Friday, February 18, 2011

Scrumptious Baking Fundraiser

Last week was the annual Valentine Dessert Auction at our church with all proceeds going to the youth. Because I have 2 boys in youth, our house turned into a bakery for 3 days. No, I didn't get any writing done during that time and here are the photos to prove why...

First off, let me say I love my 5 quart mixer. It's the largest I've ever owned, and it's lasted longer than any other. When I bake, I don't piddle around the kitchen... I go on a baking binge, as my friend Val calls it, and bake all day for days. When I make sugar cookies, instead of doubling the batch, I'll triple or quadruple it. Sometimes even sextuple it. (Is that even a word?) Anyway, that calls for heavy duty equipment. And that's where my KitchenAid mixer comes in.

JJ's contribution was German chocolate cupcakes. Some of them were in the usual cupcake round size, but he made others using tin heart-shaped molds. They looked good, and tasted better.

I made some Rice Krispie Hearts using the Pampered Chief Heart bread mold. Then JJ decorated them with chocolate, pushed a lollipop inside them, and bagged them.  

Nick's contribution to the event was a triple layer carrot cake with cream cheese icing. It's hidden under all this plastic, but it sure looked good before we wrapped it up.

One of the new things I tried was Stained Glass Cookies. Since I was making sugar cookies anyway, I thought I'd give them a try. Especially since I had the perfect cookie cutter for it that cut the outside and inside hearts at the same time.

On this cookie sheet are the 6 sugar cookies ready to be baked. In the center of each is a Jolly Rancher hard candy. Two of the candies are red and the other 4 are pink.

Here Nelson is holding the finished Stained Glass cookie. Yes, the icing isn't the best job, but I admit I was rushing it.
Here's what the plate of Stained Glass Cookies looked like when we brought them to the auction...

As well as regular sized iced sugar cookies, we brought these huge 4.5 inch ones that people can write their own messages on with those cake decorating gels or pens, etc.

Another use for the sugar cookie dough was the base for these cookie pizzas. We covered the partially baked sugar cookie with mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, nuts and butterscotch sauce before popping back into the oven to finish baking. We made 2 of these 6" cookie pizzas.

This Peanut Butter Chip Cheesecake was a favourite last year so I made it again. Cheesecakes are so easy to make.  I probably shouldn't have used so much chocolate on top, but you never can have too much chocolate.

This Triple Chocolate Cheesecake should've had white chocolate drizzles on top but I didn't have any so I used the chocolate one again.

And finally, I brought this dish of fresh from the oven Chocolate Caramel Pecan Breakfast Buns.

I think that's all we brought. And no, I don't want to tell you all the goodies we bid on and brought back.

If you want to know more about the Dessert Auction evening, check out the post I did for our church blog.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Talking Coffee at the Inkwell

I'm talking about Cowboy Coffee over at Inkwell Inspirations today. Can you imagine how long it took to make a cup of coffee 150 yrs ago? We think we're in a modern, civilized age because we can grind our own beans for freshness. Back in wagon train and frontier times, they had no choice. Everyone carried their own grinder around with them because until 1865 you couldn't buy ground coffee. And if you could, it was probably rancid.

I have this video over at the Inkwell but like it so much I'll add it here. It's from the Arbuckle Coffee website and explains what happens to all those missing socks...

I wonder if that's where they got the idea for the Mr. Bean segment? LOL

If you'd like to read more, head on over the the the Inkwell and answer this question:

Do you like to drink belly-wash or six shooter coffee? Or would you rather have tea?