This weekend, I had the privilege of helping out at the Great American Bake Sale's New York City location. The event was organized by the nonprofit group Share Our Strength, which works to educate people about childhood hunger and, by increasing awareness, take steps to supply children with healthy, affordable food. I found out about the bake sale as I was perusing one of the other baking blogs I frequent, and I thought it sounded like a fantastic opportunity to give back (after volunteering became second nature to me during my undergrad years, it seems odd to me that it's so hard to get involved now).
I couldn't have asked for a more fantastic group of food bloggers to sell baked goods with! Maggy, one of the masterminds behind Three Many Cooks, was our fearless leader, somehow organizing us all into a cohesive unit of metropolitan-area bakers. I also got the chance to meet Amber from Bluebonnets & Brownies, Andrea from High/Low Food/Drink, Lillian from Sweets by Sillianah, and Emily from Nomnivorous, all of whom were wonderfully welcoming and definitely made me feel at ease, even as a newbie blogger. :)
Check out some photos from the event!
|Andrea's "Burger" Cupcakes and Cookie "Fries" were definitely the hit of the day!|
|Lillian's macaron pops were so cute! And a big hit with the niche macaron market.|
|My double chocolate chip cookies held their own--see below for the recipe.|
|Individually packaged salted caramel walnut brownies. These bloggers put me to shame with their thoroughness.|
|Amber's Movie Theatre Cookies, with a double feature of raisinettes and kettle corn--mm!|
|Chocolate pecan cookies. And they're made with love.|
|Red velvet cupcakes--in an adorable cocktail cup carrying case, no less.|
Other blogger-bakers who I didn't get a chance to meet or to chat with for as long included Jessica at Food Mayhem, Anna at Sweet by Half / London Foodie NY (to whom I send best wishes for a speedy recovery!!), Hazel from Tasty Pursuits, and Urvashee from Dessarts. I'm absolutely floored by how accomplished these bloggers are while still handling careers, marriages, families, and daily life--totally inspiring.
As my contribution to the bake sale, I decided to make double chocolate chip cookies--always a big hit among my college roommates, and ideal for anyone who has a love affair with chocolate. I tend to bake them on the smaller side (justification: you can eat more and not feel bad!), so I packaged these in baggies of three for the sale.
Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (In college I always used dark brown sugar, since for some reason that was all we had. I had light brown sugar in my cabinet this weekend, though, and it didn't change the results at all.)
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
(*Normally, I make these cookies uber chocolate-y and use 1/2 cup of semisweet and 1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips. This time, though, I thought the white chocolate chips would pop nicely in the cookies when you saw them on the table.)
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Cream the butter and sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed.*
3. Lower to medium speed and add the egg and vanilla.
4. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
5. On low speed, add the dry mixture to the butter mixture. Beat until fully incorporated.
6. Fold in the chocolate chips. Your dough will be dark, as in the picture below, and it'll also be pretty sticky--that's okay. I find that this dough is less floury than other cookie doughs I've made, but the cookies always come out fantastic anyway. You'll just have stickier fingers when you're working with it.
7. Form the dough into approximately 1 1/2-inch balls. Place on parchment- or foil-lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until centers are just set, about 11 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.
|Please ignore the display of New York Mets pride that snuck into the background of this photograph.|
*As you may have surmised from previous posts, I'm not lucky enough to own a KitchenAid stand mixer. It's pretty much #1 on my list of "Things I Would Buy If I Won the Lottery" and/or "First Thing to Put on My Registry Not That I Think About Things Like That," but as of now it's just me and my wooden spoon. It takes a lot longer to get the butter/sugar mixture creamy, but I get a bicep workout and I feel pretty damn good about myself when it finally happens. Moral of the story: Don't despair if you're not in possession of the gadgets! Secondary moral: Drop a lot of strategic hints to people who might someday get one for you.
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