|Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats made by Luvs2Run – a huge hit at the Bake Sale|
|Beautiful Ginger Snaps courtesy of True Southern Elegance|
With these statistics running through my head, and summer just around the corner, I knew when I saw Tami’s tweet a few months ago calling for food bloggers to participate in the Atlanta Bake Sale that I had to participate. If you’ve ever read my Blogging for Change page, you know that Share Our Strength is one of the causes that this blog supports regularly. And when Foodbuzz sent out the call for submissions for the May 24×24, I knew these two events were the perfect marriage. If I could participate by baking and by donating my stipend, all the better. So that’s exactly what I did.
|Nutella Crinkle Cookies by Accro|
Last year’s sale earned over $1600 for Share Our Strength, and this year Tami’s goal was to improve upon that. I knew we could do it, and my personal goal was to double it. She suggested that we each bring at least 4 dozen of whatever we were baking, so I set to work a couple of days before hand, shopping and planning for a whirl-wind baking extravaganza.
|Lime Cupcakes, waiting to be frosted with Lime Buttercream Frosting|
I chose two cake recipes that I’ve featured here on the blog – Lime Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, and the Best. Carrot. Cake. Ever. I also did some Whole Wheat Croissants, and some Lemon Pistachio Biscotti (recipe to follow at the end of this post).
|Lemon Pistachio Biscotti, ready to sell|
Logistically, I had to figure out how to transport everything safely from my house to the mall, so I did a little research and discovered a great baking supply store – Cake Art. They have everything you need for packaging, decorating and transporting cakes, cupcakes, cookies and candies. If you’re a baker in the metro-Atlanta area, I highly recommend it. That’s also where I found my tulip cupcake liners (which I love – I’ll never go back to regular cupcake liners again).
The morning of the sale, I packed everything into my car (don’t worry – the little one was just posing for the picture – he stayed home with Daddy) and headed down to Phipps. In addition to baking, I also volunteered to help at the sale. When I got there, there were already a bunch of folks helping set up and merchandise our tables.
|Assorted cookies from the wonderful ladies at Mama Says|
The sale was taking place during the Luxury Living Home Show, and there were cooking demonstrations going on just down the way from where we were stationed. All sorts of local celebrity chefs were there, including the lovely Virginia Willis of Bon Appetit, Y’all fame. After her demo, Virginia did her book signing on one of the bake sale tables and sold some of her decadent goodies, donating all of the proceeds to the Bake Sale as well.
Chris, of Mele Cotte came with boxes and boxes full of delicious treats. Her doughnut muffins were one of the highlights of the sale. Unfortunately, they sold out before I had a chance to taste them, but I have it on good authority that they were excellent.
|Red Velvet cupcakes from Danielle of Danielle’s Delicatessen|
Amazingly, when it was all said and done, we managed to raise over $3000 for Share our Strength. We found out later that the Atlanta Food Blogger Bake Sale raised the most of any of the bake sales that took place that day. Because of that accomplishment, Duncan Hines (one of the official sponsors of the National Bake Sale) donated an additional $10,000 in our name to the cause, bringing our total to over $13,000!
|Mini Lemon Bundt Cakes by Jem of the South|
If you’re asking yourself what you can do to help this wonderful cause, there are plenty of ways to get involved. There are still opportunities to host your own bake sale – just go to the Great American Bake Sale website for details. You can also donate directly to Share Our Strength or attend one of the many Taste of the Nation events that are happening around the country.
It was such a treat to work with everyone and to have a chance to meet some of the bloggers that I read on a regular basis. One of the things that I love about the food blog community is their generosity of spirit. Tell a food blogger that there is a need, and they will figure out a way to help. Whether its through traditional bake sales, online bake sales, baking a difference through Frosting for the Cause, or something as outrageous as wearing a Peeps Bikini for a cause, food bloggers will find a way. It makes me proud to be counted among them.
- Preheat the oven to 375F and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or buttered aluminum foil.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat butter on high until light and fluffy.
- Add sugar, baking powder and salt, beat until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
- Add eggs and vanilla, beat until combined.
- Beat in the flour and lemon peel.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir in the nuts.
- Turn dough out onto floured surface and divide into six equal portions. Shape each into an 8-inch long loaf. Flatten loaves to about 2 1/2 inches wide. Place 3 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake at 375F for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and tops are cracked. Cool on cookie sheet for 30 minutes. Reduce oven to 325F.
- Transfer loaves to a cutting board. Cut each loaf diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Place slices cut-sides down, on the same prepared cookie sheets. Bake at 325F for 8 minutes on one side, then turn over and bake for 8 minutes on the other side. They should be dry and crisp.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Make lemon icing: combine lemon zest and powdered sugar. Whisking continuously, slowly add the lemon juice until desired consistency is reached. It should form ribbons as it falls back on itself when you lift the whisk from the bowl.
- Drizzle the cooled biscotti with the lemon icing.