Friday, December 23, 2011

if you know me, you'll be seeing these soon

Some years, I've gone a little nuts when it comes to making cookie tins for Christmas. Others, I take it a little easier. This year, I'm in that second frame of mind.

You see, I've realized you don't need an entire parade of tree-shaped, red-and-white-striped, bedecked holiday cookies to make a good gift — just one or two really great recipes. For me in 2011, that means chocolate crinkles and pains d'amande. Believe me, they're good. I gave some of each to my two office mates this morning and soon heard an "Oh, girl" come from across the room.

The crinkles strike me as such a classic Christmas cookie. They're snow-capped, dramatic in color contrast and abstract in design — each one comes out of the oven with a unique form. And they taste dreamy. The dough is exactly like fudge, so you can imagine how they bake up. I made double batches twice within the past week, both times with help from my buddy Alex, who somehow always got stuck with the most physically demanding part: stirring the dry ingredients into the wet. (Sadly for her, the recipe says to refrigerate the dough for at least three hours or overnight. So both times she's helped, it's gotten too late to start baking. I think I owe her a batch.) (By the way, as an editor, I think in most cases it's so useless to put things in parentheses. They're so Ann M. Martin. But I can't give them up.) (P.S. That reminds me, this deserves its own parenthetical home.)

Before baking.

After baking. I'm pretty fascinated with the crackling.

When I last made powdered sugar-covered cookies, I followed the instructions and took forever rolling each ball of dough in a shallow dish until it was covered in white. This time I wised up and poured the sugar into a largish plastic bag, then added the cookie dough and shook the bag around. It takes two seconds! This is when I learned there is no such thing as too much powdered sugar. What sticks with this method looks like an overwhelming amount, so I brushed some back into the bag. I was afraid of biting into a cookie and getting a repeat of what happened once when a gust of wind blew a funnel cake onto me at Westfest. The top cookie here shows why you shouldn't do that:

It seems some of the powdered sugar soaks into the dough as it bakes. Don't worry about adding too much. A lot = just right.

As for the pains d'amande, I don't know what I was expecting with these. I sort of just took Food 52's "genius recipe" title at its word, and that was not a bad move. They're biscotti-like and the kind of thing I think my parents will enjoy having with their morning coffee when they get to the point of being overloaded with desserts and candy as gifts, which happens to them every Christmas because they are some of the most popular people I know. Another reason for the overload is that my parents give a box of chocolate-covered cherries to each family member as part of a tradition that started in lean years when buying presents for everyone was a tall order. But the thing is, not everyone likes chocolate-covered cherries, so they (and I) end up with the extra boxes. All that to say: these thin almond cookies are subtle but not ordinary.

They taste like very thin biscotti.

To make sure the pains d'amande were tasty enough to wrap up and give away, I took the advice of some commenters and added splashes of vanilla and almond extracts, and it paid off. The cookies look fairly plain, but a bite tastes just enough of cinnamon, vanilla and almond. Another tip for making these: have a friend over. Step 2 says to wait 30 minutes while the butter and sugar cools, and there are no other steps to do in the meantime. This is a good chance to lean against a counter and talk about college and boyfriends and Ryan Gosling and Big Freedia.

Merry Christmas, folks!

Chocolate crinkles
By way of Bakin' Love
Makes about three dozen cookies

8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup chopped pecans
Powdered sugar

In a glass bowl set over a small pot with just a bit of water, melt the chocolate and butter together over medium heat.

Beat the eggs and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla. Add chocolate mixture.

Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add to chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate three to four hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and fill a shallow bowl with powdered sugar. Make 1 1/2 inch rounds with the dough and roll them in the powdered sugar until they are completely coated. Place the balls of dough on the baking sheet about 1.5 inches apart.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the edges are firm but the centers are still soft. Cool on wire rack.

Flo Braker's Pains D'Amande
From Sweet Miniatures by Flo Braker
Makes about 7 dozen cookies

2 1/3 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into quarters
1 1/3 cups turbinado or raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup water
3 ounces (1 cup) sliced almonds

Sift the flour and baking soda onto a sheet of waxed paper; set aside.

In a 1 1/2-quart saucepan over low heat, combine the butter, sugar, cinnamon and water. Stir occasionally just until the butter melts. Do not allow the mixture to boil. David Lebovitz recommends not letting the sugar melt thoroughly — the crunchy bits make for wonderful texture in the cookie. (Beth note: That sounds great, but I'm not sure how you'd keep the sugar from melting unless you add it last.) Remove from heat and stir in the almonds. Pour this mixture into a 3-quart mixing bowl; set aside for about 30 minutes at room temperature until lukewarm, about 90 degrees F.

Add the dry ingredients all at once; stir thoroughly until blended.

Press the soft dough into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch pan, preferably straight-sided (such as a 1 1/2 quart Pyrex loaf pan) lined with plastic wrap. Cover surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze until firm.

Adjust rack to lower third of oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two large cool baking sheets with parchment paper.

Lift out the firm dough from the pan onto a cutting board. Slice as thinly as you can from the shorter end, aiming for about 1/8 of an inch. Space them 1/4 inch apart on the baking sheets. (The dough slices as though it were fudge.)

Bake, one sheet at a time, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the undersides are light golden; then turn cookies over and bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or until crisp and honey-colored. Place baking sheet on a wire rack to cool. Lift cookies from parchment when cool.
Stack cookies in an airtight container and store at room temperature up to 10 days.

Monday, December 5, 2011

a nod to mimee

Geez, Louise, I've got some catching up to do. I've done lots of cooking since that last post this summer, but a new job has left me little time for blogging. Beyond my own cooking, I did a daring amount of eating on a trip to France and Italy in September, and I plan to record that here, too. It was the best kind of vacation: I had ice cream or gelato nearly every day and sometimes twice.

A Speculoos-flavored cone in Paris. It's ice cream made out of cookies!

But let's start with my most recent kitchen marathon: Thanksgiving! I spent the day at my brother's house, and I brought Parker House rolls, a bourbon pumpkin pie with pecan streusel and a cranberry family favorite. In the kitchen the day before the holiday, I thought about how magazines love to refer to recipes "just like Grandma used to make," hinting at such comforting quilted blankies as tradition and Old World simplicity. But I have to say, that comparison never has rung true for me about my North Texas-bred, non-cookie-baking grandmother.

Sweet as she was, Mimee, my mom's mom, was not much of a cook. Like most women of her generation, she did cook nearly every meal for her household; they just didn't taste very good, to be honest. Still, she sustained four children and her husband and even sewed all of her children's clothes until they were in high school. At that point, my mom and her sisters begged to have store-bought clothes with tags! — like seemingly everyone else in Fort Worth in the '60s. Mimee responded by ordering a box of cloth labels embroidered with "Mr. Fine of Dallas" — a real brand? I might never know — and stitching them into the necks of their shirts and dresses. No one can say she wasn't resourceful.

Mimee's father owned a bakery. I bet he made great rolls. I used this recipe.

She had her charms, too. One of my favorite of my grandmother's idiosyncrasies was the way she adapted to the invention of the answering machine. She left messages at our house as though she were leaving my mom a note, signing it aloud at the end: "Mother."

This was a SUPER boozy pie. It was more mellow and much better eaten cold. It came from here.

The best thing I can say about eating at Mimee's house is that she was very generous with ice cream. She would stock up on neopolitan from the Braum's down the street when we'd visit from Austin. Otherwise, she made tuna sandwiches that were too wet and served cottage cheese alongside everything. Along with green bell peppers, cottage cheese is one of the few foods I still absolutely can't stand.

But in my opinion Mimee had one shining recipe, a cranberry side she brought to our family's Thanksgiving table every year. It was one of those totally outdated fruit concoctions with Jell-O (flavor: anything red) as the main ingredient, but we all loved it. She made a similar dish with green Jell-O, pineapple, pecans and cottage cheese like the one at Luby's, but the Thanksgiving one was blessedly free of curdy dairy products.

I don't have Mimee's original recipe, and I don't know where she came across it. So the past few Thanksgivings, I've been making a reimagined version that cuts the Jell-O but keeps the freshness. It's uncooked and really quick. It's also something I do by feel each time without a recipe to follow. So this year only after I'd puckered the mouths of Miguel's family with a too-tart version I brought to an early Thanksgiving dinner the weekend before — I wrote down the measurements of the correctly sweetened version I brought over to my brother's. It's a keeper.

A Nod to Mimee Cranberry Relish
Seems to serve any size group of Thanksgiving guests; with all the other food around, most people take only a few spoonfuls.

12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries
two medium-sized juicy oranges
1/4 cup sugar

Rinse the cranberries in a small colander and toss them into a food processor. Zest one orange over the cranberries. Squeeze in the juice of the oranges, add the lid and let the food processor go until it's pretty much just stirring the tiny bits of slightly liquified berries. Pour it into a bowl, stir in the sugar and taste it. Add in a tablespoon more of sugar if needed. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

pain d'epi

Just as June ended, I was still reaping the benefits of a lovely Christmas gift from Miguel — cooking classes at the Whole Foods Culinary Center. I went to a class called Basic Breads: Baguettes and Ficelles last weekend. And I made this!

(It's supposed to resemble a wheat stalk.)

The first of three cooking classes was a demo followed by a lunch much fancier than I would normally have on a weekday: panzanella with chicken sausage, garlicky shrimp with arugula pesto over orzo and a slice of lemon pine nut tart. Yum. I took good notes on toasting croutons, an idea for a Texas-style pesto (with cilantro, pecans and jalapeno) and this mondegreen that seemingly everyone in the class misheard during some coaching on the tart: "Get ready, because this involves a lot of whiskey!" Turns out, the instructor had said the filling needs a good deal of whisking. I believe we should be open to both.

My notes on class No. 2 — where I wore an apron and learned hands-on about French cooking Lyon-style — contain this similar bit of marginalia quoting, as it happened, the same instructor: "Quiche — it's based on a cuss word." I was prepared to nerd out over some amusingly raunchy French idiom, but once again, we'd all misheard him. Custard, he'd said. Well, sure.

The bread class was more straightforward. I kneaded while listening to tips on feeding starters called pâte fermentée and poolish that give breads their flavor. And I continued kneading while a brick of Irish butter was set out and we were told about the happy, happy cows it came from. I did a lot of kneading.

Perhaps the best thing I learned was how to give a baguette that fancy leafy look above, in which case it's called pain d'epi. This site describes the technique with step-by-step photos. All you need is scissors!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

green beans: boy howdy!

One busy day last week, I hadn't planned on doing much cooking. But then I made sesame green beans for lunch, mixed up some ice cream after work and, let's say, freshened up some jarred pasta sauce with some sauteed summer squash for dinner. None of this was very intensive, but on a day that I'd figured would allow time for nothing but a bowl of cereal, it felt pretty good.

Not long before, Whole Foods downtown had been making a big deal of a new crop of asparagus. And rightly so — I've been ready for it since reading this recipe. I was loitering in the produce section sampling orange wedges and red grapes when I saw a guy behind a wok handing out bites of asparagus stir fried with sesame seeds. As my dad says: boy howdy. The Asian flavors made it so much more interesting than the relatively plain asparagus I'd eaten before.

This is all leading to the green beans I got in my latest vegetable delivery. They're the same size, shape and color as asparagus and, most importantly, were already in my fridge. So I trimmed, blanched, then sauteed them according to the asparagus recipe when I went home during my lunch break — which means this comes together fast. I didn't have sesame seeds, but the sesame oil on its own does the trick. Again: boy howdy! Scrounging for samples in the grocery store pays off.

Later, I acted on an idea that I think makes me a genius, as I've been telling my more eaterly friends since it struck me. So normally, you buy horchata at a taqueria, you drink it, it tastes like the milk leftover after a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and you love it. My idea: throw it in an ice cream maker!

However, it seems I'm not the only genius to think of converting this flavor into ice cream. And I have to report that I experimented, and my lazy method isn't really worth it — it all turns out too icy. So now I'm trying to figure out how I can turn horchata from El Taquito into really creamy ice cream without too much extra work. Maybe use it in place of milk in that Bojon Gourmet recipe? I suppose that lets me skip toasting the rice but I'd still have to cook the eggs. And I'm going for real laziness. Any ideas?

Sesame green beans

Appropriated from an asparagus recipe from Whole Foods

This recipe is labeled as serving four to six as a side, or halved it serves me for lunch. I learned something terrific at a cooking class I took not long ago, which also happened to be at Whole Foods: you can blanche vegetables way ahead of when you want to use them! Just make sure you dry them and seal them up before storing in the refrigerator for a week or so.

1 pound green beans

Half of a lemon

1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil

1 Tbsp. sesame seeds

A sprinkling of flaky finishing salt

Trim the green beans and blanch them for two to three minutes. Heat a large skillet on medium high. Sprinkle half of the sesame seeds in a pan for a flash toasting.

Pour in the oil. Add the green beans and cook for two to three minutes, then move them to a bowl. Squeeze fresh lemon over and add salt to taste. Add remaining sesame seeds to garnish.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

recipe for a great easter sunday

It starts the evening before. Make a yeast dough for hot cross buns and let it sit in the fridge overnight. The buns will have to be baked in the morning since you're out of cinnamon and raisins and there's no time to go to the store. There's music to see: Sleigh Bells is in town!

Wake up around 9:30 Sunday after a few snooze hits. The dough's already mixed, so there's plenty of time before the 1 p.m. lunch with family to add in the dried fruit, sugar and spice and let it rise for another hour before 20 minutes of baking time. Except the empty H-E-B parking lot tells you the grocery stores are closed. Oh yeah — it's Easter! Let's see, Farm to Market is way too local to be open. Would a gas station stock cinnamon and raisins? Nah. A warning: this will prompt frustration that results in a harried sweeping of the entire house — because at least dingy floors are a frustration with an obvious solution.

Miguel's dad is visiting, so breakfast is barbacoa tacos. As if barbacoa itself wasn't miracle enough, how about a boyfriend who has the bright idea of driving to Wal-Mart for cinnamon and raisins while he's out picking up breakfast? Yes! The only thing is, after showering and eating and sweeping like mad, there's no time left to bake buns before lunch.

As it turns out, the 16 family members likely to show up on Easter are with the other sides of their families. A giant holiday feast turns into a super casual lunch for three — just you and the parents. You have time to really catch up, talk about Easter and work and the idiosyncrasies of grandmas. And they wouldn't be happy if you'd brought several dozen sticky buns to leave at their house, so it's best that the dough's still at home.

Next, drink a cappuccino and loiter for a few hours with a buddy who works at your favorite coffee shop. (Open on Easter!) Discuss the new indie movie theater opening this week and the recurrent topics of barbecue and The Wire. Decide you've been on hold in the middle of Season 3 for too long, pick up a pizza for dinner and go watch what Omar is up to. Watch one episode while you eat, another while your dough balls rise and a third one while they bake.

Decide not to worry that the eggs in the fridge are, let's say, passé. Make a glaze of powdered sugar and milk that will taste good even if it doesn't hold a cross shape. Finally, buns!

Hey, I tried.

Hot cross buns
Makes 18 buns or many more smaller ones if you've forgotten, like I did, how big a ping pong ball is

Hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, but I have tested and verified the theory that they taste good any day of the week, even post-holiday for breakfast. And even if they're not quite round.

2 cups whole milk
½ cup canola oil
½ cup, plus ¼ cup sugar, divided
1 package (2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
4 cups, plus ½ cup all-purpose flour, divided
½ tsp. (heaping) baking powder
½ tsp. (scant) baking soda
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon (plus a few extra shakes because you can't overdo it with cinnamon)
Cardamom, nutmeg and allspice (optional)
½ cup raisins
2 whole egg whites
Splashes of milk
Powdered sugar

For the buns
Combine 2 cups milk, canola oil and sugar in a saucepan. Stir and heat until very warm but not boiling. Turn off the heat and allow to cool until mixture is still warm, but not hot — about 30 minutes.
Sprinkle yeast over mixture. Add 4 cups of flour and stir to combine. Mixture will be very sticky. Cover with a towel and set aside for one hour.
Add half cup flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir until combined. At this point, you can let it sit for a while covered with a tea towel, cover it and put it in the refrigerator overnight or just move on to the next step.
Combine 1/4 cup sugar with cinnamon and whatever other spices you want to use.
Lightly flour surface. Press to slightly flatten dough. Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle on about a third of the raisins. Then fold the dough over on itself and flatten again so the dough is “plain” again. Repeat the sugar/raisin process, then fold the dough again. Repeat a third time until all the raisins are used. (You won’t use all the sugar/cinnamon mixture.)
Pinch off ping pong or golf ball-size bunches of dough. With floured hands, quickly roll it into a ball, then turn the edges under themselves slightly. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for at least 30 minutes. An hour-plus is better.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Mix one egg white with a splash of milk. Brush onto each roll.
Bake for 20 minutes, give or take, or until tops of buns have turned nice and golden brown.
Remove from pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack.

For the icing
Mix one egg white with enough powdered sugar for icing to be very thick. Splash in milk as needed for consistency.
Add icing to a small plastic bag and snip the corner. Making sure the rolls are completely cooled first, make icing crosses on each roll.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

baked goods galore

Bake Sale for Japan on South Congress Avenue

Holy moly. The Bake Sale for Japan was a terrific way to spend a Friday night of baking and a Saturday morning of fundraising, visiting with Austin bakers and bloggers and buying up homemade treats that look good enough to be in a bakery case. I wish I'd reported back on it here sooner, but this time my slovenly ways aren't to blame for putting blogging on the back burner. It's just been a heck of a busy two weeks!

But don't feel too bad for me — sometimes busy means hiking, ice cream with a new buddy (met at the bake sale!) and late nights with these fine folks. Full days are good days.

So back to the update: the Austin bake sale raised more than $11,500! Donations were given to Americares to support medical and humanitarian aid efforts for people affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. One man walking by with his son bought a bag of cookies and said he'd tell his family members in Japan what people in Austin were doing to help. And really, the bounty these bakers provided was amazing. Three long tables were piled high with cookies, breads, cupcakes, tarts, muffins, cake pops, truffles and on and on. There were vegan cupcakes and gluten-free brownies. Potato chip cookies and Star Wars cookies. Homemade pop tarts, plum jam financiers and huckleberry cakelets (these three were my favorites). There was no shortage of generosity.

And because blogs are about sharing, if not always timeliness, I'll post the recipes for the cookies I brought, the ones in that box above. The ginger molasses chocolate chip ones I'd made several times before, but this time they unexpectedly spread out pretty flat in the oven — the same way the batch of cookies I made for my birthday party did. I started to think I'd lost my cookie-baking mojo. Especially when I also had to abandon my super cute plans for the linzer cookies. Picture two rectangular cookies sandwiching red berry jam that's visible through a round hole in the top cookie — the Japanese flag in linzer cookie form! But with a sticky dough that refused to be cut, I once again had to face my inability to cute-ify and just hoped they tasted good. With a recipe that called for three sticks of butter, not tasting good wasn't even an option.

My attempt to get sunlight in this picture means you can see
a bit of the first plant I've ever sustained, a pot of paperwhites!

Mini Linzer Cookies

From The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook via Food Network

Yields 36 cookies

3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3½ cups flour

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup raspberry preserves (I used the brightest red strawberry jam I could find but something not so sweet would have tasted better)

Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter and sugar. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough 1/4-inch thick and cut 2 3/4-inch rounds with a plain or fluted cutter. With half of the rounds, cut a hole from the middle of each round with a small heart-shaped cutter. [Alternatively, to make small discs without the hole, roll out 1-inch balls and flatten them slightly with your palm on the cookie sheet.] Place all the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and chill for 15 minutes.

Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature. Spread raspberry preserves on the flat side of each solid cookie. Dust the top of the cut-out cookies with confectioners' sugar and press the flat sides together, with the raspberry preserves in the middle and the confectioners' sugar on the top.

Cookie dough casting dramatic shadows.

Chocolate Chip Ginger-Molasses Cookies

From Molly Wizenberg of Orangette

Yields about 40 cookies

The original version of this recipe from Orangette calls for a half cup of butter and a quarter cup of vegetable shortening, but I went all-butter. And dark molasses and not blackstrap molasses is best here. Also, I've now learned for good how to spell molasses after writing it repeatedly on those labels!

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 ½ tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground allspice

2 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp. salt

1¼ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

½ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

1½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup packed brown sugar

1 large egg

¼ cup unsulphured molasses

½ cup demerara sugar, for rolling (I had turbinado)

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, and salt. Whisk well. Add the chocolate chips and crystallized ginger and whisk to blend. Set aside.

In a large bowl – preferably, a stand mixer – beat the butter and shortening briefly to soften them. Add the sugars, and beat until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the egg and the molasses and beat to blend well, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the flour mixture in two doses, beating briefly after each until the flour is just absorbed. Do not overmix. Use a rubber spatula to give the dough a final stir if necessary; it will be quite firm and stiff. Cover the bowl, and refrigerate for one to two hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Pour the demerara sugar into a small bowl.

Using damp hands, pinch off blobs of dough and roll them into 1¼- to 1½-inch balls. Roll each ball in sugar to coat. Place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Roll only about eight balls per sheet at a time and cover and refrigerate the remaining dough.

Bake the cookies until they are cracked on top but still soft to the touch, about 12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Cool on the sheets for one minute, then carefully transfer the cookies – still on the parchment or silicone liner – to wire racks to cool completely. When they are cool, remove them from the parchment or silicone liner.

When the baking sheets have cooled, repeat with more dough.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

bake sale for japan

Saturday morning is going to be great. I'll be sitting out in front of Hotel San Jose on South Congress with more than 20 bakers who have signed up to contribute to Austin Bakes for Japan. So many things about this event strike me as being really special: for one thing, multiple bake sales are happening at the same time nationwide (Austin alone has five locations). Then there's the fact that people who mostly, I'm assuming, don't know each other and won't meet in person until they arrive to set things up are making this happen. Yay, Internet!

And, of course, the cause of this benefit is certainly worthy of attention. I love the idea that getting together to meet neighbors over treats and good will is just a side effect of something that's already worth doing.

I'm bringing ginger-molasses chocolate chip cookies and linzer cookies with strawberry jam. And, it just occurred to me, cash so I can try other people's goodies. Photos and recipes to come!

Funds raised at this event go to AmeriCares. Find the Austin bake sales at these locations:

Downtown Austin: Woof Gang Bakery
1204 North Lamar Blvd., 78703

East Austin: Nomad Bar
1213 Corona Drive, 78723

2785 Bee Cave Road, 78746

Central Austin: Foreign & Domestic
306 E. 53rd St., 78751

South Austin: Hotel San Jose
1511 South Congress Ave., 78704