie sheets 2 inches apart.
  9. Bake 7-9 minutes.

Quick Notes

It is important to chill the dough before shaping the cookies, as it gets too soft. We also found that the larger cookies melted together, so keep them small and far apart. Good quality vanilla extract and cocoa powder are a must, as they improve the flavor dramatically.

Cooking time (duration): 30

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 12

Meal type: dessert

Culinary tradition: USA (General)


Comments on this entry are closed.

Aspen @ Gluten Intolerance April 20, 2011 at 6:36 pm

That is an awesome way to thank our firefighters. Their job saves lives and property and they ought have this kind of recognition. I’d loved to try this recipe and give the cookies to our local firefighters. Two thumbs up!

Lael Hazan April 21, 2011 at 8:04 am

Thanks for the lovely comment, we are trying to teach our children to respect all and to show their appreciation to those who serve.

Christine (Cook the Story) April 12, 2011 at 11:13 am

Wow! So happy that everything was alright. How wonderful that you made such a tasty treat for the firefighters. I bet they don’t get that kind of thanks often enough. A great lesson in gratefulness for your daughters as well.

Rose Plated April 9, 2011 at 3:45 am

I hope some chocolate chip cookies will also be great for a peace offering for missing my best friend’s birthday party. LOL. I will making this and give it a try to give my best friend.

Jean April 8, 2011 at 11:15 am

Glad everyone was all right and it’s so sweet of you and your girls to bake cookies for the firefighters. I’m sure it was much appreciated.

El April 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm

What a story. I’m so glad all of you are okay and that it was just an old toaster. It’s amazing how quickly things can happen. I did have to laugh a little when I read that your husband wouldn’t throw out the toaster. I can see that happening in my house too. Glad to hear it’s collecting dust on the porch. And how wonderful that your children made such scrumptious cookies as a thank you. By the way, we bought a Breville toaster and love it.

Arthi April 7, 2011 at 4:38 am

Cookies to say thank you yes pls….love the idea and what a story…Its officially time to invest in an expensive toaster;-) Lael

Lael Hazan April 7, 2011 at 9:10 am

We have bought a new one! Who knew there were so many toaster options?

meeta April 7, 2011 at 4:24 am

Cookies are always the ideal way to say thank you, i love you, i desire you ;o) and these are desirous!
The story is incredible and I am laughing so hard imagining the chaos because of a toaster! Lovely Lael!

Jamie April 6, 2011 at 2:07 pm

I am stunned at this story! What an adventure! Thank heavens it was nothing worse than old burnt toast stuck inside the toaster! And yes, we are all shaking our heads Yes Yes Yes of course the MAN will want to make toast for breakfast the following day (the punch line to a dramatic story!). And your girls are just the way I love them! They think in food! And yes, food is the best way to say thank you and it is lovely your girls thought of it! Adorable photos, wonderful post! xoxo

ps Buy the man a new toaster… Oh and isn’t it the darndest thing about those dogs! Just when you need them to bark…

SMITH BITES April 6, 2011 at 10:03 am

Lael, I am laughing so hard at the thought of Giuliano plugging that damn toaster in after being hauled out of bed at 4am BECAUSE of said toaster!!! and to move it to the lanai where it sits, winking back at you, just makes me laugh even more!! HOWEVER, am very grateful it was nothing more than cold burnt toast and that all of you are safe – fabulous cookies that I’m certain your firefighters enjoyed – love that ‘a thank-you note isn’t enough’ – you are teaching your girls well!

Deeba April 5, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Thank heavens it was just the toaster. Mr Man sounds just like my Dad, yet my Dad would have still hung on to it after the second alarm too as our fire services aren’t that prompt and we donot have fire alarms at home…LOL! Glad you are safe. What a beautiful way to thank the firefighters. I love the cocoa in the cookies. M U S T try soon! HUGS!!

Susan Van Allen April 5, 2011 at 11:48 am

So glad all is well! How hilarious that the toaster had one last fling after the near disaster! And oh those lucky firefighters–thanks for the delicious recipe!

Lael Hazan April 5, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Don’t you love it? He just had to make sure it was really dead ;}

Lynn at Southern Fried French April 5, 2011 at 11:17 am

I smiled when I read this, b/c I have a recipe for Fireman Brownies! Or rather, Brownies des Pompiers. Here in France, when my husband had a bad bike accident, some off duty fireman came to his rescue and stayed until the ambulance arrived. I later delivered a big batch of brownies. Chocolate is the best thank you!

Lael Hazan April 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I agree, I can’t think of anything better than chocolate. I’m headed to your blog for Fireman Brownies.

Krista April 5, 2011 at 1:59 am

Oh goodness! I’m so glad you’re all safe and sound. :-) How lovely of you all to make such scrumptious cookies for your rescuers. I bet you made their day! :-)

kirsten April 4, 2011 at 10:23 pm

great story! And so lovely to make cookies for them!

Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite April 4, 2011 at 6:23 pm

So glad it wasn’t anything more than the toaster! Lovely pics of the girls (and the firemen!) and what a sweet gesture!

Rosa April 4, 2011 at 11:05 am

That must have been stressful! I’m so happy you are all safe and that the problem was only the toaster…

Lovely cookies! I’m sure they were pleased.



Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen April 4, 2011 at 9:16 am

Sounds like your family had quite a scare there, all because of a toaster! That’s so thoughtful of you to be concerned with the noise the sirens would make and not wanting to disturb the neighbors. I’m glad it wasn’t anything serious and that you didn’t have any damage to your house. It still must have been quite a shock to wake up to the alarm blaring that way.

Lael Hazan April 5, 2011 at 12:14 pm

It was a surreal experience.

Gail April 4, 2011 at 8:57 am

SO glad it was only burnt toast!!!
Love the photo of the girls & the firefighter!!!

Lael Hazan April 5, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Thanks, I adore my girls and they thought he was pretty special.

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