Girl Scouts start their ovens for annual fund-raiser

Posted: Thursday, August 26, 2004

Tongass Alaska Girl Scouts, Girl Scout Council Board members and other local bakers are gearing up for their second annual fall fund-raiser. The event, Smore Salmon & Silent Dessert Auction, will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4, at the Gold Creek Salmon Bake, 1061 Salmon Lane (near Bartlett Hospital).

Tickets for the Smore Salmon & Silent Dessert Auction cost $25 for adults, $15 for children 12 and under. Salmon, chicken and barbecued pork are on the menu. Diners will be entertained by the Little Brownie Singers and the Tongass Camp Crooners.

Professional chef Joan Deering of Paradise Lunch will be making a batch of her scrumptious Killer Ginger Cookies.

They are fabulous cookies, and we are going to stick with those again this year, she said. The large, spicy cookies disappear from her bakery case almost as soon as they emerge from the oven.

Attorney Bruce Weyhrauch will bake a gaudy, sugary chocolate cake with lots of stuff on it like fake fingernails, dots, neon gummy snakes and Milk Duds so the kids will goose their parents to bid high. I have been making cakes like this for many auctions, Weyhrauch added, decorating them so I can attract kids, and make more money for the Girl Scouts.

For his decorations, Weyhrauch heads for Ben Franklin and loads up on do-dads.

Even local youngsters are getting into the baking act. Taylor Daniels, 9, daughter of Rob Daniels and troop leader Kari Bartness, will be cracking open the Cake Doctor cookbook, a compendium of goodies made by adding exotic extras to basic cake mixes.

Im making this cake because I like chocolate and like a cake you can eat right away, said Daniels, a member of Girl Scout Troop 16. You dont have to wait for it to cool and be frosted.

The recipe has been modified slightly from the original. The moist, rich cake may be served with or without ice cream.

DARN GOOD CHOCOLATE CAKE

Vegetable spray for the pan

Flour for dusting the pan

1 package (18.25 ounces) devils food or dark chocolate fudge cake mix

1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix

4 large eggs

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup warm water

1/2 cup vegetable oil, such as corn oil

12 oz. (2 cups) semisweet mini-morsel chocolate chips

Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly mist a 12-cup Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray, and then dust with flour. Shake out excess flour. Set aside.

Place the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, warm water and oil in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low for 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl and increase mixer speed. Continue blending 2 or 3 more minutes, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should be thick and well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, making sure they are well distributed through the batter. Pour into the prepared pan, smoothing top with a spatula.

Bake until cake springs back when lightly pressed with fingertip and just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan 45 to 50 minutes. Run a long knife around the edges of the pan and invert onto a plate. Let cool or serve warm.

16 servings.

Susan Hickey of Hearthside Books also has a sweet tooth for chocolate. Hickey will bake an all-time Juneau favorite, the North Douglas Chocolate Cake from The Fiddlehead Cookbook. The cookbook calls it the perfect old-fashioned birthday layer cake.

NORTH DOUGLAS CHOCOLATE CAKE

Cake

1 cup water

1/4 pound butter

1/2 cup safflower or corn oil

3 1/2 tablespoons sifted Dutch process dark cocoa

2 cups unbleached white flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Icing

1/4 pound plus 4 tablespoons butter

4 cups sifted confectioners sugar

1/2 cup sifted Dutch process dark cocoa

3 tablespoons milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 375 F and arrange racks so they are evenly spaced in oven. Generously coat two 8- or 9-inch cake pans with butter and dust with flour.

Combine water, butter, oil and cocoa in a small pan and bring to a boil. While butter and water are reaching a boil, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Whisk together eggs, buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl and set aside.

When butter and water are boiling, pour over sifted flour. Stir just until combined. Add egg mixture and gently fold together. Pour into prepared cake pans.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven when a probe inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Allow to rest briefly in pans, and then turn out onto racks to cool completely.

To prepare icing: In a medium bowl, beat butter until smooth. Add confectioners sugar and cocoa and stir gently until they are partially combined. Stir in milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth and spreadable. It may be necessary to add additional sifted confectioners sugar if mixture seems too soft.

Assemble cake as usual. Decorate as you wish. Chill cake briefly to firm icing.

Yet another chocolate confection on the auction block on Sept. 4 will be the Chocolate Amaretto Cake from the Fiddlehead Cookbook. This luscious dessert will be baked by Rebecca Smith, who is employed by the Department of Conservation as a water quality standards environmental specialist.

Smith modifies the recipe slightly: The only difference is that I add a teaspoon of almond extract to the icing. This is one of the most used pages in my copy of the cookbook that page and the page with the sourdough bread recipe. I make the cake into cupcakes about 18 of them.

Pat McLean, who will be working as the librarian at Floyd Dryden for her fifth year this fall, will be whipping up a batch of Toffee Bars from the Silver Palate Cookbook. Although she was not a Girl Scout in her youth, McLean worked for the Tongass Council in the mid 1980s as an assistant to the executive director and is a fan of all the good things scouting can do for girls.

Anybody who knows me will associate my name with the word chocolate, McLean said. These bars are easy to make, very chocolaty. Every time I make them I have to set aside one for myself, because when I put them out theyre gone. Its hard to let them cool because you want to eat them right away.

TOFFEE BARS

2 sticks butter (1 cup)

1 cup light brown sugar

1 egg yolk

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

12 ounces chocolate chips

1 cup pecans, chopped

Grease and flour a 9x12-inch pan. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolk. Sift flour, and then stir in. Then stir in vanilla. Spread in prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Cover with even layer of chocolate chips. Return to oven for 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle with nuts. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Beth Kertulla will be baking Argument Pie, a recipe from her mother-in-law, Jane Powell of upstate New York.

This is my husbands familys favorite dessert, Kertulla said. There are six people in the family, and always one piece of pie left over and a huge argument over who gets the last piece. The pie is really rich and has a sweet-and-sour bite to it. Its not for the faint-of-heart or the cholesterol-challenged.

ARGUMENT PIE

3 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups sour cream

3/4 cup milk

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 cup seedless raisins, golden or dark

Mix all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons flour. Cool over ice water. Put in a pre-baked, 9-inch pie shell. Make a meringue with the 3 egg whites, 6 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Bake at 350 degrees until meringue is browned.

Makes one 9-inch pie.



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