|Some of the volunteers|
I simply froze tablespoon sized cookie dough balls overnight and then added one to each cupcake before baking. The idea is that the frozen cookie dough ball shouldn't bake a whole lot because it is so cold and that the cupcake batter will bake up over the dough ball. The end product is a cupcake with a unforeseen surprise inside that is almost raw cookie dough (is bakes a little but not enough to be cookie-like yet).
The biggest problem you can run into? Not freezing your dough balls long enough so that they are rock hard. I froze mine overnight but that wasn't long enough. Since this was the day before the bake sale I had no choice but to go ahead and proceed despite their softness.
At this point I was pretty mad because I thought that my huge batch of cupcakes for the bake sale was ruined but I just continued on, hoping for the best.
For the frosting, I used a frosting recipe that I have been eying for quite some time. Its a not-so-sweet icing that is very light and sets up well. The interesting part about it is that it uses a flour and milk mixture that is heated on the stove top until very thick and then added to the other ingredients.
I used this recipe, which has the aforementioned flour and milk mixture, 1 cup of both butter and powdered sugar, and vanilla.
However, the directions were unclear (I didn't know the flour/milk mixture had to be cooled completely) so my frosting turned into a soupy mess.
I attempted to resurrect the frosting by cooling it in the fridge and whipping it again, but then it just turned into a separated soupy mess.
Okay so picture this. Its 9 o' clock at night and the bake sale is the next morning, you only have two more sticks of butter and the cupcakes have to be frosted tonight. You had your sights set on making a highly acclaimed frosting and you could make it again, but there's the chance the frosting could turn out the exact same way and you would be left with no frosting, no butter, and no open grocery store. What do you do?
Well, I decided to use a slightly different flour frosting recipe that ups the proportion of flour by a couple tablespoons, uses granulated sugar, and tells you to cool the milk/flour mixture completely before proceeding. It was risky, but to me it was worth the risk!
I used this recipe, and made sure to do everything perfectly.
Good frosting v. bad frosting:
Despite the setbacks I made some pretty cute cupcakes!
Since I've never made these before, I had to do a taste test before I distributed them out to the masses.
I packaged them individually in little punch cups that I topped with plastic wrap.
|Oops..looks like I left a finger print!|
|Clear as day.|
Since I knew these have a tendency of being a little on the sweet side, I used unsweetened coconut. For the chips I used half bittersweet and half milk, and for the nuts I used toasted pecans. I also used non fat evaporated milk and no one was the wiser (:
Instead of using some generic store bought graham crackers, I decided to go all out and make my own!
I've made graham crackers before, and they tasted very good but were definitely missing something. But these ones, these ones were amazing! I used an Alton Brown recipe that I knew would yield great results. I loved that the recipe was in all weight measurements; its so much harder to mess up that way! The only thing I did differently was used half honey and half molasses instead of all molasses (I definitely recommend this). I think what really made these was that little pop of kosher salt!
Anyway, the magic bar recipe is pretty generic, you can find it anywhere, but it basically goes like this:
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 stick (1/2 cup) melted butter
1 1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 cups chips (peanut butter, white, dark, milk, butterscotch, etc)
1 cup toasted nut of choice
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (can use non fat)
Mix together the crumbs and the butter, press down into a 9x13 pan, top with rest of the ingredients, pour the milk evenly on top. Into the oven at 350 for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.
The whole sweetened condensed milk thing may sound weird at first, but it caramelizes in the oven and turns into a caramel that sticks everything together. SO GOOD.
I packaged these by just wrapping them in plastic wrap and putting the label on the back so people could see what they were looking at.
Everyone brought so many amazing things! There were mini pies on a stick, muffins,cake pops, cupcakes, cookies, macarons, sweet breads, pies, donuts, brownies, and bars galore.
Here's some of my bars and cupcakes out for display. A lot of companies donated baked goods, too.
And here's me posing with my treats!
|Photo by Nathan Russel Photography|
I thought these were real cute-
And you can bet my dogs loved them too-
|Tyson and Missy|
|Felt like 90 degrees and she's wearing a scarf..|
Not only did I like doing something that will help the people in Japan, but I also got to bake up a lot of goodies and meet a bunch of local bloggers!
So... when's the next bake sale? :P