Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bake and Take Month

Want to make friends and influence people? Home baked goodies will usually do the trick.

For 40 years, Kansas Wheat's Bake and Take Month has been an opportunity to celebrate relationships with friends and family by baking and sharing treats.

Bake and Take Day began in 1970 as a community service project of the Kansas Wheathearts in Sumner County. The Kansas Wheathearts, an auxiliary organization of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, set out to share baked goods with family members, friends, neighbors, and those in need, generating goodwill in the community. The idea expanded in 1973 when the Kansas Wheathearts created a national Bake and Take Day celebration.

Even though the Kansas Wheathearts disbanded in 2001, the tradition continues with the Kansas Wheat Commission and the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers. Now, they team up with the Home Baking Association to promote Bake and Take Month each March.

I just shared 6 dozen cookies for a Stafford Main Street promotion. Home cooks throughout the community contributed baked goods, and Stafford Main Street delivered them to say "Thank you" to the small businesses who call Stafford home.

I used some tried and true recipes, but I also tried a new one for my baking efforts. I saw dark chocolate-covered coffee beans on a recent stop at Glenn's Bulk Foods at Pleasantview (near Hutchinson) and decided to add those to a chocolate cookie rather than the customary chocolate chips. And Cappuccino Cookies were born!

Randy, as usual, was my willing guinea pig. And even though he's not a coffee fiend like me, he thought the cookies were good enough to share.

If you do participate in the Bake and Take event, be sure and let the Kansas Wheat people know about it. You could win a prize bundle, including a couple of cookbooks. Here's a link to the entry form.

You can find additional recipes on the Kansas Wheat website, under the Consumers link. Just click on "recipes." (Or just click on the links!)

Cappuccino Cookies
2 cups flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup shortening
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 to 2 cups dark chocolate-covered coffee beans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients and set aside. Beat shortening, sugars and vanilla in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate-covered coffee beans, retaining several to use to decorate the tops of the cookies.

Use a cookie scoop and drop onto greased baking sheets. In the center of each cookie, put a chocolate-covered coffee bean. Bake for 8-10 minutes (depends on your oven) or until cookies are puffed and centers are nearly set. Cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet. Remove from cookie sheet. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

  • You may use butter instead of shortening. The cookies will just spread out more.
  • If you don't have a bulk foods store where you live, you might try finding chocolate-covered coffee beans at a bulk candy store.
  • If chocolate-covered coffee beans don't appeal to you, you can substitute chocolate chips, any of the swirled chips, Andes mint pieces, Almond Joy pieces, Reece's Pieces, etc. They keep coming out with new additions all the time.
Need other tried-and-true ideas for Bake and Take?

Try Caramel Coconut Squares


Or try Fudge Bars.

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