If you ask me, there aren’t enough bake-sale fundraisers, let alone cookie-swap fundraisers. I love the idea of raising money while indulging in a few sweet treats.
To support our Season for Caring campaign this year, the Driskill is hosting a fundraiser event on Sunday called Cookies for Caring. It’s a one-way cookie swap where pastry chefs from the Driskill, Fonda San Miguel, Vox Table, Parkside Projects, Bribery Bakery, Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop and Walton’s Fancy and Staple are making cookies, toffee, chocolates and more that will be sold in $25 tins, with proceeds going toward Season for Caring.
The effort is a nod to a part of the Driskill’s 129-year history that most Austinites might not know about. In 1969, the hotel was at risk of demolition, and Preservation Austin members decided to host a bake sale and a $10 “stock” sale to Austinites who didn’t want to see the hotel go away. The effort raised $700,000 to save the hotel, and it reopened in 1974.
Cookies for Caring will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the hotel, 604 Brazos St. You can buy tins ahead of time at driskillhotel.com. That afternoon will also include cookie decorating, crafts and photos with Santa.
Chewy Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies
This cookie recipe from Driskill executive pastry chef Tony Sansalone gets its spice from fresh and ground ginger, a departure from most holiday cookies.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
1/2 cup brown sugar (solid packed)
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/2 tsp. hot water
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups, plus 1 Tbsp., all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chunks (feel free to use a combination of white and regular chocolate)
1/4 cup sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixer with a paddle, cream butter, fresh ginger and brown sugar. Slowly incorporate molasses until combined.
In a separate bowl, create a slurry with water and baking soda. Slowly add soda mix to batter. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients together, with the exception of the sugar. Incorporate the dry ingredient mix into the batter. Fold in chocolate chunks. Refrigerate until chilled.
Once thoroughly chilled, roll the dough into 1/2- to 3/4-oz. balls. Roll the balls in the sugar. Place on nonstick cooking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 12 minutes, or until “cracked” on top. Makes 3 to 4 dozen small cookies.
— Driskill Executive Pastry Chef Tony Sansalone