Whether it's for high school, college, or merely done as a fun, cultural pastime, French club activities and ideas need to be fun enough to engage members and the surrounding community. For a fundraiser that educates the public, and provides a cultural education opportunity for its members, organize a themed bake sale.
Patisserie Style Bake Sale
Considering that the goal is to evoke a Parisian bakery, replete with ceramic trays and domed, glass cake displays, a patisserie-style bake sale requires a little more maintenance and a low-intensity venue. The theme lends itself well as an upscale accompaniment to charity auctions, the theater, and gallery exhibits. Add to the cultural education factor by placing little cards with vignettes, written in beautiful script, in front of each pastry.
Farmer's Market Style Bake Sale
The classic French farmer's market style of bake sale offers the most versatility in food-themed fundraisers. Put up a colorful tent and fill rustic, wooden crates with seasonal fruits, vegetables, and preserves for a festive feeling. Brew fresh coffee, sell pastries and bread, and feature a custom-mixed herbal tisane table for the tea-lovers. Make sure to have a kettle full of seasonal soup if the sale is held during the cooler months; the aroma will inspire people to get closer to the action, buy your wares, and learn something new.
Flickr user tsnoni
For a cookie that matches any menu, try this chocolate-dipped meringues recipe. These delightful, little cookies have an airy, crisp texture that melts in your mouth. Dipping them in dark chocolate is both attractive and tasty; the effect is perfectly elegant for dinner guests.
When one thinks of palmiers – the tiny scroll-like pastries - sweet, flaky cookies come to mind. These cookies are just that – with a touch of comforting, caramelized cinnamon.
Vera Yu and David Li
This gaulettes recipe, also known as gullets, is a favorite Christmas delicacy in many communities with Belgian ties. As a child, no holiday was complete until one put in the requisite elbow-grease to stir the remainder of the flour into the already impossibly stiff dough. The result? Heartwarmingly fragrant, chewy waffle cookies full of vanilla and heavy brown sugar notes. The gullets are best eaten as they grow chewier and more flavorful within the first three days.
Adding a touch of lemon zest and spice really perks up this classically delicious apple tarte Tatin recipe. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or Chantilly cream to the dessert for a rich after-dinner treat.
Flickr user knittinging
Warm and buttery, this croissant recipe is the foundation of numerous pastry creations. Served alone, croissant rolls are the ubiquitous French breakfast food.
These chocolate orange biscotins are a flavorful twist on the classic love knot-shaped cookie. They have just the right amount of sweet, tangy orange flavor to kick up the smooth chocolate dough. Slightly crisp on the outside and dry throughout, they’re traditionally enjoyed with a small glass of dessert wine or hot coffee. This dessert is often served at Provencal gros souper, or Christmas Eve dinner.
Flickr user bloggyboulga
This is the basic, classic version of the sables cookie recipe. It can be varied in so many ways, from adding a flavored cream filling to spicing the batter. Make your own signature sable recipe or enjoy it the traditional way - as comforting vanilla sables.
Flickr user Zoyachubbys
Irresistibly fragrant, this speculaas recipe makes a crispy, not-too-sweet cookie that begs to be dipped in coffee. The varied blend of aromatic spices in this recipe creates the signature flavor by which Belgian speculaas cookies have been known for centuries. To enjoy the authentic version of this delicacy, roll the dough to a scant 1/8 inch thick and watch carefully for overbrowning as the cookies bake . Roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness for a delicious, slightly crunchy spice cookie.
Flickr user avlxyz
This easy brioche recipe is at once light, sweet, golden, and rich. Aromatic doesn't begin to describe buttery, sweet scent of this brioche as it rises, bakes, and cools. The dough is extremely workable, much more so than other brioches. Save this recipe for a Saturday morning or a long afternoon, when you have extra time to commit to the soothing rhythm of knead, chill, shape, rise, and finally, bake. The last step will be an exercise in self-control, as this brioche recipe smells incredible as it bakes. Once the bread has cooled to just warm enough, slice it and serve with butter. Put a special pot of preserves on the table, if you wish, but it really isn't needed; this brioche is an excellent stand alone treat.
This almond macarons recipe is the most basic version of the classic biscuit. Crisp on the outside, and chewy-moist on the interior, these treats need no filling to be absolutely delicious.
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