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Bake sale bestsellers

Maybe there's another thread somewhere with responses to this query and if so, point me to it. I posted a couple of months ago for ideas for jams to take to a bake sale and got great responses. Now I'm just looking for baked goods more generally. This bake sale is in a community setting, not for a school, so the treats need not be geared towards children. In fact, it might be better if they aren't. I'd love to hear what you've made for bake sales that's been a hit with the crowds! Thanks!

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  1. Hi mollyo, these brownies were a big hit for us recently:
    http://www.heatherchristo.com/cooks/2...

    29 Replies
    1. re: HillJ

      omg, I have totally been meaning to make these and this is the perfect occasion! thank you for reminding me!

      1. re: mollyomormon

        oh my pleasure mollyo. that riff/combo is just too good for words.

        1. re: HillJ

          HillJ I can't wait to try those. Thanks for posting this!

          1. re: lilgi

            hey lilgi, missed you! good to see you here.
            Unlike the original recipe,
            I prefer to use the mini pretzels, bow-twists, with this so the decoration
            sits nicely on top. I just slightly break the pretzels.

            1. re: HillJ

              Thanks HillJ! Although now I never know which one I'm responding to ;D

              I agree that the choice of pretzels is important (I don't think you want the thicker ones or the logs but the ones with less of a middle since the surface is more important), the mini pretzels should be perfect for this; my preference has always been the Bachman brand but if you ask me why I couldn't explain. Chocolate covered pretzels are a favorite here (and chocolate covered corn-flakes) so these brownies should be a big hit.

              1. re: lilgi

                lilgi, may you be the 1st to know...it's just me *J* from this point forward. Hill retired from CH. He was too frustrated. So, just little old me from now on.

                1. re: lilgi

                  oh my, chocolate dipped preztels are one of my sons fav but in this recipe (just in case you consider it) would be a messy disaster.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    Oh, I only mentioned it because of the chocolate/pretzel combo, but wasn't considering doing the pretzels dipped for this. Yep that would be a mess. And I am forever glad you are still here J!

                    1. re: lilgi

                      Thanks lilgi, I appreciate it.
                      Just covering the "usual" basis :P

        2. re: HillJ

          Mollyo, since you found the pretzel topped brownies a hit I thought I would pass the original "blog of inspiration" onto you and fellow CH's. This gal knows her way around a brownie riff and provides tons of add'l inspiration for bake sales....and delish baking in general. http://www.browneyedbaker.com/recipe-...

          For instance, we made batches of this caramel/pretzel combo and sold them in bags of 10 for a bake sale. Very popular with the bake sale crowd...especially the often neglected DADS.

          http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2010/10...

          1. re: HillJ

            HillJ Glad you posted this! I decided to make the pretzel cookie bars posted here:
            http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2009/08...

            I remembered seeing these (you may have posted this link in a different thread). I'll report back in a few days after I make them.

            1. re: lilgi

              Oh lilgi, that particular riff on pretzel cookie bars is super chewy! BEB blog is one of my current favorites. Very approachable, adaptable recipes. Can't wait to hear about your results. The amount of baking you've shared in the past few months has been absolutely outstanding. Enjoyed every share!

              1. re: HillJ

                Thanks a bunch HillJ :D Let me know if you have any suggestions for these, I can't wait to try em.

                1. re: lilgi

                  The only variation I've tried is adding flaked coconut. And, it wasn't necessary or a good choice for these (too much going on with the addition of coconut) so I'd stick to the recipe as adapted this time.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    Will do since I'm the only coconut lover here. Thanks!

                    1. re: lilgi

                      Also a thought about the baking time. 30 mins on this is an underbake. It will look gooey, don't add time. You'll want that sweet and salty chew but don't slice (& you will be tempted!) until the batch is completely cooled. That pb drizzle (a must) needs to firm up.

                      1. re: HillJ

                        Just told one of my sons what I was making, to which he responded "that sounds pretty friggin amazing" hehe, will proceed as directed ;)

                        1. re: lilgi

                          Smart son :) My hubby enjoys them with ice cold milk and a slight (15 sec) nuke in the microwave on his slice.

                          1. re: HillJ

                            Those really look a m a z i n g. Nice blog, too, thanks for pointing it out.

                            1. re: HillJ

                              Made a double batch of this incredible chewy goodness for a fantasy football draft gathering last night - perfect! They were going 4 and 5 at a time. I didn't indulge in the peanut butter drizzle because I was craving the pretzel/chocolate/cookie dough combo and we loved them as is. I'll probably try that drizzle in the future since I know I'll keep making these.

                              I only met BEB halfway on the dark chocolate chips since I usually use pure milk chocolate for anything like this including JT's chocolate chip cookies. I mixed semisweet and milk chocolate callets and made a dark chocolate drizzle for the top; didn't crush any additional pretzels for additional topping since I thought the bars would look nicer this way.

                              This is probably the only brownie/bar recipe that I know of that calls for a 9x13-inch baking pan that doesn't skimp on thickness. I consistently defer to my 8x12-inch ceramic baker for something like this and never regret it, an extra 5 minutes baking time for me was sufficient - your 30 minutes baking time definitely spot on! Mine were slightly thicker which I like better but I wouldn't hesitate to use the 9x13-inch for these at all. Bravo HillJ another winner!

                              1. re: lilgi

                                You made my morning, lilgi. Always glad to steer you in a delish direction. Couldn't agree more on the 9x13 pan comment, no scrimp there. Pls recip on your finds...there is so much territory...the more eyes on the prize(s) the better!

                                http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2010/01...

                                And while we're focusing on BEB, allow me to direct your eyes to this little scone number! Another savory item bake sale (or not) worthy.

                                1. re: HillJ

                                  Lots of territory!

                                  I'm not a scone lover but this savory option made my mouth water. I would definitely try this Hillj, thanks again!

                                  Btw, I forgot to mention that making those pretzel bars finally pushed me towards this pan:
                                  http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO...

                                  David Lebovitz recommends this for an apricot/date nut bar recipe that katecm posted that's perfect for this as well, but the price held me back. I think the pretzel bars were the final push to get this since I'll be mailing out snacks for my college-bound son. I can look for that post later if anyone wants/needs it. I've gotten so much use out of my "rosette" pan already so I think it'll be worth it.

                                  1. re: lilgi

                                    My Uncle, who is a marvelous baker, has that pan. He loves it. I have NO doubt you will too and that you'll be using it! Happy shopping!

                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      Thanks! I think this is great for chewy bar treats (I like my brownies in the rosettes pan or regular pans for more middle). For the date/nut bars it's necessary to double the recipe to use the pan. I'll look for a better bargain though, there's a few places by me that have it cheaper and on-line as well, just posted for the photo.

                                      1. re: HillJ

                                        The Baker's Edge pan is pricey, and a unitasker. I use 2 mini-muffin pans for a standard brownie recipe, bake 15 min at 325. That makes even more crust, takes even less oven time, and improves portion control. Nibbling around the perimeter first, I get 8 bites out of one piece, enough to sate when accompanied by a cup of coffee.

                                        1. re: greygarious

                                          I'm the one that posted about that pan, but I don't intend to use them for brownies. As I'd mentioned above I make several bar cookies that would work great with this pan but I had put it off because of the price. I'd like this for several recipes and now an additional one; I don't consider that a unitasker.

                                          I also do something very similar with brownies when I bake them in the Rosette pan but I don't do it for the edges; there's plenty of middle when I do it this way because there's a substantial difference in size between the rosette and a mini-muffin. Again it depends what you're looking for.

                                          1. re: greygarious

                                            Excellent tip greygarious! Not all of the brownie recipes I prepare work well in mini muffin pans (for instance brownie recipes calling for alot of chunky ingredients) but for a delish standard brownie recipe I agree with you, that's another solution to achieve crust. I am not a brownie crust kinda gal, I go right for the middle gooey piece...but for those looking for a nice crusty bite there's two ideas!

                  2. re: HillJ

                    I actually made the dark chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting (I used a peanut butter cream cheese frosting instead) for a friend's birthday a couple of weeks ago and they were a HUGE hit! I love looking through browneyedbakers recipes; makes me wish I had a lot more bake sales to bake for ;).

                2. Not a recipe, but a technique I found to help with sales is to use a pastry bag to frost cupcakes. So many people are drawn to the neatly swirled mounds of frosting. So whatever you make, frost it with a pastry bag!

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: iluvcookies

                    Such a good sales tip iluvc, people really do shop with their eyes and swirled frosting evokes the price you're charging alot faster.

                    1. re: iluvcookies

                      I second this. So much more attractive than when it's just been slapped on with a knife (not that there aren't spatula techniques, but I mean the more slapdash variety)! A large round pastry tip is your best friend, and it also helps to do different types of cupcakes differently. A little decorative accent can help, too, if you're handy with piping out royal icing decorations.

                      1. re: Orange_Blossom

                        My last bakesale batch was lemon cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. I tinted the frosting a pale yellow, piped it on with a large star tip and dusted them with lavender colored sugar. Sold out all 36 in 20 mins at $2 a piece.

                        1. re: iluvcookies

                          It's hard to beat the attractiveness of a display of beautifully decorated cupcakes. And they are still fairly trendy, so that helps, too. Twenty minutes, wow!

                          1. re: Orange_Blossom

                            Well... my mom bought 12, the rest went in 20 minutes. It was a fundraiser for Alex's Lemonade Stand, a childhood cancer charity.

                      2. re: iluvcookies

                        Genius! I can easily see that "moving product". I know that it would attract me.

                        1. re: DougRisk

                          If there are kids involved the cupcake/cookie presentation is key.I have done lego shaped mini cakes, pink and purple frosting with sparklies and a fondant star on top, princess or train themes if you have preschoolers. The flavors don't matter - I always go mainstream chocolate, vanilla, maybe mint.

                          Also should have mentioned Nutella anything sells well.

                          1. re: jsaimd

                            If I can offer one more possible visual inspiration: Green and Yellow tractors like John Deere. My nephew can not get enough of John Deere Tractors (he is 3 years old) and there is a whole sub-culture out there for that kind of stuff. All sorts of toys and videos for kids like him.

                            1. re: DougRisk

                              Sports balls (you can do baseball rice crispy treats easily), or colors of local sports teams

                        2. re: iluvcookies

                          So true. Frosting piped on with a pastry bag (or even a ziploc bag with a corner cut off) will sell anything. I make lemon meltaway cookies (Land o'Lakes recipe with a few tweaks) for bake sales, and when I apply the frosting with a pastry bag, they sell out almost immediately.

                          1. re: Isolda

                            Oh, yum. I love meltaways and haven't had them in ages. I'm definitely storing away this idea for future bake sales. And this one for fall bake sales!

                            http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2010/09...

                        3. magic bars, mini cheesecakes, lemon squares, tea cake loaves - lemon blueberry, orange cranberry etc (sold whole), cake balls on a stick, kettle corn or popcorn balls.

                          all have always worked at our PTO sales (grown ups are usually our customers) - don't forget the donation Jar : "save your calories but help a good cause"

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: debvil

                            Definitely, if you're selling to the community, to adults who will take the goods home or to the office rather than buy a snack to eat on the spot, whole small tea cakes or a neat stack of cookies or brownies nicely packaged in cellophane bags tied with a ribbon works well. Similar to the piped frosting, people like buying goodies that are appealingly packaged.

                            A card or label with the name of the goodies and the ingredients, or at least noting if they contain nuts or other common allergens probably can't hurt.

                          2. Last summer I bought a yummy looking chocolate zucchini sheet cake at a church sale and the recipe was attached. I thought that was a nice thoughtful touch. Now, it's part of my cake recipe collection.

                            1. I've done a ginger-ale poundcake that's an old family recipe, very simple, but bakes up nicely.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Nocturnalbill

                                Could you share the recipe for the ginger ale pound cake, Nocturnalbill? That sounds very intriguing!

                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                  Will once I get home, on nights this month. Interesting thing I always liked about it is the ginger ale does all the rising for the cake.