If you love to entertain and want to support a good cause, now you can do both at the same time.
Currently in its 16th year, Cook for the Cure is a program that gives those with a passion for cooking a way to support the fight against breast cancer. Through culinary-based fundraising, events, auctions and the sale of select products, the partnership between KitchenAid and Susan G. Komen for the Cure(r) has raised more than $10.7 million for the cause.
"It adds another layer of purpose to one of life's great pleasures, cooking and enjoying food with family and friends," said Anthony Pastrick, brand manager for KitchenAid. "The program continues to fuel passionate cooks with simple, creative ways to support a meaningful cause."
You can make a difference by hosting a party that lets you Cook for the Cure by raising awareness and funds for breast cancer research. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Invite guests for an evening of appetizers, such as these Mini Fruit Tarts, and drinks. Encourage fundraising by awarding a prize to the guest with the highest donation, or let donors enter their names into a drawing to win a restaurant gift certificate or spa treatment.
Organize a fundraising bake sale. Get the neighbors involved in baking, promoting and selling - it's a great way to bring people together. Your contribution could be these Lemon Berry Cheesecake Bars.
Host a potluck brainstorming party. Invite people who share your passion for helping others to bring their favorite dish and think up creative ways to support the cause as a group. Vote on a project then let everyone pitch in to get started. Cooking good food, sharing time with friends and giving back to the community - that's a recipe for a truly great party. Learn more at CookfortheCure.com.
Lemon Berry Cheesecake Bars
Recipe courtesy of Lindsay Conchar of Life, Love & Sugar on behalf of KitchenAid
Makes: 12-16 bars
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons butter, melted
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
Line 9-inch square cake pan with parchment paper, bringing up over sides.
Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter, and stir until well combined. Press crumb mixture evenly into bottom of cake pan. Set aside.
In bowl of stand mixer, beat cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest until smooth. In separate bowl, whip heavy whipping cream until it starts to thicken. Add remaining powdered sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Gently fold half the whipped cream into cheesecake mixture and place remainder in refrigerator to use later. Spread cheesecake mixture evenly in cake pan.
Refrigerate cheesecake at least 4 hours, or until firm.
Use parchment paper on sides to lift bars out of pan then cut into squares. Use remaining whipped cream to top cheesecake bars then add fresh berries, as desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Mini Fruit Tarts
Recipe courtesy of Kelly Kwok of Life Made Sweeter on behalf of KitchenAid
Makes: 6 pastries
1 frozen puff pastry sheet (17.3 ounces), thawed
1 large egg
1-2 teaspoons milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, chilled
1-2 tablespoons coconut cream or full-fat canned coconut milk, plus additional (optional)
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3-3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, plus additional (optional)
assorted fresh fruit
powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
To make pastries: Heat oven to 400 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Place puff pastry sheet on lightly floured work surface and cut each sheet into 12 3-inch squares.
In small bowl, beat egg with milk to make egg wash and lightly brush onto each square.
Transfer pastries onto baking sheet and bake 10 minutes, until pastries have puffed up and are golden.
Cool completely on wire rack.
To make frosting: In stand mixer bowl fitted with flat beater, beat butter on medium speed until light and creamy, about 3 minutes.
Add cream cheese and beat until smooth and fully incorporated. Add coconut cream, coconut extract and vanilla extract, and beat until smooth.
Gently stir in powdered sugar until fully incorporated. Turn stand mixer on high and beat 1 minute, until fully combined. Add additional powdered sugar and coconut cream until desired consistency and level of sweetness is reached.
Spread or pipe coconut cream cheese frosting into middle.
Top with fresh fruit and another pastry square. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
Sharing baked goods with friends is a pleasure. Now you can make it even more meaningful by sharing to raise money for a good cause.
From Oct. 1 through Oct. 31, for every original cupcake image or video shared on Twitter or Instagram with the collective hashtags #10000cupcakes and #donate, KitchenAid will donate $1 to Susan G. Komen, up to a maximum donation of $10,000. In addition, KitchenAid will donate $250,000 or more to Susan G. Komen through the Cook for the Cure program to support the fight against breast cancer. Since 2001, they have donated more than $10.7 million to Komen through the initiative, sales of pink products, celebrity chef auctions and fundraisers hosted by supporters.
Visit cookforthecure.kitchenaid.com/10000cupcakes to see the full terms and conditions and learn more about the 10,000 Cupcakes program.
Photo courtesy of Chris Scheuer of The Cafe Sucre Farine (cupcake)