Another Successful SF Food Blogger Bake Sale!

May 20th, 2011

GF brownie cupcakes - bake sale tips at dessertfirstgirl.com

Sorry all for the late update…I’m totally overwhelmed with work obligations and getting ready for my upcoming vacation – just a week and a half away! I’m trying to wrap up all the loose ends before I leave, but they stubbornly stay unraveled. Do I ever need summer break!

I do want to give a quick recap of the second annual SF Food Bloggers Bake Sale that took place last Saturday and thank everyone that turned out to help and donate. We got classic San Francisco “summer” weather that day: overcast skies and chilly breezes. Nevertheless, our volunteer bakers showed up early and eager with piles of beautiful pastries that we laid out in a truly tempting display.

Bake sale tips at dessertfirstgirl.com

Our main location this year was 18 Reasons, a community center located diagonally across from the famous Tartine Bakery. During the day, we joked about running across the street to tell the neverending queue of customers about the alternatives available at our bake sale; later, Shauna actually did it! She’s my hero. Many thanks also to Irvin for using his connections to land us 18 Reasons and letting us use their facilities, and to Annelies for doing a bang-up job of promoting the bake sale around town. I was so lucky to have all these guys as my A-Team for this bake sale!

Bubblegum marshmallows - Bake sale tips at dessertfirstgirl.com

Shauna and Irvin also held down the fort while I ran off to our second, satellite location: Kiehl’s in the Fillmore District. Kiehl’s came on board just weeks before the bake sale as a sponsor, and generously offered up many of their retail stores for bake sale locations. Because we had gotten so many volunteers, we decided to go big and expand to two spots. Lisa, who very capably helped organize the bake sale with me last year, again stepped up and took charge of the Fillmore location until I arrived. She also managed to get a huge number of her family and friends to show up and support the bake sale – all of whom seemed disappointed that she hadn’t made her signature macarons. There was plenty of other things to choose from!

Cookie assortment - Bake sale tips at dessertfirstgirl.com

I have to say that holding our bake sale in a high-end skin care store is definitely a posh way to go! The Kiehl’s staff went out of their way to welcome us and help set up, and even gave product samples away to everyone who bought from our bake sale – talk about fancy perks!

GF chocolate cake - Bake sale tips at dessertfirstgirl.com

When I started recruiting volunteer bakers, I put out a call for gluten-free and dairy-free items, as we’d gotten many requests for such items last year. I was so impressed by the amount and variety of special-diet items we got; and best of all of having customers come up, ask in that hopeful-but-ready-for-disappointment tone, “Do you have anything gluten free?” and be able to respond, “Yes, we have lots!” Thank you to all the bakers who took up the challenge. I feel like I can safely say that anyone can get their sugar fix in this town!

Thank you to all the bakers for volunteering their time, effort, and baking skills. As with last year’s bake sale, I am humbled and astonished by all the local talent. Not just in terms of baking either, but in professional-level presentation of their baked goods, and in simple generosity. Many bakers brought dozens of beautiful, painstakingly packaged treats, stayed for hours to help out, and then bought more sweets to support their fellow bakers and Share Our Strength. I was truly touched.

Almond cake - Bake sale tips at dessertfirstgirl.com

Thanks to everyone, we raised $2500, well over what we raised last year, and again just about 10% of the nationwide total. All the food blogger bake sales across the US brought in about $24,000 to help fund programs to feed hungry children. Great job Gaby and all the other food bloggers out there!

I just wanted to share a few more of my favorite shots from the day. I realize I’m not very good at taking people shots; something I’ll have to work on in the future!

Genmaicha brownies - Bake sale tips at dessertfirstgirl.com
Lemon Cookies
Macaron pops
Cake pops
Nutella Explosion
Whoopie Pies

Oh, someone asked in the last post what I made for the bake sale. My contributions were several of my Twix tarts (a combination I’m really, really fond of), and some pecan cinnamon-sugar palmiers. I used some blitz puff, generously layered with cinnamon sugar and a handful of chopped pecans, for some punched-palmiers. I hope whoever bought them at the bake sale is enjoying them!

For tips on a successful bake sale, see my post on the original 2010 SF food blogger bake sale.

Pecan Cinnamon Sugar Palmiers on dessertfirstgirl.com

Pecan Cinnamon Sugar Palmiers

About 36 palmiers
  • 1 recipe Blitz Puff Pastry
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
  • 1 egg for egg wash
  • On a well-sugared surface, roll out the puff pastry to a rectangle about 1/4" thick. It should be about twice as long as it is wide.
  • Combine the sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a small bowl.
  • Run your finger down the middle of the long side of the dough, pressing to make an slight indentation. Brush the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with the sugar mixture and half of the pecans.
  • Using this indentation as a guide, bring the top and bottom halves of the dough to the center, stopping just short of the indentation.
  • Brush only the right half of the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with the sugar mixture and about half of the remaining pecans.
  • Fold the bottom half of the dough over on top and press down lightly again with the rolling pin. Wrap the dough in plastic and place in freezer for about 10 minutes until very firm.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Remove dough from oven and slice into 1/4 inch pieces. Place about 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, then remove from oven. Lower oven heat to about 350 degrees F.
  • Flip palmiers over carefully using a spatula, sprinkle with more of the sugar mixture. Return to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes until golden and the sugar has caramelized.
  • Let cool on wire racks before serving.

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