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Archive for April, 2012

Coconut Macaroons

I finally get to post about an actual recipe! This is even more exciting because not only did I get the chance to bake while at school but I got to bake for a Passover Seder (pronounced say-der) with two of my friends. This is a big deal when there are very few places on campus with ovens and Passover baking only comes once a year so the entire experience felt even more special than I could have imagined.

Quick background on Passover: for the eight days of Passover, Jews are not permitted to eat anything which contains leavening ingredients. Bread, bread products, anything with yeast, baking powder, baking soda, etc is off limits. Anything which expands is also out of the question, including corn, rice, soy, etc. Baking for Passover is naturally difficult, but there are tons of recipes out there with great ideas.

Now, macaroons.

Ingredients:

3 egg whites

1/2 cup sugar

14 oz sweetened shredded coconut

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. With a whisk, whisk together egg whites and sugar until fluffy. There should be a layer that looks like foam on top. (Thankfully the recipe does not require soft peaks)

3. Stir in the shredded coconut.

4. Drop by teaspoons onto a greased baking sheet (parchment paper works just as well)

5. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Enjoy all year round.

 

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Tips from the Blue Eyed Daisy

I’ve been in Georgia for less than a year and so when I was told that my school’s student leadership retreat would be going to Palmetto, GA to a place called Serenbe, all I heard was “a place in GA that begins with an S”.

Our group was lucky enough that, although the shops in Serenbe were ridiculously overpriced, we were able to take most of our meals at a small country bakery called The Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop.

image courtesy of serenbeinn.com

This quaint lodge-like business has the perfect combination of savory meal options of sandwiches, salads, burgers, and the like, and a plethora of cupcakes, brownies, cookies, and other enticing treats at reasonable prices. As this is CherylsConfections, there is no doubt that we’ll focus on the dessert end of things.

I was fortunate enough to get a chance to speak to a woman from the Blue Eyed Daisy’s friendly staff, and although I did not get specific recipes, I learned a lot from asking questions and watching how their business is run. For anyone else starting a business or anyone just wanting to learn a few cool tips and tricks of the trade, here’s what I learned from my trip to Serenbe:

  1. Everything is baked fresh daily. (The Blue Eyed Daisy makes about 200 cupcakes a day and by the time they close around 9pm, they’re left with less than a dozen.)
  2. Although they decorate their cupcakes with unique frosting designs in a multitude of colors, their main frosting options are: butter cream and cream cheese (the uniqueness comes from using different frosting tips to create designs that look like grass, or adding food coloring, or topping each cupcake with chopped nuts or jelly beans.)
  3. To add gooeyness to the cookies,  they add pudding to the recipes.
  4. Cupcakes are sold for $2, but every Sunday is $1 cupcake day.

In short, from very simple bases and with very simple frostings the Blue Eyed Daisy is able to take simple and turn it into festive and fancy. Recipes do not need to be complex in order to attract a customer and working from simple bases and similar frostings will save the baker time and money. I cannot wait to get back to CT and put these tips to work.

image courtesy of serenbecommunity.com