Food, Recipes

A Chronicle Bake Sale for Hurricane Sandy Relief

Even though Chronicle Books is located in San Francisco, we’re deeply entwined with the U.S. capital of book publishing, New York. And when epic natural disasters strike anywhere in the world, San Franciscans are deeply affected and reflective, due to our unique geographic situation. Many Chronicle-ites also have dozens of colleagues where the disaster struck last week (sales reps based in the Tri-State area, plus our sister companies Princeton Architectural Press and Galison, as well as our distribution client Moleskine), and lots of the employees of the company are from that part of the world (like me). For all these reasons and more, we organized a bake sale (and clothing drive) for hurricane relief on Monday.

Spearheaded by Kristen Hewitt and Lia Brown from our Design and Managing Editorial departments, respectively, the bake sale raised $1,593.47. The company has graciously offered to match our efforts, so we will be donating a grand total of $3,186.94 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

The clothing drive, also open to the general public, collected 13 boxes of coats, sweaters, pants, shirts, sheets, shoes, hats, and gloves, for all ages and sizes. The items donated are being sent to three hard hit areas in Queens (Breezy Point, Rockaway and Broad Channel), in addition to Staten Island, New Jersey, and the hardest hit parts of Brooklyn.

Please enjoy three of the yummy Chronicle Books cookbook recipes that we baked for this rapid call to action to help those in need in NY and NJ.

>>Bake Sale recipe made by Peter Perez, Assoc. Marketing Director, from Cake Simple by Christie Matheson
Better-Than-Ever Mint Chocolate Bundt Cake
Serves 10 to 12

Melted butter for greasing the pan
3/4 cup (75 g) cocoa powder, plus more for dusting the pan
1 ounce (28 g) semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (180 ml) boiling water
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (220 g) packed dark brown sugar
1 3/4 cups (210 g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
Mint Chocolate Icing (recipe follows)
Fresh mint leaves for garnishing

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/gas 4. Brush the inside of a 10-cup (2.4 L) Bundt pan thoroughly with melted butter and dust lightly with cocoa powder. (Use a pastry brush to help distribute the cocoa powder and tap out any excess.)

Put the chopped chocolate in a small heatproof bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Whisk until the chocolate is thoroughly melted and the mixture is uniform. Let cool to room temperature.

Whisk together the granulated sugar with the brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix the buttermilk with the eggs, vanilla, peppermint extract, vegetable oil, and melted chocolate mixture on low speed until thoroughly combined.

With the mixer still on low, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-low, and mix for another 3 minutes.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake for about 45 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto the rack and let it cool completely. The cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to a month, wrapped well in a layer of plastic and a layer of foil.

>>Bake Sale recipe made by Alice Chau, Designer, from Flour by Joanne Chang
Cornmeal-Lime Cookies
Makes 14 to 16 cookies

Make sure you bake the cookies until the tops are just firm to the touch and no longer, so the centers stay soft and almost cakelike. The tart lime glaze adds an addictive zing.

1 cup (2 sticks/228 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (175 grams) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest (about 4 limes)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (280 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 grams) medium-coarse yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Lime Glaze
1 cup (140 grams) confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (1 to 11/2 limes)
11/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest (about 1 lime)

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer or a wooden spoon), cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. (This step will take 10 minutes if using a handheld mixer or a spoon.) Stop the mixer a few times and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and the paddle to release any clinging butter or sugar. Add the lime zest and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute to release the lime flavor. Add the eggs and vanilla and continue to beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Scrape the bowl and the paddle again to make sure the eggs are thoroughly incorporated.

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. On low speed (or with the wooden spoon), slowly add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and then mix until the flour is completely incorporated and the dough is evenly mixed.

Drop the dough in scant 1/4-cup balls onto a baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the cookies are pale brown on the edges, still pale in the center, and just firm to the touch in the center. Be careful not to overbake the cookies and let the tops brown. Let cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool to room temperature or just a bit warmer before glazing. (If you try to glaze the cookies while they are still hot, the glaze will run off.)

To make the glaze: While the cookies are cooling, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, water, lime juice, and lime zest until smooth. You should have about 1/2 cup. (The glaze can be made up to 1 week ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.)

Brush the cookies with a thin layer of the glaze, then allow the glaze to set for about 10 minutes before serving or storing.

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. The unbaked dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

>>Bake Sale recipe made by Jennifer Tolo-Pierce, Design Director, from Cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans
Apple Streusel Cinnamon Swirl Cupcakes
Makes 12 regular cupcakes

A ribbon of cinnamon sugar melts into the middle of this cupcake, then more cinnamon sugar makes a crisp topping.

Cupcake Making 10 minutes
Cupcake Baking 350 degrees F., for about 25 minutes

Swirl and Topping
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Cupcakes
1 cup grated peeled apple (1 large apple)
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup canola or corn oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin tin cups with paper cupcake liners.

Make the swirl and topping. In a small bowl, stir the sugar and cinnamon together.

Make the cupcakes. In a small bowl, mix the grated apple and 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon sugar together; set aside. In a large bowl, stir the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the eggs, oil, and vanilla, stirring until the ingredients are smoothly blended. Stir in the reserved apple mixture, with any juice that has been released.

Spoon about 2 tablespoons of batter into each paper liner. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon sugar over the batter in each liner. Spoon the remaining batter over the cinnamon sugar, using a scant 2 tablespoons of batter for each cupcake. Use a pastry brush to dab the top of the batter with the melted butter. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar over the top of the cupcakes.

Bake just until the tops are light brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack.

Carefully place the wire rack on top of the cupcakes in their pan. Protecting your hands with pot holders and holding the pan and rack together, invert them to release the cupcakes onto the wire rack. Turn the cupcakes top side up to cool completely.

The cupcakes can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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