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Savory bake sale items?

We're holding a bake sale to raise some money for our company's Breast Cancer walk team and someone brought up the idea that we might want to add some non-sugary items to the table. Now, she may have meant sugar-free sweet or savory, but I thought I'd see what kind of savory baked goods we could do.

They need to be easily made, individual bites, portable (nothing delicate), and most importantly, able to stand at room temperature. I'm thinking this leaves out ricotta items and similar dairy ingredients? I was thinking meat pies, but perhaps that's too high-carb? I have such a sweet tooth, I can't get my brain to think of non-sweet items!


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  1. Mini quiches might be nice. And I think meat pie sounds great!! Maybe tourtière?

    1 Reply
    1. re: littlegreenpea

      Savory muffins like ham and cheese or stuffing muffins, (Heaped stuffing baked in muffin tins...love them dropped in soups)

    2. Spanakopita triangles keep well at room temp.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MobyRichard

        I was thinking of something along these lines, then wondered if people would be turned off by such a buttery pastry. Then again, who are these "people" who don't like cookies and cake to begin with??

        I think I'll look into how much work it would be to roll up a bunch of triangles.


      2. roll out some pie pastry and press it into muffin tins to make little tartlet shells. bake them at 375 or so until they're set and then fill them with things like sauteed mushrooms and parmesan, broiled tomatoes and mozzarella, caramelized onions and butternut squash and sage and cheese, etc., then stick back in the oven to finish setting them. they'll hold at room temperature and you won't have to worry about eggy things getting tough or sitting out too long (and you can sneak veggies in!)

        2 Replies
          1. re: ginqueen

            These sound great - I'm going to have to experiment with them because I signed up to be a baker for my son's bake sales at school and I think savory baked goods are a terrific idea!

          2. Small focaccia rounds, rosemary or black pepper crackers, sesame seed or poppy seed breadsticks. Any bread recipe could be put in muffin tins, I made a cornmeal/parmesan bread a few weeks ago that would have worked well for that.

            1. Cheese straws and breadsticks come to mind.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jillp

                i was scrolling down to see if someone already hit these!

              2. Here's a great thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/342191

                And ths one is good too: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/342191 - I've got a recipe for Spicy Bourbon nuts there that have sold fairly well at my church fair- they sold much better after we put a few out for samples.

                I've recently made gougères and they were both easy and tasty.

                Homemade raspberry vinegar also comes to mind. It's easy and the pink ties right in with the Breast Cancer theme. Or maybe spicy chili oil.

                1. There's a fantastic recipe for cheese biscuits in one of the Shaker cookbooks from Pleasant Hill, KY. It's not a buttermilk biscuit, but rather a sort of round cookie shape, savory rather than sweet, and light and flaky but not layered. I like them with a pecan half on top of each with some egg wash, and they're beautiful. Much easier than cheese straws, IMO.

                  There are also some great bread recipes in Amy's Bread from the NYC bakery that would make good bake sale items, very appealing and colorful. Some will be overnight recipes, but they are worth considering if you have time.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: amyzan

                    Would you post the recipe for the shaker cheese biscuits? sound great for fall

                    1. re: alex8alot

                      Sure, from We Make You Kindly Welcome, published 1970, Pleasant Hill, KY:

                      Cheese Wafers (not accurately descriptive, don't roll them too thin)

                      1 c. butter (I use unsalted at room temperature)
                      2 c. flour ( I use unbleached all purpose)
                      1/2 lb. sharp cheese, grated (I use a very sharp cheddar)
                      1 egg, beaten

                      Mix together the butter, flour, and cheese with your hands. Roll on a lightly floured counter (I roll 1/4-1/2 inch thick, see what you like) and cut into round biscuit shapes. (They specify very small, but that's up to you. I like them about 2 1/2 inches diameter, a couple then makes for a nice snack with an apple.) Place on a baking sheet and brush the tops with beaten egg, then place a pecan half on each. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with salt as they come out of the oven, if you like, and remove from the sheet to a rack to cool. (I find that if the cheddar is sharp, I really don't need salt, but use a good sea salt like Maldon or fleur de sel if you use it.) Store airtight.

                      ETA: I should add that I sometimes add a little cayenne pepper to the dough. It really enhances the flavor of the cheese, but be very sparing with heat for the bake sale, I think.

                      1. re: amyzan

                        Like a healthier and tastier Cheez-It cracker? I like cracker ideas... those might move well for an afternoon snack.


                        1. re: leanneabe

                          I suppose if you rolled them thinly and cut them in squares, the dough would make a tender Cheez-It like cracker, yeah. I make them into sort of a cross between a biscuit and a cracker, round and flaky but more of a cookie texture than a cracker texture.

                        2. re: amyzan


                          I would love to ask you a few questions about the Cheese Wafers recipe you posted... Can I email you? Thanks! Yukiko/pongstress

                          1. re: pongstress

                            Yukiko, I'd be happy to answer your questions here, but I don't post my email to message boards.

                    2. D. Greenspans recipe for cheddar chive bread. Search on this board and you'll find the recipe.

                      1. Sweet potato biscuits with chili flakes and cumin.
                        "Herb rolls" (like cinnamon rolls, only instead of sugar, butter and cinnamon, you use olive oil, fresh herbs and grated Parmigiano or chopped toasted nuts as the filling)
                        Pizza cake (a basic quickbread with basil, oregano, mozzarella, dried tomatoes, and any other pizza topping stirred in)
                        Triple-corn bread with jalapenos (use creamed and kernel corn in cornbread batter, add jalapenos or chives, if you'd rather not go spicy)

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: piccola

                          I was thinking of cheddar and jalapeno cornbread as well with a generous amount of melted cheddar cheese on top!

                          1. re: umami

                            I'd actually stay away from the melted cheese on top, mainly because it tends to gets oily and soft when it sits at room temp for a while.

                        2. One of my favorite things is to roll out some puff pastry (store-bought, of course) to the size of one of my sheet pans. Gently use a knife to score the pastry to create a border, not cutting all the way through, about an inch in from the edges.

                          Now, you can top with just about anything. A great one is caramelized onions, though this takes a bit of time: just slowly cook a bunch of sliced onions in oil till they're golden and sticky. Spread over the pastry (staying within the border) and maybe add some nice goat's cheese.

                          Another topping could be spinach and feta cheese--cook the spinach down first, squeeze out excess water, season with salt and pepper. Spread over pastry. Crumble feta on top, sprinkle oregano over.

                          You could really get creative. In any case, bake at 350 or 375 till the pastry's golden and the edges are all puffed up. Cut into as many squares as you like.

                          1. This is an old recipe from the 80s, savory yet easy and even though it contains cheese, should be good at room temp for a couple of hours.

                            Use refrigerated crescent roll dough, line large pizza pan with dough, bake 12-15 min at 375 or till golden brown. Cool.
                            Mix 8 oz cream cheese with 2-3T whole milk or cream, s&p, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1T minced dried onion, spread over pizza crust leaving 1/2" border.
                            Layer cut up fresh raw veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, red, green, yellow bell peppers, mushrooms, scallions decoratively over pizza. You can add green or black olives, use your imagination.
                            Cut in wedges to serve.

                            1. This is such a great topic - and very timely for those of us who have signed up to bake for bake sales at school. I hadn't even considered doing savory stuff and it's really a great idea. I love so many of the suggestions people have posted too. I especfially liked the eggless "quiches", cheese straws and spiced nuts. I have a couple of terrific books with great spiced nut recipes.

                              1. I've seen savory palmiers that look good... I can't remember the flavor I've seen (there's one in The Good Cookie). You could do all kind of cheeses or a sun-dried tomato one or a pesto one. They would be super easy if you used store-bought puff pastry. There's also a bleu cheese and pear rugelach recipe in The Good Cookie that sounded interesting to me. I could paraphrase any of those if you're interested. Crackers are always impressive because not very many people actually make them! There's a homemade Cheez-it recipe in King Arthur's whole grain cookbook- I bet that would go over well!

                                1. Small Cornish Pasties could be a good item. If you are not familiar with them they are a stew baked in a sealed pastry. The miners would carry them along for lunch. I'd use a good puff pastry like Du Four made with butter for the crust. The fillings can be most any type of savoury meat and/or veggie filling you might like. Caponata in a flaky buttery crust anyone? Maybe a little cheese in there too?

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Candy

                                    Isn't there an ongoing debate about whether or not there should be potatoes in the filling? :-)

                                    1. re: piccola

                                      There seems to be not only a debate about potatoes, but the use of rutabagas, or turnips too. Some cook the meat before baking some do not. Some add a lump of suet to the filling. It all depends where you are from and your traditions. I've heard of them served up with mashed potatoes on the side and catsup.

                                      1. re: Candy

                                        In my town, an old mining town in California gold country with a lot of Cornish heritage, they're made with potatoes, but I don't think there's turnips, though the recipes in most cookbooks call for them. Served with ketchup and vinegar and sometimes brown gravy. Mmm. Perfect for a rainy day like today.

                                  2. I love greek Tyropites. I have a recipe on my blog.. super easy.. very yummy. It also has a photo of the finished product... mmmm. think I will make some tonight.


                                    1. FRESH homemade bread loaves.

                                      1. Croquettes. Just be sure to double-fry them so they will stay relatively crispy at room temp for a while. Mine are always a sold off quickly at sales as most people bring sweets to the sales. They're relatively simple to make, and you can usually make a mix of ingredients that will satisfy both vegetarians and omnivores alike.

                                        1. Zucchini bread was the first thing that popped into my mind. Jalapeno cornbread jumped out at me from the other responses as something I would buy.

                                          1. The first thing that comes to mind is holding savories at room temperature for any length of time. If you can somehow get around that the possibilities are wonderful---empanadas and sausage rolls would probably fly off the table. (Sausage roll---an English thing---any kind of cooked sausage wrapped in any kind of pastry, whole thing of any size, and briefly baked). Or Indian samosas. Or Greek tiropita. Or Lebanese spinach pies.

                                            1. These Cottage Cheese Muffins are excellent, they're high protein, are good warm or room temp, and are fairly easy to throw together. I've subbed olives for sundried tomatoes, and she's listed several other options in the headnotes to the recipe.


                                              In fact, this thread reminded me to make them for my daughter's bakesale tomorrow!

                                              1. well it's 4 years too late to help the OP, but since this thread was resurrected i'll contribute for the next person who might need inspiration. roasted & spiced chickpeas are easy to make in large batches, and you can package them in cute cellophane bags. same goes for savory granola.

                                                1. Depending on your target audience, you could make savoury versions of palmiers with storebought puff pastry and your own pesto (or tapenade, though pesto makes it prettier).

                                                  You can also use bread or pizza dough to make savoury rolls -- just spread on some kind of sauce or topping, then roll up, slice and bake like cinnamon rolls. I've used the President's Choice artichoke tapenade.

                                                  And you can never go wrong with homemade cheezies: http://dinnerwithjulie.com/2010/04/23...