I’ve written about the San Francisco Food Blogger’s Bake Sale back in May before the event, but I never did have a chance to write about the fact that our little community bake sale here in San Francisco made $2500! That’s a whole lot of cash from some cookies and brownies (and cakes and pies and so many other amazing things). I had brought a number of baked goods to the event, including my raspberry chocolate marble cookie, my genmaicha green tea brownie, but I also brought a limited number of my trio of jumbo cookie packages (which I also brought to the SF Food Swap the following day) and they sold like crazy. Included in the jumbo cookies trio is my Strawberries and Cream Chocolate Chip Jumbo Cookie, which AJ absolutely couldn’t stop eating (I had to force him to stop so I could make sure to have a few to sell off for charity).
The bake sale was pretty awesome. For those who didn’t read my previous posts about the bake sale, it was part of the Great American Bake Sale benefitting Share our Strength, and organization dedicated to eradicating childhood hunger here in the US. The amazing Gaby of What’s Gaby Cooking had organized the nationwide event for food bloggers and San Francisco came in second for raising the highest amount of money (right behind Atlanta’s bake sale, run by the exceedingly talented beyond belief Tami of Running with Scissors). Collectively, the bake sale raised more than $25,000 nationwide, making San Francisco’s amount 10% of the total amount.
I had help organize the San Francisco Food Blogger Bake Sale along with Anita of Dessert’s First, who organized the first Food Blogger Bake Sale last year. I was joined by Annelies of La Vie En Route, Shauna of Piece of Cake and Lisa of Lisa is Bossy in the organizing of the event. I can’t imagine the amazing people who organized their respective bake sales by themselves. The amount of planning and work involved was pretty intense, but we divided and conquered.
Of course, the bake sale wouldn’t have happened without the amazing food bloggers of San Francisco. The San Francisco Bay Area has such a rich and diverse number of food bloggers and they really rallied behind the cause, donating some fantastic items for sale (including some gorgeous looking vegan and gluten free items). I was not only impressed with the number of bloggers I got to meet, but also the beautiful baked goods that was donated.
In addition to the generous food bloggers, the wonderful nonprofit organization 18 Reasons, run by Bi-Rite Market, had donated the space for our main location. Coming in at the last minute, Kiehl’s had offered to donate their store on Fillmore as well to be a secondary location and they were fantastic. Anita and her husband Mike bounced from the 18 Reason store to the Kiehl’s store (which Lisa was heading up) to make sure that both locations were running smoothly. Though I didn’t go to the Kiehl’s store, I imagine it was pretty easy to upsell to the customers over there “Hello. I see you are buying a $50 2 oz firming cream. How about a $3 cookie for the kids?”
Side note: I once got a sample of that firming cream from Kiehl’s and it’s friggin’ amazing. If I had the money, I’d totally buy it.
The customers of the bake sale were totally supportive. We had people give us money and not asking for change or throwing their change in our “donation jar”, we had kids gawking at the adorable cupcakes and we had people asking how they could be involved next year in the event. Of course, we also had a few people come in here looking for some more down to earth stuff. I saw a man circling around a few times and when I asked him if he needed help, he turned to me and asked “Um. Do you just have any plain chocolate chip cookies?” I looked around, helpless and said “Well, this is a food blogger bake sale. I mean, I think we have some Mexican Chocolate Chip cookies over there, and maybe a Chai flavored Chocolate Chip cookie over there…” In the end I did direct him to my cookie trio, that had a plain jumbo chocolate chip cookie in it, along with the blueberry white chocolate chip cookie and the strawberry and cream chocolate chip cookie. He seemed to think that was close enough.
Shauna and I held down the fort at 18 Reasons, and though there wasn’t as much foot traffic as we would have liked (the overcast gloomy weather didn’t help) and we did have the random bake sale customer that overstayed his welcome, but on the whole ,the afternoon was super fun. Shauna, of course, was the rockstar, running over to Tartine every now and then to tell everyone in line that we had a bake sale happening across the street. She took complete charge of 18 Reasons and even announced, as the bake sale was coming to end, that everything was on sale for $1! “Do it for the kids people! Everything single thing here, only a dollar!!! Come on people!”
In the end, I had a blast and we raised a ton of money. I can’t wait until next year. Wait. Did I really say that? The bake sale happened over a month ago and I’m still recovering from it. Let me sleep a little first. Then we can talk next year…
For more pictures from the SF Food Blogger Bake Sale, feel free to visit my Bake Sale Flickr Set.
This cookie as inspired by a cookie that Momofuku makes, called the Blueberry and Cream cookie. It involves making “milk crumbs” which are pretty awesome stuff, and fairly easy to do, but it involves some prepping and cooling. Feel free to make the milk crumbs up to a week ahead of time. Just store them in a ziplock bag or airtight container at room temperature until ready to use.
The recipe calls for some specialty ingrediens. Barley flour and mesquite flour can be found at specialty or natural food stores. If you can’t find them, you can substitute 110 g (3/4 cup) all purpose flour in it’s place. Freeze dried strawberries and dried strawberries can also be found at specialty stores (I found them at Trader Joe’s). You can’t make freeze dried strawberries at home, so definitely track them down, but if you want to make your own dried strawberries, you can make them by cutting and husking fresh strawberries and then quartering them and putting them on a baking sheet in an oven set at 250˚F for two or three hours (basically until they start to look leathery and dry but still pliable). Cool dried strawberries completely before using.
375 g (2 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
70 g (1/2 cup) barley flour
40 g (1/2 cup) mesquite flour (sometimes called mesquite meal)
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
283 g (1 1/2 cups or 2 1/2 sticks) of salted butter (if you don’t have salted butter, use unsalted butter and add 2 teaspoons of sea salt)
285 g (1 1/4 cup) brown sugar
230 g (1 cup + 2 tablespoons) white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
210 g (1 1/2 cups) strawberry milk crumbs, divided (recipe to follow)
340 g (12 oz) chocolate chips or chopped semi-sweet chocolate
32 g (1/2 cup) dried strawberries
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
2. Place the all purpose flour, barley flour, mesquite flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Using a balloon whisk, vigorously stir until the dry ingredients are evenly distributed and uniform in color.
3. Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. On medium speed, cream (mix) the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a large spatula.
4. Add one egg to the creamed butter and beat on medium until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and repeat with the second egg and then the vanilla & almond extracts. Remember to scrape down between additions.
5. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter and beat on slow speed turning up the speed to medium as the ingredients incorporate into the dough. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add an additional 1/3 of the batter repeat, beating on slow to medium. Scrap and add the final 1/3 dry ingredients.
6. Add the 1 cup of the strawberry milk crumbs (reserving 1/2 cup for sprinkling on top), chocolate chips and dried strawberries to the cookie dough and turn the mixer on to slow speed, mixing in the milk crumbs, chips and strawberries until evenly distributed.
7. Scoop out about a 3 1/2 ounce of the dough and form into a ball (somewhere between a larger golf ball and stingy baseball). Flatten into a disk between the palms of your hand and place on the lined baking sheet. Sprinkle top with some of the reserved strawberry milk crumbs, pressing down gently to embed them into the dough. Repeat with the dough on the baking sheet, placing the cookies dough about 2 inches apart from each other. Bake for about 15 to 18 minutes or until the edges of the cookie starts to look golden brown (try not to overbake them). Remove from the oven and let rest on the pan for 5 to 10 minutes to cool before moving them to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
Makes about 18 cookies.
Strawberry Milk Crumbs
17 g (1/2 cup) freeze dried strawberries
3/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
50 g (1/3 cup) all purpose flour
38 g (3 tablespoon) white sugar
10 g (2 tablespoon) cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
85 g (6 tablespoon or 3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1. Preheat the oven to 275˚F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
2. Crush the freeze dried strawberries into a powder by using a mortar and pestle or by placing them in a ziplock bag and crushing them with a rolling pin or the bottom of a flat drinking glass.
3. Combine the strawberry powder, milk powder, flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl. Using a balloon whisk, stir vigorously until dry ingredients are evenly distributed and uniform in color. Drizzle the melted butter over the ingredients and toss with a fork until it starts to clump up.
4. Spread out on the baking sheet evenly and bake for 10 minutes, or until the crumbs are dry but still pale. Cool crumbs on the baking sheet before moving to an airtight container or ziplock bag until further use.