Making dough: If you bake it, they will come and buy

September 21, 1994|By Casey Selix | Casey Selix,Universal Press Syndicate

Across the country bake sales are a popular way to raise money and satisfy the nearly universal craving for sweets.

Most sales feature homemade goodies, with the occasional bought treat offered by a time-pressed parent.

Knowing your audience is the key to a successful bake sale, says Sheila Dohm, who has run six September bake sales at the St. Thomas Aquinas Parents Association Carnival in Dallas. The Catholic school has made up to $2,000 in an afternoon at the "Sweet Shop," Ms. Dohm says. "It has to be homemade, and it has to be fresh, or people don't come back."

Prices for individual servings are pocket change, starting at around three cookies for a quarter.

Ms. Dohm says she dares not go to a bake sale without three of her Rum Cakes. It's the most-requested cake at the Sweet Shop.

"When we first had it, there was more rum in the sauce, but it was too overpowering. I put in half the amount of rum, and I make it with one less egg so it won't fall apart."

Easy Pound Cake

Makes 12 to 16 servings

3 cups flour

2 1/3 cups sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 sticks margarine, at room temperature

1/2 cup shortening, at room temperature

3/4 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

6 eggs

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Place all ingredients into mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed of electric mixer for 10 minutes. Pour into prepared pan; bake for 1 hour and 5 to 10 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes.

Per serving: 447 calories; 24 g fat; 93 mg cholesterol; 282 mg sodium; % calories from fat: 48

Butter Pecan Cookies

Makes about 4 dozen

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

pecan halves

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar; blend in egg. Stir together flour and salt in separate bowl. Stir into creamed mixture. Drop from teaspoon onto pan, spacing each 2 inches apart. Top each with pecan half. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

Per serving: 78 calories; 6 g fat; 15 mg cholesterol; 65 mg sodium; % calories from fat: 62.

Pecan Pralines

Makes 3 dozen

1 cup sugar

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/3 cup evaporated milk

1/2 stick butter or margarine, softened

1 1/2 cups pecans

1 1/2 cups coconut

Combine sugars and evaporated milk in heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat. Stir in butter, pecans and coconut; cook until candy reaches soft ball stage. (Mixture will form a soft ball when dripped into cup of cold water.) Cool for 2 minutes.

Beat until thick but glossy. Drop by tablespoon onto wax paper. Cool thoroughly.

Per serving: 104 calories; 6 g fat; 4 mg cholesterol; 25 mg sodium; % calories from fat: 48

Baklava

Makes 75 pieces

2 pounds pecans

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 pounds unsalted butter, melted

2 boxes of phyllo dough

syrup (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Grind pecans fine; mix with sugar and spices. Grease 11-by-16-inch pan with melted butter.

Place 4 phyllo sheets in pan, brushing each with melted butter. Sprinkle with thin layer of nut mixture. Cover with 3 layers of phyllo, brushing each sheet with melted butter before adding next sheet. Continue layering until all phyllo and nut mixture are used. Finish with 4 layers of phyllo on top, brushing each with melted butter.

Cut pastry into small diamond shapes to aid in baking. Bake for 1 1/2 hours until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool.

Pour warm syrup over cooled pastry. (Pastry will not become soggy if allowed to cool first.)

Syrup: Combine 6 cups sugar, 3 cups water, 1 cup honey and juice of half a lemon. Boil syrup to medium consistency.

Per serving: 279 calories; 19 g fat; 27 mg cholesterol; 66 mg sodium; % calories from fat: 59

Rum Cake

Makes 12 to 16 servings

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1 package of pudding-in-the-mix yellow cake mix

4 eggs

1/2 cup cooking oil

1/2 cup cold water

1/2 cup rum

sauce (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Generously grease a large bundt pan. Sprinkle nuts on bottom. Beat remaining ingredients except sauce for 6 minutes on medium speed of electric mixer. Pour over nuts in pan. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Prepare sauce about 10 minutes before the cake is done.

Pour all the sauce over cake still in pan. Let sit until the sauce is well-absorbed, about 20 to 30 minutes. Invert onto plate.

Sauce: In a saucepan, bring to a boil 1 stick margarine, 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup rum and 1/4 cup water, stirring constantly. Boil slowly 2 minutes.

Per serving: 420 calories; 22 g fat; 61 mg cholesterol; 419 mg sodium; % calories from fat: 47

Sweet Potato Pie

Makes 2 pies, 8 servings each

2 large sweet potatoes

1/2 cup melted margarine

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, plus extra to sprinkle on pies

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon allspice

3 large eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup half-and-half or evaporated skim milk

2 pie crusts, unbaked

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