2019 Market Season

Farmers Market Season!

It’s almost here! Winter has finally moved north, the birds of spring have returned to my feeders, and the spring flowers are just starting to put on their colorful show. Do you know what that means? Farmers markets will be opening up!

As I said in an earlier post, I have pulled back somewhat this year. I’m refocusing on my original product line and making those the best that they can be. There will be new varieties of pies, scones, breads and cookies. I’ll also be bringing back my scratch made brownies! As always, my products will include only fresh, seasonal and local ingredients. I will citrus pies (think lemon curd and lime curd) and tarts, the classic southern chess pies (which is a new product for me) available for my early markets.

I will be a vendor at two different markets in Chaska, Hopkins Farmers Market and my newest market this year will be Linden Hills in Minneapolis.

Here’s some dates for May and June. I look forward to seeing everyone this season!

  • May 19 – Linden Hills 9:00am to 1:00pm at Settergrens Hardware on 43rd st
  • June 9 – Linden Hills 9am to 1 pm at Settergrens Hardware in Mpls
  • June 12 – Downtown Chaska Farmers Market from 3:00pm to 7:00pm in front of City Hall
  • June 15 – Hopkins Farmers Market from 7:00am to Noon off 9th ave
  • June 19 – DT Chaska Market 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm
  • June 22 – Hopkins Market 7:00 am to Noon
  • June 23 – Linden Hills Market 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
  • June 26 – DT Chaska Market 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm
  • June 29 – Hopkins Market 7:00 am to Noon

And don’t forget Mother’s Day and Father’s Day! Order early to ensure you can get your Mom or Dad’s favorite treat. Check out my new website! You can order directly from there to either pick up at my home location, at a market location or set up local only delivery. https://desserts-first-bakery.square.site

Stay tuned for some exciting news. I may be asking for your help to bring my business to the next level. Many of you have been asking when I will open up a shop, well, that may be in the not too distant future.

Fed Ex Grant Contest

Good Afternoon!

I am so excited about this. I entered a Small Business Grant Contest sponsored by Fed Ex. If I were to win any of the prizes, I would be able to get a good jump start on opening a permanent location for my business.

I am outgrowing my kitchen space in my home, and it is time to move onward and upward.

Please help me out by going to the Fed Ex contest site and vote for Desserts First Bakery. Here’s the link, check out my bio in he link and the short video about my business.
https://smallbusinessgrant.fedex.com/home/detail/956be719-0511-4da5-8fad-41715de3b040#/gallery/detail/956be719-0511-4da5-8fad-41715de3b040

You can vote once in a 24 hour time frame, every day until April 1. I submitted my entry a little late in the contest, so I need to catch up with votes. Help out my small, but growing, baking business by voting every day. Share the link with your friends.

Help me make my dream come true. Thank you!

Rebranding – new display elements

As I continue on my journey, I felt it was time to refresh and rebrand myself. My tables really became overcrowded last season and I wasn’t pleased with how my displays looked. I will still use some of my old elements, which include multi-tiered plates and my Grandmother Sara’s pie box ( which comes with me to every market ).

I’m also adding a “uniform”. My hat is in the first picture and here is my new shirt.

I’ll also have a new sign. My husband is making me a stand for it, So I will introduce that later this week.

I hope you keep following along with me on this journey. Stay tuned for more new stuff.

Happy Baking!

Citrus Season

I love the smell of fresh citrus. Don’t you?

I spent part of my morning zesting and juicing lemons and limes.

On this Sunday, with a fresh coating of snow, I felt I needed a scent of summer in the air.

Pretty isn’t it? We’ve had a long winter this year. It just doesn’t want to let go if its season. There is just something about the scent of citrus. Stay tuned later in the week for what all this lemon and lime juice become.

Rebranding

I’ve been in business for 4 years now. While I have done well, I feel it’s time to rebrand and refresh. Its a new year, what better time is there to do that?

As I’ve gone through the past 4 years, I’ve tried to please everyone, all requests, as much as possible. I’ve offered pies, cookies, breads, muffins, scones, cupcakes, madeleines, fruit desserts, fudge, cakes, etc. Pretty much everything I’m allowed as a Cottage Food Producer, including gluten free, dairy free, keto, and on and on. I’ve stretched myself too thin. Time to pull it back in and focus on my strengths.

So, going forward, I will offer my fresh pies (cobblers and crisps), cookies, quick breads and scones. I will continue to have gluten free offerings as well. I will continue to take orders and requests for other items, but they will no longer be available on a weekly basis. I am having to throw away way too much product after a market date.

My goal is still to have a brick and mortar location. I’ve had a couple set backs in that goal. But, I am determined that it will happen.

Full steam ahead into 2019 and beyond!

Desserts First Bakery is up and running!

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I apologize for my absence on my blog.  Earlier this summer I finally made a long deferred dream of mine come true.  I opened my business, Desserts First Bakery, at my local farmers market in Chaska, MN.  I have been so excited, nervous, proud, and happy about the whole process.  As the summer winds down and we enter into fall, I begin to think of how I can keep the business running throughout the fall and winter.  I will begin advertising to my current customers on thinking about the holidays, fall baking needs and back to school events.  My hope is to get into a commercially licensed kitchen very soon so I can begin to sell my baked goods online and ship out of the area.

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So, wish me luck as I enter a new phase of the business, planning for down time and looking ahead to next summer.  I will do more than one farmers market next summer and hopefully gain enough traction and enough income to be able to seriously look into a brick and mortar location by 2017.  I’m on my way!!

Enjoy the rest of your summer and look for new entries soon.

Christine Myhre

THE Chocolate Chip Cookie

Big step forward for me today towards reaching my goal of having a bakery of my own.  I will begin selling my baked goods at one of my local farmers’ markets this summer!  I ordered my first set of business cards today too.  Wow!!  I am getting so excited.  That excitement gave me momentum to keep tweaking my recipes.  Here is today’s result… a delicious, crisp/chewy chocolate chip cookie.

Chocolate chip cookie

This cookie is loaded with chocolate chips, it’s just crisp enough on the outside and still tender and chewy on the inside.  I hope you enjoy this cookie, I know I did.

Chocolate Chip Cookie

  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 6 1/2 cups flour, sifted
  • 24 oz. of chocolate chips

1.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.

3.  Cream together the sugars, butter, and shortening.  Mix until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Mix in the vanilla, stir until combined.

4.  Add the flour, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

5.  Using an ice cream scoop, drop the dough onto cookie sheets, spacing 2-3 inches apart, depending on the size of scoop you are using.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on pan for 5 minutes.  Transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.

Makes 3 dozen, more if using a smaller scoop.

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie #2

Today was my son Sean’s birthday and one of his favorite cookies is chocolate chip.  So, as part of his birthday, and as a continuation of finding the perfect cookie for my bakery, I tried a different version of the Chocolate Chip Cookie.  This one used ground oatmeal as part of the flour base for the cookie, and two different kinds of chocolate; semi-sweet chocolate chips and shaved milk chocolate.

chocolate chip cookie  Chocolate Chip Cookie

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (my secret, shh)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate bar, grated or chopped

1.  Preheat the oven to 350°.  Line baking sheets with silicone liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2.  In a food processor, grind the oats into a very fine powder.  In a large bowl, combine the ground oats, the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.  This is what the ground oatmeal should resemble.

ground oatmeal

 

3.  In a bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment, on medium speed, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until well blended and fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until evenly incorporated.

batter    wpid-20150402_082504.jpg

4.  Add half of the flour mixture.  Mix in the chocolate chips and the grated chocolate.  Then mix in the remaining flour mixture and mix until evenly incorporated.  Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the dough firms up just a little.

dough     dough

5.  Using a cookie scoop, I used a 1 1/2″ one, scoop the cookie dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing about 2-3 inches apart.  Bake the cookies in the upper third of the oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until just lightly browned on the edges and beginning to firm up a bit in the center.  Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for about 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Depending on the size cookie scoop you use, this will yield about 36 cookies.

 

 

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

What is more delicious than a fresh, warm blueberry muffin?  A blueberry muffin with streusel topping on it!  This baking exercise was two-fold; first, to try the recipe out for my bakery. And second, a continuation of spring cleaning my cupboard and refrigerator.  I remembered I had some frozen blueberries in my freezer from last summer.  What to do with blueberries?  Why not muffins.  They are also one of my husbands favorite treats.    This one is a keeper.  Nice and moist, just enough sweetness, and the baked up nice and high.

blueberry muffin

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

  • Flourless cooking spray for greasing muffin tins
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 tbls. (divided use)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 stick (8 tbls.) butter, room temp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, washed and patted dry, or frozen blueberries

ingredients

1.  Preheat oven to 400°.  Spray muffin tins lightly with cooking spray or use paper liners.  Sift 2 cups flour, the baking powder, salt, and nutmeg into a bowl and set aside.

2.  In a separate bowl, blend the milk, egg, and vanilla.

3.  In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream together the butter and sugar until light and smooth in texture, 3-4 minutes.  Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the wet ingredients, mixing on low speed and scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed to blend the butter evenly.  Increase the speed to medium and mix until the batter is very smooth, about 2 minutes.

batter             batter

4.  In a bowl, scatter the 2 tbls. flour over the blueberries (this will keep them from sinking to the bottom of the muffins) and toss to coat evenly, being careful not to break them open.  Working by hand with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, fold the blueberries into the batter, working gently and just long enough to distribute the berries evenly.

5.  Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.  Bake until the top of a muffin springs back when lightly pressed, 18-20 minutes.  Sprinkle with the streusel topping (recipe follows).

muffins       blueberry muffing

6.  Let the muffins cool in the pans on wire racks for 5 minutes.  Remove them from the pans to finish cooling.

Streusel Topping

In a bowl, blend 1/4 cup quick cooking oats, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup tightly packed light brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour and 1/8 teaspoon salt.  With your fingers or a pastry blender, put 4 tbsp cold unsalted butter into the dry ingredients until the streusel is crumbly.  Scatter a generous tablespoon over each muffin before baking.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

As I go through the planning stages of starting my own bakery I am testing different recipes to see which ones would work best in a commercial setting.  Some successes and some failures.  One of today’s test is Chocolate Chip Cookies.  This particular recipe is not one I would use for my bakery.  While it is a good cookie, it doesn’t have the flavor and texture I am looking for.  It is crisp on edges and soft in middle, which is what I want, but it is flat.  Possibly, the butter was too soft.

chocolate chip cookie

Chocolate Chip Cookie

  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed, plus 2 tbls.
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tbls.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans, optional

ingredients

1. Preheat the oven to 375°.  Grease several baking sheets or line with parchment paper or silpats.

2.  In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.  In a large bowl, with electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until well blended and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until evenly incorporated.  Stir in the flour mixture, chocolate and nuts, just until evenly incorporated.

dough

3.  Drop the dough onto the baking sheets using a cookie scoop, spacing about 2 inches apart.

4.  Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, in the upper third of the oven for 8 to 11 minutes, or until golden brown all over.  LEt the cookies stand on the cookie sheet for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Your yield will depend on the size cookie scoop you use, mine is 1 1/2″ and it made 32 cookies.