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Brick-Shaped Goodies


Megan Blocker
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OK. So. As some of you know, I sit on the board of a fledgling theatre company called Babel Theatre Project (Check it out!). We have an event coming up in a couple of weeks called Groundwork - it's a free readings festival of six new plays in two days, plus a fundraising event on the Saturday night.*

The Producing Director (who also happens to be my little brother :wink:) has asked me to bake some goodies to sell at the readings; the supplies will be part of my tax-deductible gift to the Project for 2008, and any money we make selling them will also go back to the company.

So, here's my question:

I'd like to bake something brick-shaped (you've probably guessed that Groundwork is a play on Babel; our mission is to support new works by emerging playwrights, building the foundation for the next generation of theatre), so I'm thinking blondies and brownies. I'll wrap them in cellophane secured with a Babel logo sticker, and stack them subway-tile style for sale.

I'd like them to be slightly unique, not just your typical fudge brownies - any ideas? I'd like at least one option to be nut-free...

*FYI, due to some technical issues, the full info on Groundwork is not up on the Babel site yet, but it should be posted soon.

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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financiers are the first thing to occur to me, as their shape is said to mimic gold bars...i've seen silicone pans for them in sur la table and other cookware stores, and i'm pretty sure dorie greenspan's great baking book has a recipe. if not, her "paris sweets" would. you might even wrap them in gold foil to make them look more "gold brick"ish..and charge more!

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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What about less gooey napoleons?

The ones I've been around have been rather heavy and gloppy gooey but maybe a more tamed down verison? Maybe kinda high maintenance item though. But a brick pastry thought nonetheless.

But what about a carmel sandwich cookie. There's a recipe in Regan Daley's In the Sweet Kitchen I've been wanting to make. I could email it to yah.

I love mini anything. I would make some minis.

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Napoleons may be a bit work-intensive (I'll only have one day to prepare all of this), and also tough to transport without a car (I'll be going by cab at best; most likely by subway and/or bus). But I like your thinking!

The caramel sandwich cookie sounds awesome...I'd love a copy of the recipe.

And financiers are also intriguing...keep 'em coming, guys - and thanks!

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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I'd like them to be slightly unique, not just your typical fudge brownies - any ideas?  I'd like at least one option to be nut-free...

although people generally do LIKE fudge brownies and blondies... :biggrin:

the gold foil wrap idea is wonderful

Karen Dar Woon

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Hello, rice krispie treats! Either the good ol' standby original (http://www.ricekrispies.com/Display.aspx?kic=1&recipe_id=1605), or a chocolate ganache version (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/236697), or Martha Stewart's Confetti Squares (http://marthastewartliving.com/recipe/confetti-squares?autonomy_kw=krispie&rsc=header_2) which uses all different kinds of cereal. Or make all three for variety!

Food, glorious food!

“Eat! Eat! May you be destroyed if you don’t eat! What sin have I committed that God should punish me with you! Eat! What will become of you if you don’t eat! Imp of darkness, may you sink 10 fathoms into the earth if you don’t eat! Eat!” (A. Kazin)

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Do you have any of Maida Heatter's books? There is a huge selection of bars in her books. My favorites are the California Fruit Bars (basically a blondie with assorted fruits like figs, apricots, cranberries, dates.... ), Palm Beach Brownies, the York Peppermint Brownies and the Katharine Hepburn Raspberry brownies. And there are other non-chocolate bar recipes, but you can take the California Fruit bar recipe and add chocolate bits or heath bar, or coconut, and bake it in a brownie pan rather than a jelly roll pan to make it thicker.

I think you should stack the bars in a tower.....

You can bake and freeze the invidually wrapped bars ahead and transport them in a box or milk crate....

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'Smores Brownies are very popular in my experience.

Line your pan with graham crackers, top with (homemade or mix) brownie batter and bake to just barely done. Top the brownies with a layer of regular-size marshmallows, spacing them closely and evenly. Broil briefly to toast the marshmallows, cool and cut.

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I'd go for Butterscotch Brownies. Betty Crocker's Cooky Book has a terrific recipe. Very easy. PM me if you want the recipe.

I LOVE Maida Heatter's fruit and nut bars. Love them. But I think they may be too thin, at least, they're thin when I make them.

I like the idea of the rice krispie treats. Who doesn't expect them/love them at a bake sale? What about gold dusting them?

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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LEMON BARS! Good, zippy, lots of lemon for the slightly tart twang of it, no chocolate and NO nuts. Yummy and easy. I like to dust the top with granulated sugar, for the crunch of it, and to offset the zip of the lemon. HTH!

ETA: AND they're golden! :rolleyes:

Edited by judiu (log)

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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I LOVE Maida Heatter's fruit and nut bars.  Love them.  But I think they may be too thin, at least, they're thin when I make them.

Yep, they're thin when you make them in the jelly roll pan. But when you put them in a brownie pan (sold in supermarkets) or a 9x13, they're thicker. Takes a little longer to bake, but they're the right thickness for when I want to overload them with fruit or make the pecan-only version. I can't get enough of this when I make them with apricots, cranberries, and pecans!

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Brownies with a cream cheese ribbon in them. There are dozens of recipes out there.

Blondies with butterscotch or cinnamon chips in them.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Here's a 'golden' candybar-like variation on rice krispie bars:

SCOTCHEROOS

1 c. corn syrup

1 c. sugar

1 c. peanut butter

6 c. Rice Krispies

6 oz. semisweet chocolate morsels

6 oz. butterscotch morsels

In large saucepan, cook corn syrup and sugar over medium heat, stirring frequently. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter. Mix in cereal. Press in buttered 9x13x2 inch pan.

Melt chocolate and butterscotch in double boiler; mix well and pour over bars. Chill until firm; cut.

They are also good without the topping!

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I know you mentioned something unique...I'll have to have a think about that part of it but the first things that come to mind are rice krispie squares, big "bricks" of chocolate sheet cake with chocolate icing, puffed wheat squares, and possibly homemade granola bars. All of these could be made in larger pieces, easy to make, would transport well as long as boxed properly and appeal to the masses. Maybe you could start with a basic recipe and just jazz them up a bit, either with decoration or the addition of an unusual flavour. Like rice krispie squares with dried cranberries and a bit of oatmeal, chocolate cake livened up with a bit of chili and cayenne...

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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Joe (desertculinary) has a lot of bar recipes one after the other on his website (actually I was looking for the laborious but dazzling multicolored seven-layer bars). I was about to say rice krispie treats too, you can even put a few on as a centerpiece with icing "mortar". I just don't know if they're a big seller (not common in my country). In any case, good luck with the sale!

Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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Over in the bake sale topic, Tepee made a number of bar bookies that might meet your needs (and they all look delicious!).

And Randi made some dulce de leche brownies once that are a different take on brownies, based I think on some brownies that Zingerman does. The recipe is on her blog, but my employers block blogs, so I can't link to it.

Edited by prasantrin (log)
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Well not really Babel but bible connected! On Passover we eat a delicious paste that symbolizes the mortar used to "glue" the bricks together in ancient Egypt. It is made of dates, sesame, nuts, wine or grape juice and spices. You could use it to glue cookie bars together to make a sandwich

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A few thoughts on selling to/serving the public:

1. Chocolate chip anythings are very popular (many blondie recipes include them).

2. People don't like to ask questions/appear stupid, so have clear labels/signage as to price, flavor, and (perhaps) ingredients for those with food sensitivities.

3. A perceived 'deal' is a great incentive to buy more -- buy 3, get 1 free or whatever. Have lunch bags or other packaging for those who buy to take home.

4. Make it easy on yourself and price in even dollars only!

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Over in the bake sale topic, Tepee made a number of bar bookies that might meet your needs (and they all look delicious!).

And Randi made some dulce de leche brownies once that are a different take on brownies, based I think on some brownies that Zingerman does.  The recipe is on her blog, but my employers block blogs, so I can't link to it.

Oooh, those caramel-topped blondies look oh-so-good...

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Over in the bake sale topic, Tepee made a number of bar bookies that might meet your needs (and they all look delicious!).

And Randi made some dulce de leche brownies once that are a different take on brownies, based I think on some brownies that Zingerman does.  The recipe is on her blog, but my employers block blogs, so I can't link to it.

Oooh, those caramel-topped blondies look oh-so-good...

I actually made Zingerman's Magic Brownies( recipe came from an issue of Midwest Living). I swirled in dulce de leche. There is a picture in the What are you baking thread.

I'll go find a link. They were the best brownies I've ever made. I did use callebaut unsweetened choc instad of what was availble in the grocery store ( baker's)

ETA: I found it, scroll down to post 2906.

Edited by CaliPoutine (log)
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For jumanggy:

It is probably safe to assume that most Americans' core physical existence (bones, teeth, and a good ten pounds of flab) have been formed by the building blocks of nutrients found in Rice Krispie Treat bars.

These are found in the pantry, at the neighbor's house, made when the babysitter comes over, at any bake sale, birthday parties, Grandma's . . .

They're available in my employer's cafeteria, although I don't care for their version as they are too thick and too dense.

What's sad is that they are now commercially available compliments of the Rice Krispie people.

This is against all rules of human conduct. Someone's mom needs to make them for you.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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