Sunday, March 1, 2009

Easter and St. Patrick's Day Cookies

Mother nature may not be ready to let us Ohioans have spring, but everyone I've talked to is most certainly ready for it. The weather here has been as bad as the economic forecasts and in these past two weeks we can just feel the anxiety from being cooped up too long and the yearning for a climate change.

It was refreshing for my staff to start designing and baking spring pastry. With that in mind, our Easter and St. Patrick's Day cutout cookies are now ready for sale and our tulips and butterflies should be ready shortly. We weren't actually thinking tulips and butterflies quite yet, but we're getting calls for these from our online customers. We have always been a customer driven business, it's the strength of our growth and so we decided why not do it earlier. It's what our customers want.

We are still working on a good hot cross bun recipe. The first buns could have been used as a weapon of mass destruction. They were so heavy we could have used them as a rock. Recipe #2 didn't make it to the oven before it had problems. As my baker began brushing the buns with the egg wash, they collapsed before our very eyes. And, yes, they did not improve with the baking. Recipe #3 has potential with a few adjustments. My philosophy of my bakery is it not only has to look good but taste good too. I had never eaten a hot cross bun before but liked the religious significance of it. Hence, my desire to create something tasty and meaningful. We will be doubling the amount of raisins and adding more cinnamon and more glaze. We want our buns to be light and soft and with a sweet cinnamon flavor.
I'll keep you posted on recipe #4.

This week will be a crazy week for me personally. I am occasionally called upon to give demonstrations or talks about my business. Having been a teacher previously, I am an advocate for helping kids whenever time permits. I along with one of my decorators will be at Kent High school on Wed. and Thurs. morning teaching some basic cake decorating skills. The students will then design and decorate their own cake. I love seeing the creativity that the students show after just a few short lessons.
I will also be a judge at the regional pastry arts competition for the culinary programs in our high schools this Saturday. This will be my third year judging and I always look forward to this. The students put a lot of time in and I can appreciate the nervousness they go through to give their demonstration.

Finally, we have been invited to set up a display about our business at the Home Savings Bank in Brimfield, Ohio for the month of March. This is one of the friendliest banks and the staff is wonderful. They really go all out to service their customers.

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