Just days after the country was still reeling from the events in Boston, a small town 90 minutes north of Austin experienced first a fire, then a devastating explosion that took the lives of at least 15 people (the majority first responders who were battling the initial blaze) and demolished many homes and buildings.
West (comma) Texas is a small town of less than 3,000 people, but everyone in Texas is familiar with it because it’s the home of the Czech Stop, a 24-hour kolache bakery that is the perfect halfway point pit stop for a trip between Austin and Dallas. It has a place in the hearts of many Texans, and they need our help.
Austin Bakes got its start after the Japan tsunami, and was brought back after the wildfires ravaged much of Central Texas. While we wish Austin Bakes wasn’t necessary, we’re proud that our community came together to raise $12,000 for Japan aid and $13,000 for the Central Texas Wildfire Fund.
Are you going to be in the Austin area on Saturday? Pop by one of these locations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and grab some baked goods while making a contribution to AmeriCares‘ fund to help the community of West. (I will be at the Stiles Switch location along with my muffins and cookies.) You can also donate online here.
Bee Cave: Whole Foods Market Bee Cave
12601 Hill Country Blvd, Bee Cave, TX 78738
Central Austin: Foreign & Domestic
306 E. 53rd Street, 78751
Central Austin: Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew
6610 N Lamar Blvd, 78757
Downtown Austin: Whole Foods Market Lamar
525 North Lamar Boulevard, 78703
East Austin: Springdale Farm
755 Springdale Road, 78702
Northwest Austin: Whole Foods Market Gateway
9607 Research Boulevard, #300, 78759
Round Rock: Round Rock Market Days
221 E. Main St., Round Rock, TX 78664
South Austin: Crema Bakery & Cafe
9001 Brodie Lane, Suite B, 78748
While there is a tendency for food bloggers to get ultra-creative when it comes to bake sales and food swaps, I’ve come to realize that simple, classic items sell the best. I’m baking up a big batch of my blueberry muffins and these peanut butter cookies. While they are fairly classic, I’ve added a bit of orange zest, which I think helps enhance the peanut buttery goodness.
Peanut Butter Cookies
makes about 4 dozen cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 creamy peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
In a large bowl, cream together butter, peanut butter, and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and stir in vanilla.
In another bowl, mix together remaining ingredients.
Stir dry ingredients into butter mixture until well-incorporated. Refrigerate cookie dough for at least an hour, or until ready to bake.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Form dough into 1-inch balls and put on cookie sheets, flattening with a fork or the bottom of a cup.
Bake for approximately 10 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes before moving to a rack to finish cooling.