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)