With my kids getting older and our local schools requesting that only healthy treats be brought in for celebrations, the opportunities to bake for an old-fashioned bake sale have dwindled.
The delicious, sweet delicacies that used to be found at a bake sale were not healthy, and I think that’s okay. They’re only meant as treats. Growing up there were many, many bake sales and I was at them all, armed with fistfuls of spare change to gleefully purchase cookies, Rice Krispies Treats, brownies, and cupcakes. In high school my Spanish Club held bake sales in the cafeteria to help raise money for our exchange trip.
As an adult, as a parent I love baking for my kids. My daughter went through elementary school before the mandate of healthy-only treats, so I baked for her class celebrations often. My son got through half of 5th grade before the hammer came down… I supplied a batch of cupcakes to his classroom a week before the notice came home from the principal that school birthday celebrations could no longer include sweets. (I wonder if it was my cupcakes that prompted that notice? Hmmm.)
From time to time bake sale opportunities come my way, and I eagerly seize the chance to bake when I can.
Here are some treats that do great at bake sale tables:
These Intensely Lemon Sandwich Cookies are also a great choice for bake sale tables.
They are made with shortbread cookies and sandwiched with lemony frosting. They have a bright flavor and though they’re small they pack plenty of flavor and sweetness into a couple of little bites.
Give these a try for your next bake sale, and perhaps sneak them into your child’s classroom. Just kidding now, no rule breaking. Just gobble them up at home.
Intensely Lemon Sandwich Cookies
Both recipes are adapted from recipes in the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion: for Shortbread Cookies and Easy Buttercream.
- 1-1/3 cups unsalted butter, softened and divided
- 1-1/8 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
- 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- In a medium-sized bowl, cream 2 cups of the softened butter with 1 teaspoon of salt and the granulated sugar. Beat for about 4 minutes until it is fluffy.
- Add in the flour and blend together until the mixture resembles fine cornmeal.
- Roll the dough into 1-inch balls (about .50 ounces each) and place on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Flatten the ball with the bottom of a glass that has been moistened and dipped in sugar. Repeat with the remaining dough. Chill the pans in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F. Bake the cookies for about 23 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to turn golden brown. Remove the cookies with a spatula and place on a cooling rack. Cool completely.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the remaining 1/3 cup of butter, the remaining 1/8 teaspoon of salt and the vegetable shortening until it is fluffy.
- Add in the lemon juice powder and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly. Add in 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar and beat on medium speed to mix it in. Add in a splash of the lemon juice and continue to mix. Continue with the remaining confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice until the frosting is well mixed and fluffy. (As you mix you may not need to use all of the confectioner’s sugar or juice, it will depend on the consistency of the frosting. If it’s looking dry and stiff it needs a little more juice. If it’s wet or drooping add more sugar.)
- Use a small spatula or a knife to spread about two teaspoons of filling onto the flat side of one cookie, and then top it with another cookie to make the sandwich. Repeat until all the cookies have been used.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Makes about 20 sandwich cookies.