Bakin' Friends

July Bakin’ Friends Reveal Day

bakinfriends

I know what you’re thinking, “Another Penpal Program?” Yes, another. Why? Well first off because (A) I love getting mail. These days, I can go days without seeing anything in my mailbox. The bills that used to clutter my box now go directly to email, my magazine subscriptions have been canceled, to save money and paper (really, I read it all online, anyway), so nowadays getting a La Salle Alumni magazine is probably the highlight of my week. And (B), I love to bake. Duh.

Last month, my Foodie Penpal, Christine, mentioned she was part of Bakin’ Friends. I immediately needed all the details. The program is similar to Foodie Penpals except instead of sending a box of good, you send a box of BAKED goods. Each month is pulled together with a secret ingredient. You bake for your assigned penpal (keeping in mind dietary restrictions of course), you receive from a different penpal and recipes and treats are shared all around.

My sendee Bakin’ Friend, Desiree, ended up with Lemon Basil Sugar Cookies topped with royal icing and sprinkles. Other than the melting icing, they turned out beautiful. Recipe to follow in  a few days. However, my sender, Aisha put my baking to shame. Our secret ingredient this month was SPRINKLES. I had the best intentions of making homemade sprinkles to go with my cookies, but an injury and heat got in my way. I had enough trouble getting the regular icing to set. But Aisha went for it. She baked up a beautiful batch of Italian Tea Cookies for me. They were rich, buttery and crumbled just enough. No lies, the whole box was gone in less than 24 hours. My husband and I couldn’t stop eating them!

Italian Tea Cookies

Aisha’s Italian Tea Cookies

  • 1 1/2 c flour plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract
  • 1/2 c sprinkles

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together on medium-high until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg, vanilla extract and orange extract, and beat until smooth. Add dry ingredients to the sugar mixture and beat until combined. Add sprinkles to the dough and gently stir to combine.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Portion dough into 1-inch balls using 2 tablespoons of dough each. Place rounded balls about 2 inches apart on the parchment paper. Flour our lightly grease the bottom of a 1/4 measuring cup, then press each cookie into a flat disk. Refrigerate disks for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake one try of cookies at a time for 8-10 minutes, rotating halfway through. Cookies will appear slightly undercooked. Cool on wire rack and enjoy!

♦ ♦ ♦

Interested in joining Bakin’ Friends? Here’s everything you need to know:

Bakin’ Friends is all about connecting bakers, bloggers, foodies, and people who just like sweets! We’re in the business of baking and making friends!

Each month we will be baking goodies, with a secret ingredient, to send out to one another. I’ll let you know at the beginning of the month what secret ingredient we’re using. It might be chocolate, it might be maple syrup, it may be bacon, whatever it is though you’ll be required to use it (unless there’s an allergy to the ingredient) in your baked goody.

On the 6th of each month you will be paired up with a Bakin’ Friend. You’ll contact your newly appointed Bakin’ Friend to see if they have any allergies or dietary restrictions and you’ll also get their mailing address. Then you’ll bake your goody and have it in the mail and on its way to your new Bakin’ Friend by the 16th of each month. You’ll of course want to include the recipe for your baked goody so that your new friend can recreate the yummies at home! How cute would it be if we all did our recipes on vintage recipe cards, just sayin’!

Then, on the last day of the month we’ll post about who our new Bakin’ Friend is, what they baked, and how they used the secret ingredient. (This group right now is only open to US and Canadian residents. US residents will be paired with US residents, and Canadian residents with Canadian residents)

Are you ready to make some new friends? Then send an email to stephsbitebybite(at)gmail(dot)com with Bakin’ Friends in the subject. Emails MUST be received before the 4th of each month so that I have time to get all the match ups done. Please make sure to include your full name, your email address, your blog name and URL (if applicable), and whether you live in the US or Canada.

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61 thoughts on “July Bakin’ Friends Reveal Day”

    1. Haha, they didn’t even make it to milk dunking. I tried to eat them with tea but finished 2 before the tea was even cool enough to sip. Such a great program you started! Though my waistline might feel differently in a few months…

  1. Wow, this is such a fun idea! I’m super tempted to sign up at some point, perhaps in the winter when any dangers to my waist line can be hidden under a sweater. Though I think I’d feel guilty with my gluten restriction. It would be a challenge for most people, unless gluten free people are paired up with other gluten free people. I think for now I’ll live vicariously through you 🙂

    1. You could bake for others with gluten. I like the challenge of restrictions, helps me become a better baker. Though I am worried about my first vegan pal

    2. There are a lot of great vegan baking blogs out there. If you’d like, I can point you to some of them since many of the blogs I follow are gluten free and vegan. I haven’t tried any vegan baking, but I know they often use “flax seed eggs” and coconut oil as the replacements for eggs and butter. Good luck!

  2. This is super fun! I don’t think I will have time in August or September since I have trips booked in the middle of both months but hopefully I can join in at some point. I love mail and sweets!

    1. Yeah I have a vacation planned in September so I might have to back out of that month. Starting in the fall isn’t a bad idea. Getting treats is great but baking in the heat isn’t much fun.

  3. I hate how most of these swaps are only open to US and Canadian residents, waaaah! I need to move. Like, now, so that I can get the next round of baking wonders! Love the look of these cookies. Beautiful buttery goodness! Your lemon basil cookies also sound divine 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping by. You could start small. Boxed cake or brownies and add some extra ingredients like fresh fruit or herbs, then go from there. I don’t believe in being baking challenged. As long as there’s love in the goods, they’ll be delicious!

    1. Thanks Julie. It does take a little time but so worth it. Only one month and I’ve met some great people. Plus who doesn’t like getting cookies in the mail?!

    1. Thanks Vicki! Loving my SITS day. I feel like the center of the world. Not usually one for the spotlight but loving the feedback and friends I’m meeting!

  4. This sounds like such a really neat idea! And how fun to receive a surprise in the mail and get to enjoy something new and tasty. Too bad I’m a terrible baker! 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful SITS Day!

    1. See I reason that if I eat them all in one day, then I’m eating healthy the rest. Who cares if I have to consume a bazillion calories once a month. It’ll all balance.

  5. I’m so excited about this- I’ve done Foodie Pen Pals a couple of times but this would be so much cheaper, and I love getting baked goods in the mail (who wouldn’t? haha)! Both those kinds of cookies sound amazing and I’m not sure I could make my own sprinkles but it will be fun to be challenged each month 🙂

    1. One month in and it’s been pretty great. Not only is the baking a challenge but figuring out how to ship the goods. I saw one woman got cupcakes from her penpal! I can’t even get them to NJ in a car safely…

  6. Yum ~ I love sprinkles! Those cookies look so yummy!
    So happy to have met you thru SITS. I’m having fun looking around your blog!
    ~ Megin of VMG206

  7. What a fun thing to participate in! I sort of want to join…but I am not the best baker or cook around. I will have to think about it. The cookies look divine.

    It was so nice to meet you today via SITS. Wishing you a wonderful new month. Happy August,

    1. Great to meet you too! You should totally go for it! I consider myself a cook above a baker (though still not the greatest at either) but its a great program and way to connect to others! Plus you get free cookies…

    1. I feel like it evens out. What you’d spend to cook/send, they spend the same. The shipping was less than $10 and if you use the flatrate boxes, no need to worry about weight.

    1. Hi Christa–Thanks so much for stopping by. Bakin’ Friends is a great program. Really, who wouldn’t want cookies or other baked goods in the mail! Hope you liked what you see. Be sure to come back soon!

  8. This ssounds like so much fun! I like that you’re actually making thd foods and not just sending ingredients. I hope you had a wonderful SITS Day!

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