Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bake Sale - Samoa Brownies and Pepperoni Puffs!

Last week we were asked my a co-worker at our other office to participate in the department's bake sale to raise money for their annual Christmas charity project. Bake? Me? Really? Gee, I dunno....that might be pushing it....not.

So, we talked to the group and got a whole crew of people baking. This morning we see the fruits (and sweets) of our labors making money hand over fist in our main lunchroom. I hadn't even sent out the email that it was ready and people were hovering over the display of goodies and in hand.

I was concerned that we weren't going to have enough participation, so I made a few things to bring in. As it turns out, I needn't have worried. Not only did the tables fill up, but we had to add a third table to hold it all.

My first selection was an encore performance of the Orange Bundt Cake I made last week that was so well received.

In addition, I made another recipe I've had in my "Must Try" file for quite awhile now. Samoa Brownies. These are a take on the famous Girl Scout cookies, known here as Samoas, and in other parts of the country as Caramel Delites. These were the very first item snatched up in the feeding frenzy this morning.

Samoa Brownies 1 brownie mix (I used 2 mixes and made it 9x13 instead of 8x8)
3 1/2 cups shredded coconut
(2) 14 oz. package of caramels, unwrapped (I used the Kraft Caramel Bits so I wouldn't have to unwrap anything)
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. milk
3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

Prepare brownie mix according to box directions. Cool.
Place the caramels, salt, and milk in a microwave safe bowl and cook on high for 3-5 minutes. Stop occasionally to stir. Cook until all caramels are melted and smooth.

Add coconut and mix together. Spread over cooled brownies. (since the packages of Caramel Bits are 11 ounces and the recipe calls for 14 ounce bags of caramels, and considering that I was making a larger pan, I used 3 bags of bits. As it turns out, I think two would have been plenty. They were almost TOO caramelly. is that a word?)

Refrigerate 4-5 hours or overnight. Remove at least 1 hour from the fridge before cutting. Cut into bars and drizzle with melted semi-sweet chocolate.

I was also thinking that with all the sweets that were bound to be on the table, it would be nice to have something savory. And, as it happened, I got one of my regular Rachel Ray email newsletters and saw a recipe for Pepperoni Pizza Puffs. These little babies were perfect. I did not make the sauce for dipping them, as Rachel suggests. Instead I just baked the puffs and served them solo. They were quite a hit as well, and super easy to make. I actually put them together from start to finish this morning before coming in to work. (also, I made a double batch) They turned out great, and were one of the first dishes to turn up empty this morning!

Pepperoni Pizza Bites3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup whole milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
4 ounces pepperoni, cut into small cubes (about 1 cup) this sounded like it would be a pain in the neck, so I bought a log of pepperoni and took my mandoline to it, making thin little slices instead of cubes.
1/2 cup store-bought pizza sauce
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1 red bell pepper, sliced
Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.
Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.


Justin said...

omg samoa brownies... that is an awesome idea

Kim said...

The samoas are my favorite gs cookie. An awesome idea!

Usually I'm all about the chocolate, but I have to admit that it's the pepperoni puffs that are calling my name. Maybe it's the fact that they're called puffs. Something about the word puff just sounds appealing, right?