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An amazing recipe for a good cause, please...

There will be a benefit in our town next week for a family that lost their entire house and contents to a fire. They have young children so it means a lot to me to contribute something that could get them one tiny step closer to rebuilding their lives. I promised to bake a few things for a silent auction. Can you help me decide on something that will encourage people to spend a little more? It's the time of year that baked goods can either be passed right by (because, even in mid December, a lot of us are sick of indulging already), or could really be appreciated by someone who doesn't have time or desire to cook. Thank you!

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  1. these are quick and easy to make - and when you slice them up - look like a bigger deal than you know they are - from the famous Canadian recipe books called "best of bridge" - almond florentines - i suggest you use parchment in your cookie sheet, then layer in the crackers, almonds and syrup etc.
    http://www.food.com/recipe/almond-flo...

    1. Speaking for myself, if I attend an auction in which food is part of the donations to raise money, I would be looking for something interesting or out of the box to bid on...something to catch my attention. Now, that being said, I'm a chocoholic so I'm a bit partial BUT there are quite a few recipes for cakes that i would definately bid on. Heres a few: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/201...

      http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/201...

      Or, for the non chocoholic:

      http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/199...

      http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/201...

      Here's your outside of the box cake:

      http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/200...

      1. How about homemade caramels or fudge? Both are very easy and versatile. Kids and adults love them and it's unexpected. You can cut them in any size or shape.

        11 Replies
        1. re: HillJ

          Great idea. I found a recipe a few years back for caramels that were delicious but way too soft to cut in a pretty way. Since they were for our own family, it didn't matter but I've never repeated the recipe because I hate to not present a product well. I might resurface this one to see what I did wrong.

          1. re: kmlmgm

            Another idea for caramels is this recipe I've followed in the past:

            http://www.bhg.com/recipe/candy/honey...

            and then use them to make Caramellows:

            http://www.bhg.com/recipe/candy/caram...

            I found the caramel to be too soft as well on it's own, but dipped in chocolate with the marshmallow worked well....any spot not covered with chocolate will try & ooze out tho....

            1. re: kmlmgm

              I have recipes for apple cider, pumpkin and pomegranate caramels that are super simple stove top and chill recipes. But I'm not sure how many caramels you are looking to make....if you were to..

              1. re: HillJ

                Actually, I'd be interested if you posted them!

                1. re: HillJ

                  I'd love to see a recipe for the apple cider and pomegranate caramels if it's not too much trouble

                  1. re: limoen

                    Enjoy jens & limoen!

                    http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2012/1...
                    apple cider caramels
                    (these are amazing!

                    )

                    http://www.food52.com/recipes/7115_sa...
                    pumpkin caramels
                    (note: don't skip the seed topping, really makes the difference

                    )

                    http://prettypeasrecipes.blogspot.com...
                    pomm caramels
                    (note: I used pom molasses straight from the bottle-bought at the Indian market)

                    1. re: HillJ

                      Thank you Hill!! Always looking for something new to try for the holidays....

                      1. re: HillJ

                        Thank you! I also have access to pomegranate molasses so this will be simple.

                        1. re: HillJ

                          Thank you for these recipes, I am definitely going to do a caramel samper tin.

                          1. re: kmlmgm

                            You are very welcome and good luck to you and your community!

                2. Croquembouche and/or a Buche de Noel. Julia Child and Martha Stewart have recipes, among others. If you're not up to those, profiteroles on a platter.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: greygarious

                    I've made Croquembouche (Martha's, to be specific) several times, & it's definitely not suitable for a silent auction. Needs to be assembled & served asap thanks to the cream-puff filling AND the spun sugar exterior. Cannot even be held in refrigeration. "Not up to those" isn't even a factor. I wouldn't have sold one of mine for less than $100, & good luck getting that at a silent auction where the product is quickly declining in quality while the auction is going on.

                    Even profiteroles won't make it through an auction unless they're filled with a stable butter cream as opposed to the much more wonderful whipped-cream based fillings.

                    How about "adult" offerings - like thoroughly rum & brandy soaked fruitcake bar cookies? Or liqueur laced brownies?

                  2. I don't see how you could possibly go wrong with a big chocolate layer cake with fudge frosting. Novelty stuff is fun, but somebody with a family of kids at home is likely to go for the familiar.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Querencia

                      I agree. My plan is to do a few treats that are "out of the box", because I think there are going to be some stellar non food items donated to the auction. But, I have my favorite brownie recipe and choc chip cookies to contribute as well, because it makes sense that some people want famiiarity, too.

                      1. re: kmlmgm

                        For familiarity with a twist, try Dorie Greenspan's chipster topped brownies --chocolate chip cookie dough over brownie batter.