Baking Like Crazy Week

cupcakes, cupcakes, everywhere
Key Lime Pie
Snickers cheesecake bars, sticky finger bars

Sugar cookies
Let’s see–did I really sign up to bring 4 dozen pink iced ribbon shaped cookies for a breast cancer awareness fund raiser? How about some Snickers cheesecake bars, and some sticky fingers bars, and an extra large key lime pie? Then did I plan a lunch party the very next day involving me bringing a main dish? Oh and the very next day was the “cake and punch” where I was going to supply 60-70 people with gourmet cupcakes. Am I crazy? That’s what my daughter asked me when she saw me from Sunday night until Wednesday at noon when I was putting the final touches on the cupcakes. I couldn’t complain in front of her because she is wise at the age of 20. She would just look at me and say, “Mom, you did this to yourself.” She would be right. My friend, Susan, asked me to make some things for her fundraiser a long time ago and I told her I would. I didn’t think it would fall on the same week one of my staff members was leaving. I started making the cookies Sunday night, made the Snickers cheesecake and sticky fingers bars and key lime pie Monday. This key lime pie involves hand squeezing a whole bag of key limes to make a cup and a half of juice. I make it in a 2 inch tart pan with a graham cracker/pecan crust. I saw this pie at Rather Sweet Bakery in Fredericksburg, selling price $50.00. When Rebecca Rather put the recipe in one of her cookbooks I was anxious to make it. It is very, very good. It’s in the Christmas recipe book, by the way. I put together the Snickers cheesecake bars based on a couple different recipes I’ve used over the years. Basically it’s a layer of brownies, a layer of Snickers bars, then a layer of cheesecake. I made some white chocolate ribbons and placed them over a little chocolate ganache. The sticky fingers bars are also a Rebecca Rather recipe in her first cookbook, Pastry Queen, and involves a cookie layer, egg/butter/sugar layer, and peanut butter, some chopped peanuts and a drizzle of chocolate. I baked them in 13 by 9 inch pans, cooled them overnight, and cut them into large pieces, just 8 pieces per pan. The key lime pie is always very pretty and was placed in a silent auction. It sold for $63.00. The bars sold immediately and were very popular. I think the jumbo size and their appearance in general is very tempting.
Now to the going away party–
The fact that she worked in my department for eleven years made her leaving a big deal, not to mention the fact that I love her dearly. I had to make her something special. Usually the cake and punch celebrations involve the giant Costco cake so with me being her supervisior expectations were high that we would have something different. I planned to make four different cupcakes and cheesecake: Carrot with cream cheese frosting, chocolate filled with salted caramel with chocolate buttercream, chocolate fudge, butter cake with cream cheese frosting, and individual pumpkin cheescakes. I would make 10 dozen total. That is 120 cupcakes. Hello–can I do this after work on Tuesday??? I didn’t factor in how tired I would be from Sunday, Monday and Tuesday cooking and baking. I also had to work all day. Like I said, crazy. I managed to make everything between 4 PM and 11 PM and fell into bed very exhausted. I still had to come home at noon and frost the cream cheese cake cups, remove the cheese cakes from the silicone molds and pack everything into boxes. As things typically happen, there were some issues in the transportation, but I managed to get the cupcakes into the building and people from my department artfully arranged them on the cupcake stands I brought with me. It was a beautiful display and the cupcakes were very well received. The salted caramel filled chocolate with chocolate buttercream was out of this world and I will make them again soon. Some people loved the carrot cake ones, and even the plain butter cakes were popular. The pumpkin cheesecake was also a big hit. The next day a woman at work asked me how much I would charge to make her 2 dozen of the chocolate cupcakes with buttercream and salted caramel. The ingredients alone cost around $15.00. (1 pound of Callebaut just for the frosting). I looked up the local Cupcake Cottage to get an idea of what people out there are charging for cupcakes. $2.95 per cupcake and that is for the plain and simple ones. Cream cheese, chocolate, etc. cost .30 extra per dozen. As their prices I would have paid $390.00 for the cupcakes. Wow! I didn’t want to tell the woman at work it would cost her $78.00 for 2 dozen cupcakes, so I told her I would charge her $20.00 a dozen, thinking she would be shocked and give up the idea. She immediately said, “that’s fine”. Hmmm… we’ll see.

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