UPDATE: Major thanks to McCormick, Mom it Forward, YOU for participating and my fellow teammates on this super fun Virtual McCormickBakeSale! I’m so happy to announce that our team won the challenge! You can link the links to my teammates and their recipes toward the bottom of this post.
NOTE: This recipe is part of a Virtual Bake Sale with McCormick – please see the giveaway info below for re-pinning instructions if you would like to cast your vote and make a virtual ‘buy’ of this recipe or any of the others in the event. Thanks!
Well, it is officially a new season – welcome Autumn! School is back in full swing and around our house that means the volunteering efforts at school are well ramped up and going strong already. A long cherished staple at most schools is the classic Bake Sale fundraiser!
Disclosure: As a part of the Mom It Forward Blogger Network I’ve been invited to participate in McCormick‘s Virtual Bake Sale this week. I’m being compensated for my participation and thank McCormick and Mom It Forward for the opportunity to share this recipe with you. All opinions are, as always, my own.
These days, I think you have to really bring your ‘A-Game’ to fundraising and school events if you are going to get the notice and sales you need. Presentation is a huge part of a successful bake sale, and with all the ideas for cute treat tables out there (easily searchable on good ole Pinterest) and everyone’s ability to find creative themes for their various events, there is really no doubt that a bake sale item has to appeal to the eyes to draw sales.
But bottom line, no matter how pretty the set up and tables and presentation, when potential customers get to that fundraising table, they have to be thoroughly tempted to buy the treats on offer.
Classics like brownies and cookies always go over well, but if you can easily go the extra mile and make something extra special, then you’ll have the chance to increase the appeal and the outcome of your event. Taking a time-honored favorite and turning up the volume on it can really help with that success!
The one thing I always had to have from the Bake Sale table was a chocolate chip cookie. Standard fare yes, but so satisfying if you get a good one!
However, if there was something that had some extra oomph to it, you better believe it would catch my attention. Sprinkles, chocolate, swirls, those items are the boss at getting attention as far as I’m concerned. So why not take a classic favorite and add some of that extra oomph and further gild the lily (or the cookie!) and really go for it!
As part of the McCormick Virtual Bake Sale I’m participating in we were given a few recipes to choose from that we were to use to inspire us to make something a little different from them. I chose what may have been the most classic of the recipes that they had already kicked up a notch – McCormick’s Vanilla Rich Chocolate Chip Cookie.
I adore vanilla and these cookies have a very generous helping of it. As much as I love chocolate, my love for all things vanilla may be almost equal. And as much as I love a good chocolate chip cookie, especially if it has been boosted with extra warm, rich, fragrant vanilla, there is still one other similar cookie that is near and dear to my childhood memories and heart.
My mom had a cookie gun. It is very old and is now my cookie gun (but parts have broken or are missing so sadly I am going to have to cave and replace it soon). We used to always make butter spritz cookies in the shape of flowers and in the middle of each flower right when the cookies were just baked I would place a single chocolate chip. Which, as much as I love those cookies, was just never, ever enough chocolate, though it was pretty balanced.
The cookies were tender, buttery, had a hint of vanilla and that one little drop of chocolate. They were tiny bite-sized cookies and I love them dearly to this day. But I wouldn’t want to pay a lot at a bake sale table for one tiny cookie. So it occurred to me (finally) to translate that cookie into something worthy of notice on the table that could rival my love for the classic chocolate chip cookie.
When I was looking at the Vanilla Rich Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe I kept coming back to the thought of a version where the extra vanilla was complimented and highlighted even more, then put over the top with more chocolate. So, instead of a chocolate chip cookie with the chips mixed in to the cookie, why not use those good chocolate chips to make a ganache frosting that could be swirled on top.
And as much as I love brown sugar, sometimes I just really want to taste the vanilla or other flavors and regular ole sugar allows that to come through more clearly. I also couldn’t help thinking about the one flavor I love in a sugar cookie possibly more than vanilla (or really in addition to) and that was Almond. I love almond extract. I could gladly spill almond extract all over my kitchen and enjoy the smell all day… but I’d rather have it in a cookie!
So the chocolate chips ended up coming out of the dough to become a thick ganache frosting. The brown sugar is replaced with powdered sugar to help create a very tender, almost cakelike sugar cookie, and the vanilla is joined by a generous amount of pure Almond extract. There were several ways to decorate the cookies, and once the frosting sets up it is easy to transport. Sprinkles never hurt or you could put a sliced almond on top.
NOTE: If nut allergies are a concern at your bake sale, you can easily replace the Almond extract with any of a number of great flavors available from McCormick – Orange extract in the cookie dough or only Vanilla in the dough and adding some Peppermint extract to the chocolate ganache would be especially fantastic.
McCormick Bake Sale Giveaway
As I mentioned above, I’m participating in a virtual bake sale on a team with five other bloggers, and competing against five other teams of bloggers, via my Pinterest board. If you help “buy” via a repin from my or my team’s virtual bake sale table, you’ll be entered to win a McCormick prize pack. Here’s how you enter:
- Please visit the McCormick Bake Sale Contest Pinterest board and pick your favorite bake sale treat (hopefully it’s mine!) and repin it to one of your boards, using hashtag #McCormickBakeSale (enter via the Rafflecopter widget below!)
We’ll find out which team gets the most repins and wins in early October, and which one of you wins the prize pack!
The other members of my team were all inspired to include chocolate in their recipes somewhere as well so we ended up having 6 decadent and delicious chocolate desserts for you to choose from.
The 6 Delicious Chocolate Desserts Team (Shown above, Left to Right, Top to Bottom):
Raspberries n’ Cream Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies from Lindsey at Cafe Johnsonia
Chocolate Covered Almond Sugar Cookies from me! Holly at pheMOMenon.com
Chocolate Caramel Cookie Blondies from Emily at Is This Really My Life?
Mocha-Cinnamon Chip Cookies from Amy at The Finer Things
Double Chocolate Mint Cookies from Kristyn at Lil’ Luna
Truffle-tini Wafer Brownies from Jennifer at Double Duty Mommy
Chocolate Covered Almond Sugar Cookies
Makes approximately 40 3-inch cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup canola oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
- 3 teaspoons McCormick Pure Almond Extract
- 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment or large mixing bowl beat together the butter, oil, and sugars for 3-4 minutes on medium speed until very light and fluffy.
- Add the heavy cream, eggs and vanilla and almond extracts and beat well to combine.
- On low speed add the flour mixture a little at a time until a slightly sticky, smooth dough forms, about 2 minutes.
- Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie and roll slightly to smooth the edges (optional) and place the balls of dough on your cookie sheets at least two inches apart.
- Gently press down on each ball of dough to flatten slightly.
- Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 10-12 minutes until just set and starting to turn golden.
- Remove the baked cookies from the oven and allow them to rest on the baking sheet a couple of minutes* to set before removing them and allowing them to cool completely before frosting.
- *If you are decorating your cookies with the spoonful of chocolate glaze then use a small spoon to press an indentation into the cookie as soon as they come out of the oven to create a little divot for the glaze to set in.
Chocolate Chip Ganache – Glaze, Dip or Pipe
- 1 lb good-quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon McCormick extract for flavoring such as Almond, Vanilla, Orange, Raspberry or Peppermint
- Place the chocolate chips in a medium heat proof bowl.
- Heat the heavy cream until just simmering and pour over the chocolate chips.
- Allow the mixture to sit undisturbed for about 30 seconds then use a small whisk to gently stir the chocolate chips and cream together until smooth.
- Stir in the extract if using.
- Allow the mixture to rest until it reaches the desired consistency and cools.
- To dip the cooled cookies the mixture should be just warm still and the cookies should be completely cooled and set. Simply turn the cookie upside down and dip it in the chocolate.
- *To pour a small amount of glaze into a little indentation in the cookies (see note above) the glaze should be barely warm and a slice of almond can be placed immediately.
- To pipe the ganache onto the cookies it will need to be cooled completely (takes about an hour or so and should be thick) – add sprinkles immediately after piping before the ganache sets up.
- Allow the cookies to set up before packaging for sale. To wrap the cookies you can place them on a small square of plastic wrap in the center. Pull the corners up over the cookie to form a peak and tie with a little piece of ribbon or string.