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Bake Sale Weekend

October 4, 2012

Last week at Midrealm Coronation, I ran a bake sale to benefit the Pennsic Royal Encampment Improvement Fund.  My typical plan for these is that everything sells for a dollar and I ask contributors to be generous in their portions so buyers feel like they’re getting a really good deal for their money.

I made a batch of King Arthur Flour’s gingerbread cake, which is one of my bake sale staples.  It’s always a popular item.  This is a rich, moist cake with buttermilk, molasses and lots of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.  You can also add in some freshly grated ginger and/or sprinkle the top with bits of candied ginger.  Always yummy!

Looking at Yahoo!’s food section last month I came across an article on things to cook with pretzels.  One of the recipes was for a pretzel shortbread that sounded really intriguing.  The recipe originally comes from Martha Stewart – say what else you will about the woman, she does often turn up good baking.  The cookie bars get ground up pretzels mixed with the flour to form the shortbread dough, coarsely crushed pretzels mixed into the dough and more crushed pretzels pressed into the top.  I also drizzled the finished bars with melted chocolate because I’m loving the salty-sweet combination these days.  Doubling the original recipe makes enough to go in a 9×13″ pan.

Last but not least, it was requested that I make some brownies to go into the Royalty Rooms for the day.  One special request was for a Bourbon-Bacon Brownie that had been posted to Facebook last month.  Since the outgoing Majesties also have young children, I made one batch of regular brownies with dark chocolate chips added in and one batch of the “adult” brownies for the incoming Majesties.  The nice thing about these is that they start with a boxed mix, so they go together fairly quickly after you’ve fried up the bacon.  When they were done baking and I cut them up the night before the event, I tasted the bits that stuck to the knife and found it to be rather sharp in bourbon flavor.  The next day, however, the flavor had mellowed quite a bit so they had just a little bourbon-y richness.

The extra moisture from the bourbon added to the brownie batter definitely had an impact on the appearance of the finished product.  They also get a quarter-cup of bourbon drizzled over the top when they come out of the oven for added moisture and flavor.  The brownies on the left have bourbon, the brownies on the right do not.


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