Cookies for a cause

Cookies for a cause

Fifth-grader turns one-time lark into a tasty, flourishing fund-raiser

Call her the Kosher Betty Crocker: For Sarah Rosenfeld, baking and selling cookies to benefit local charities is a piece of cake. The fifth-grader is turning dough into cash by selling cookies for a cause.

The longtime baking fanatic started cooking up her treats on a lark last year for a handful of relatives and friends who paid to help her raise funds for local causes. Business, however, really took off, said her father, Elie Rosenfeld.

Now, “Sarah’s Sweets” is a full-fledged business with a roster of nearly 30 regular clients. The proceeds of the confections (a small box of cookies costs $5 and a large one is $10) benefit Yavneh Academy and Tomchei Shabbos.

Baker Sarah Rosenfeld sells homemade cookies to benefit local organizations.

Sarah spends about three hours in the kitchen every Thursday afternoon whipping up more than 20 dozen chocolate chip cookies, mini-molten chocolate cakes, meringues, or sugar cookies. On Friday, she and her father deliver the boxes to customers around the neighborhood.

“I am enjoying this so much – it’s my favorite time of the week,” said Sarah, whose other hobbies include gymnastics, sewing, and reading. “I have special brown bakery boxes that my mom ordered and stickers that say Sarah’s Sweets and little cards that we put in every box that say ‘Shabbat Shalom’.”

“Her pretty boxes and gorgeous business card are just the ‘icing on the cake’ – the proof of her success is in the taste of her goods,” said Sorah Shaffren, a teacher and a customer of Sarah’s. “My favorite cookies were the coconut chocolate chip meringue, which was a secret recipe Sarah would not share. That’s okay, though.”

Sarah does not do it all by herself, of course. She gets a hand from her mother, Aviva Rosenfeld, herself an accomplished baker. Aviva sometimes helps her daughter mix up the batter or assists in searching for unique recipes. However, Sarah, who says she particularly enjoys the creative aspect of the process and takes pride in transforming dough into works of art that look like flowers or mini-cakes, says she does the bulk of the work.

All products are pareve except for a chocolate cupcake with cheesecake filling that she made for Shavuot.

Elie Rosenfeld said he marvels at the orders and stack of bakery boxes that pile up every Friday. Will he ever be able to quit his day job as CEO of Joseph Jacobs Advertising Agency to reap the benefits of his daughter’s cooking? “You never want to say never,” he quips. For now, though, he is not retiring.

Sarah has earned approximately $2,000 thus far from her venture, but she hopes to double or triple that number by the time she becomes a bat mitzvah next year. “Yavneh is my school and my family is very involved in it, so we felt it was a good cause to give to. Tomchei Shabbos helps people who can’t afford to buy food for their families for Shabbat, and we go on Tuesday nights to help pack boxes of food. It’s really nice,” she said.

As for the Thursday baking marathons, she gushes, “I love doing this. It’s a great feeling when I give the money to my mom to put away.”

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