Foodbuzz 24×24: Atlanta Food Blogger Bake Sale

On May 14, 2011, I had the pleasure and privilege to join a number of talented food bloggers, bakers and baked-good enthusiasts  at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta, Georgia for the second annual Atlanta Food Bloggers Bake Sale.
Coordinated by Tami Hardeman of Running With Tweezers, The Atlanta Food Bloggers Bake Sale was part of the larger National Food Bloggers Bake Sale, organized by Gaby Dalkin of What’s Gaby Cooking.  From the National Press Release:  “‘The second annual National Food Bloggers Bake Sale is a great opportunity for food bloggers across the country to come together, showcase our baked goods and help give back to our local communities.’ says Gaby ‘It also allows us the opportunity to meet our readers face to face and have them experience all of the baked goods they constantly see on our blogs and websites and create an awesome food blogging community in our respective states!’

Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats made by Luvs2Run – a huge hit at the Bake Sale
Funds raised through The National Food Bloggers Bake Sale support Share Our Strength’s efforts to end childhood hunger in America by helping fund afterschool and summer feeding programs. ‘Today, more families in America are facing hunger due to the economy and rising unemployment,’ said Bill Shore, Share Our Strength Founder and Executive Director. ‘Summer is an especially difficult time because nearly 17 million children facing hunger in America no longer have access to the school meals they rely on,’ added Shore.”

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.

Lemon Pistachio Biscotti
prep time: 10 minutes
bake time: 40 minutes
yield: 72 biscotti
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups pistachios
1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2-3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F and line 2  cookie sheets with parchment paper or buttered aluminum foil.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat butter on high until light and fluffy.
  3. Add sugar, baking powder and salt, beat until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until combined.
  5. Beat in the flour and lemon peel.
  6. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the nuts.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  11. 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.
  12. Drizzle the cooled biscotti with the lemon icing.
  13. Enjoy!

4 thoughts on “Foodbuzz 24×24: Atlanta Food Blogger Bake Sale

  1. >What a great write-up of a super fund-raiser and I can't believe how much variety you baked!Your little fellow is adorable! Love those tulip cupcake liners and your biscotti looks amazing. Thanks for sharing the recipe and I'm very appreciative of you mentioning and linking Frosting for the Cause in this post.

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