You wouldn’t know it by our waistlines, but here at MMC, Food is King! Two other things we love: giving back to the community and a little friendly competition. So it comes as no surprise that last week’s MMC for A Cause bake-off/sale was a huge success.
We partnered with the Food Bank for New York City, the city’s major hunger-relief organization. The Food Bank is working to end food poverty and increase access to affordable, nutritious food for low-income New Yorkers by procuring and distributing food to a network of approximately 1,000 food assistance programs throughout the five boroughs. We were lucky enough to be joined by Kate Hindin, Business Partnerships Manager at the Food Bank, who served as an eager and gracious bake-off judge.
As was to be expected, the competition was fierce. After rounds of recipe testing and some good-natured trash talk via Facebook, the bake-off was on! More than thirty bakers competed in five categories: cakes/cupcakes/breads/muffins, cookies, brownies/bars, pies/tarts and no-bake/miscellaneous.
The judges were tasting and scoring while the bake sale was underway in the building lobby. As the scores were being tabulated, the hallways were buzzing with excitement (likely a byproduct of some serious sugar rush).
“Who are the judges?” “The blueberry pie sold out already?” “Do you think it’s humanly possible for me to eat one more brownie?”
By day’s end we had five winners (see some of the winning recipes below!):
Cakes, Cupcakes, Breads and Muffins: Greg Casto, Mandarin Orange Cake
Cookies: Jen Kaczmarek, Peanut Butter Chocolate Thumb Prints
Brownies and Bars: Cathy Fitzpatrick, Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
Pies and Tarts: Ashley Crooks, Blueberry Pie
No bake/Miscellaneous: Marissa Festante, Chocolate Covered Bacon
And the biggest winner of all: Food Bank for New York City. We raised $454, the equivalent of more than 2,000 meals! Not bad for a bake sale, I say.
So, while I’m sure we’ll all be heading to the gym a few more times this week to burn off the extra calories, being stuffed has never felt so good!
Mandarin Orange Cake
1Pkg Duncan Hines Butter Cake Mix
3/4 C Crisco Oil
1 Can Mandarin Oranges with juice
Mix all together and beat for about 2 minutes with mixer.
Pour into 3 greased pans and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Mix 1 large can crushed pineapple with 1 pkg vanilla instant pudding. When mixed, fold in 1 large pkg Cool Whip. Frost cake and store in fridge.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups creamy peanut butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups raspberry jam
2/3 cups salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch cake pan. Line it with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until all ingredients are combined.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.
Spread 2/3 of the dough into the prepared cake pan and spread over the bottom with a knife or offset spatula. Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam. Don’t worry if all the jam isn’t covered; it will spread in the oven. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown.
Cool and cut into squares.
Maw Maw Dot’s Blueberry Pie
3.5 cups of blueberries
2 deep dish pie crusts
1 cup of sugar
¼ cup of flour
Coat blueberries with sugar and flour and pour into pie crust. Cut second pie crust into strips to make your “laces.” Lay laces over pie in grid pattern.
Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes
Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream
Chocolate Covered Bacon
Semi-sweet chocolate or whatever chocolate you prefer
Cook bacon in oven at 375 degrees until crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove bacon from oven and pat dry between layers of paper towels, allow time to cool.
Melt chocolate in double boiler, set aside to cool.
Dip bacon in chocolate. A thin layer works best to get full flavor of bacon but this is based on preference. Put chocolate covered bacon on parchment paper. Add nuts if desired.
Put chocolate covered bacon in refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until time to serve.