5 Festive Treats to Bake this Holiday Season

The Holiday season is described as the most wonderful time of the year for a myriad of reasons. From the time spent with friends and family, to the beautiful lights and decorations, to the spirit of magic and giving that seemingly emanates from us all, to the delicious smells wafting from the kitchen, to the feast we will then enjoy surrounded by our loved ones we all love this wonderful time of year for something unique.


For many of us some our favorite childhood memories of the Holidays stem from the enjoyment of our favorite Holiday desserts with our family and friends. Whether it’s frosting cookies, helping the Grandparent’s with the pumpkin pie, leaving out fresh cookies and milk for Santa, or just enjoying a piece of peppermint bark and hot cocoa in front of the fireplace and the Christmas tree we’ve all enjoyed some of our favorite festive treats during the Holiday’s.

Holiday Baked GoodsSource: recipes.howstuffworks.com

 

With that nostalgia factor in mind, it comes as no surprise that a lot of people are looking for new desserts to carry on the tradition of creating Holiday memories with their own children.

 

Here are 5 recipes for baked goods that can help you create some of those priceless memories this Holiday season:

 

1) Whole-Wheat Sugar Cookies

This healthier take on the Holiday staple is a great way to have your cake and eat it too this Holiday season. This simple substitution cuts out fat and a little bit of sugar while not eliminating any of the flavor or fun that are ideal for creating lasting memories.

Holiday Baked Goods Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies

Source: health.com

2) Gingerbread Icebox Cake

This cake that is prepared in a bundt pan is stunningly beautiful (almost a decoration in it’s own right) and is much easier to construct than a gingerbread house. Make the cake ahead of time and decorate it before your guests arrive to achieve that wow factor. It also will make a great substitution for that fruit cake that leaves you with tons of leftovers every year because no one likes it.

Holiday Baked Goods Gingerbread Cake

Source: cookingchanneltv.com

3) Peppermint Snowballs

These peppermint snowballs are very simple to make with dough made from scratch or your favorite packaged sugar-cookie dough. Adding in the peppermint pieces and a smidge of powdered sugar make these cookies a true Holiday delight.

Holiday Baked Goods Peppermint Snowballs

Source: health.com

4) Cranberry Apple Pie

No fruit is more associated with the Holidays than cranberries and no pie is less associated with the Holidays than apple. So why not cross the two to create a truly flavorful concoction that is sure to become a staple of all your Holiday meals to come.

Holiday Baked Goods Apple Cranberry Pie

Source: pillsbury.com

5) Swiss Rolls

Despite all the intricate detail in a swiss roll they are in fact very simple to make, which comes in handy during the busiest time of the year. Not to mention the cake itself has no butter in it ensuring the thickly spread jam and whipped cream won’t make you feel overly indulged. Plus it will look absolutely gorgeous on a platter while your guests are letting their dinner digest before digging in to the desserts.

Holiday Baked Goods Swiss Rolls

Source: cookingchanneltv.com

Do you have any other ideas for festive treats to serve this Holiday season? Leave a comment below!

Best Bakery POS

Surface tablet bakery

5 Bakery Trends to Expect for 2015

Last year gave birth to the cronut and saw the steady decline of the cupcake. In many ways baking baking is emblematic of the trends we are seeing in the larger food industry as a whole. For example you saw the trend of consumers becoming more health conscious reflected in baking before other areas along with the idea of combining different foods as well.

Baking Trends

Source: blog.foodnetwork.com

For those reasons baking is often a buzzword in the food industry because it’s ever changing and always evolving. This explains why it’s often the case as bakers become more adept with their skills they become less afraid to tackle creative, elaborate creations and put into practice tricky, more classic techniques.


With that in perspective here’s 5 bakery trends to expect for 2015:

1) Rollover Doughnuts

Last year the cronut became a staple in bakery’s across the country after they gained widespread popularity as a delicacy in New York. Rollover doughnuts based in Phoenix are more of a brand than a delicacy and as a result they offer a menu of brioche doughnuts and fritters in a variety of flavors from the normal, regular, every-day cinnamon sugar to the odd, unique, and different hot dog inspired Bear Doughnut.

Bakery Trend Rollover Doughnut

Source: blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com

2) The Bakeover

Around the country “mash-up” bakes have been increasing in popularity and will hit a peak in 2015. Delicacy’s like “sticky toffee pie” and “party dodgers” amongst others will become household names in 2015. Bbcgoodfood.com has recipes for even more of these creative combinations.

Baking Trends the Bakeover

Source: bbcgoodfood.com

3) Artisanal Bread

Now the bread category of baked goods has been in decline in recent years, but that’s all about to change. Not only are consumers now actively seeking out healthier choices, they are seeking out fresher choices as well. Enter artisanal bread. Artisanal bread is a freshly baked bread that capitalize on the fresh trend and will certainly the bread category recover.

Baking Trends Artisanal Bread

Source: bbcgoodfood.com

4) Sweet & Salty Treats

Sweet and salty combinations have been in the public consciousness since chocolate covered pretzels and chocolate covered nuts caught fire. Now herbs and spices in baked goods are becoming increasingly popular, partially because of how popular those original combinations were. Some of the most popular sweet and salty treats of today are chocolate covered bacon and salted caramel.

Baking Trends Sweet & Salty

Source: blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com

5) Choux Pastries

The winner of the first Great British Bake Off Edd Kimber is a big fan of the Parisian patisserie and is confident that we’ll see a widespread increase in it’s popularity during the coming year. The classic French Pastry has a chewy texture and buttery flavor and in that respect it’s similar to an eclair. The popularity increase eclairs saw this past year could very well be foreshadowing to the choux pastries growth this year and Kimber is betting on that.

Baking Trends Choux Pastries

Source: bbcgoodfood.com

Do you have any other predictions for bakery trends that will catch on in 2015? Leave a comment below!

Best Bakery POS

Surface tablet bakery

Grow Your Business This Month with Creative Halloween Treat Ideas

The weeks proceeding any holiday are always among the busiest of the year for bakeries. Whether it’s an influx of catering orders for Halloween parties or customers just coming in looking for a festive lunchtime treat, bakery businesses see an influx of sales come the cooler weather months. Capitalize on this by serving up some of the most creative spooky treats we could find!

Halloween Bat Shaped Cookie

Source: newyork.seriouseats.com

A bat-shaped Oreo like cookie that will be sure to put all your customers in a spooky mood.

Halloween Witches Hat Cookie

Source: newyork.seriouseats.com

A traditional s’more molded into a non traditional yet festive treat. Sure to enchant all your customers and appealing decoratively as well.

Halloween Pumpkin Cupcake

Source: newyork.seriouseats.com

A slightly oversized cupcake with an outer coat of frosting to make it look like a pumpkin. After all not much is more synonymous with Halloween than sweets and a pumpkin.

Halloween Cookie Monster Sandwhiches

Source: bhg.com

The marshmallow eyes are what sets this spooky dessert apart. Sure to frighten your customers, but guaranteed to taste good enough to keep them running back for more.

Halloween Peanut Butter Eyeballs

Source: bhg.com

Reese’s have proved that people love chocolate and peanut butter together. These eye-catching concoctions are sure to appeal to your customers sweet tooth’s.

Halloween Truffle Tarantulas

Source: bhg.com

This spooky take on the truffle will be sure to have your customers scurrying back for more.

Halloween Witches Hats

Source: southernliving.com

This take on the witches hat consists of a shortbread cookie, a Hershey’s kiss, and a frosting bow and looks equally parts festive and delicious.

Halloween Pumpkin Fudge

Source: southernliving.com

Fudge has been a bakery staple for generations. This festive take actually will keep customers coming back all Autumn long for a tasty treat to pair with their pumpkin spice lattes.

Halloween Chocolate Ghost Cakes

Source: southernliving.com

Ghosts are as synonymous with Halloween costumes as chocolate is with Halloween candy so why not combine the two to create a treat that will surely become just as synonymous with Halloween as a whole.

Halloween Jack O Lantern Rice Krispy Treats

Source: foodfamilyfinds.com

Turn the traditional rice krispy treat into the symbol most associated with Halloween around the globe, the Jack O’ Lantern.

Do you have any ideas for Halloween treats of your own? Leave a comment and share them below.

5 Ways to Make Your Bakery’s Cupcakes Rise Above the Rest

In the bakery industry there is no more popular an item than cupcakes. Cupcakes have been a bakery staple for generations, but with the market loaded with specialty cupcake shops bakers are struggling to make their cupcakes stand out from the rest. Here’s 5 ways to make your bakery’s cupcakes rise above the rest.

Cupcakes

Source: kimberlysnyder.net

 

  1. Never Over-bake

If you over-bake a cupcake, even slightly, there’s no way to save it and it definitely will not be moist on the inside. So bakers should always err towards under-baking cupcakes as a result. Ideally your cupcakes will look slightly sunken when they’re done rather than peaked.

 

  1. Experiment with flavors and colors

Once you have mastered a particular recipe you can begin experimenting with colors and flavors to add a personal signature to your cupcakes. Whether your favorite flavors are pineapple or cheery try incorporating them into both the cupcake and icing. You could also combine flavors to make something truly unique, a pina colada cupcake perhaps. You could even try filling your cupcakes with a unique flavor combination.

 

  1. Flavor Fillings

Fillings aren’t just for donuts anymore. In fact jams, custards, creams, or even an extra helping of icing can be exactly what your cupcake has been lacking. You can use a cupcake corer or a decorating bag and tip to inject even more of the scrumptious stuff into your cupcake.

 

  1. Top Them Off

After all it is not the decoration that makes the cupcake. In spite of looking prettier no one really wants to eat a cupcake that looks like an overdone gingerbread house. Keeping it simple with colorful sprinkles, flowers, bows, chocolate balls, or even a piece of fresh fruit like a strawberry, will fulfill all your cupcakes needs.

Cupcake_toppings

Source: yourcupofcake.com

 

  1. Display Matters

To ensure your cupcakes rise above the rest find creative and unique ways to arrange and display them in your bakery. You may want to stack your cupcakes on a tiered plate or fit them perfectly into a cupcake tree. Here decorations like bows, ribbon, and confetti can be exactly what you need to compliment your edible works of art.

 

Best Bakery POS System

Surface tablet bakery

How to Turn Your Bakery Goods into Healthy Treats

Why should customers have to sacrifice dessert for healthy snacks? It’s up to you to provide them with both- healthier desserts!

fruit-vs-dessert.jpg

 

Gluten-free, vegan, and whole wheat are some adjectives that have been incorporated into more and more bakery offerings than before. In order to capture some of these customers, try out some of these revamping of some classics to cater to the health conscious marketplace or to let some of your customers with gluten or dairy intolerance get in on your sweet treats.

Guilt-Free Bakery Treats

Let’s take a few of the hottest bakery items and see how we can make them healthier

 

7309331478_3be39399a7_b.jpg

1. Natural Low-Cal Peanut Butter Cookie

Cookies are token bakery offerings.  Good news, these cookies are only 36 calories a piece.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups peanut butter

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 2 tsp baking soda

  • 2 eggs

– Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and make sure the rack is in the middle of the oven.

– Mix the peanut butter and sugar.

– Add in the eggs and baking soda. Put it in spoonfuls on the cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

 

fudgy-pecan-brownies-med108462_vert.jpg

2.  Fudgy Pecan Brownies (GLUTEN-FREE)

Brownies are a classic that people of all ages enjoy. Here is a splurge item that has made to be healthier to attract the serious health conscious customers.

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan

  • 1/3 cup cornstarch (spooned and leveled)

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans

 

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees and use a lightly buttered 8-inch square baking pan.

– Whisk together cornstarch, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt. In a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter and chocolate in 30-second increments, stirring each time, until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Stir in eggs, one at a time, until combined. Add cornstarch mixture and stir vigorously until mixture is smooth and begins to pull away from side of bowl, about 2 minutes. Stir in pecans.

– Pour batter into pan and smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Using paper overhang, lift cake out of pan and cut into 16 squares.

l569150074.jpg

Blueberry Flax Muffin (Gluten free)

Muffins are in the top for most purchased items in bakery shops. There are so many variations to flavors and sizes. Here is a recipe which includes flax, the superfood with Omega-3 essential fatty acids. Lastly this recipe is also gluten free!!

  • 1 cup almond flour or hazelnut flour

  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour or brown rice flour

  • 1/2 cup potato starch (not potato flour)

  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal

  • 1 cup light brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons double acting baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup organic expeller pressed canola oil

  • 3 free-range organic eggs, beaten

  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk

  • 1 tablespoon good vanilla extract

  • 2 cups organic frozen blueberries, patted dry, but still frozen

 

– Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners

– Whisk together the almond flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, flaxseed meal, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, sea salt, and cinnamon.

– Add in the canola oil, eggs, non-dairy milk, and vanilla and beat to combine. Continue beating for 2 minutes until the batter is smooth, and moist, akin to thick cake batter.

– Stir in the blueberries by hand.

– Bake in the center of the oven for 25 minutes, until domed and golden brown.

– cool on rack and you are ready to go

 

Since these might be new items at your shop, be very aware of any comments or feedback from your customers to see how you are doing.

 

Healthy options to consider adapting: flax seeds, oatmeal mixes, vegan, gluten free and low calories, sugars and grain.

Healthy bakery goods can create a healthy business afterall!

 

Best Bakery POS System

cafe_bestseller.jpg

 

Holiday Cupcake Flavors

Jazz up your cupcake shop with these festive desserts this winter.

Chocolate Eggnog

Eggnog is a classic holiday drink that brings warmness to any cupcake case. Frost it with a nutmeg-infused vanilla cream cheese. This recipe does it with bourbon and coffee… YUM!

Cranberry Spice

Cranberries are a beautiful winter fruit and they contrast the sweetness, beautifully. Try it with a Chai cake!

Sticky Toffee Pudding

If you travel across the pond you’ll find Christmas cakes everywhere except they call them pudding. I’m on board if they taste like this!

Rudolph Red Velvet

You can’t beat the crowd appeal of a moist rich red velvet cupcake. Decorating it with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer  is a great class holiday party platter waiting to happen. These from the brown-eyed baker are sure to please.

White Chocolate Peppermint

A candy cane cake with easy decoration. This easy holiday recipe is sure to make your spirits bright!

Christmas Cookie

If your bakery doesn’t specialize in cupcakes these pretty, white sugar cookie inspired cupcakes are simple enough and the perfect treat to leave out for Santa.

Butterbeer

As a Potterhead the holiday season also means Harry Potter marathons. This cupcake is essentially a brown sugar cupcake with cream soda and butter flavors filled with a butterscotch ganache. This is sure to satisfy any bookworm, witch or wizard.


Champagne (New Years)

These pretty little cupcakes are both delicious and toast worthy. Release them as your New Year’s 2014 signature flavor. Use a simple decoration atop the elegant italian buttercream.

Coconut Macaroon

My mom makes a version of these indulgent buttery cakes every Christmas morning. For my family it wouldn’t be Christmas without coconut.

Mini Pies

These little beauties are sure to brighten up any buffet table this holiday season. So pretty and a great opportunity to diversify your bakery.

Why You Should Get in On The Cronut Trend

What is a Cronut?

There seems to be a serious buzz around the newest baked good trend, the Cronut. Just in time for cold weather. Who doesn’t love croissants and donuts. This croissant doughnut hybrid is a creation out of the boutique NYC bakery, Dominique Ansel Bakery. After trademarking their hybrid earlier this year we’ve seen the Cronut sprouting up all over the country from retail chains and quick service restaurants.

 Nuts-300x247

Getting in on the trend while it’s in demand and before the market becomes saturated is a good strategy. We’ve seen similar booms in bakery and dessert trends last sustainably with cupcake shops, frozen yogurt, and cake pops.

Check out ourCronut recipe with pictures here.

cronuts

 

 

 

 

Best Social Media Platform For Your Cupcake Shop

It’s hard to ignore the buzz about social media for small businesses. Small business owners are constantly told how they should Tweet, Instagram, Vine, YouTube, Foursquare,Yelp, Pin, start bakery blogs and Facebook to increase business for their bakery. The problem with this is that no one really tells you where to start. In order to grow your business with social media while still focusing on your bakery takes some business time management and choosing which social media platforms will work best for your business.

Choosing the Best Social Media Site for Your Bakery

There is no perfect social media site for your bakery that will magically generate more leads as soon as you sign-up (despite what some of them might promise.) This means you’ll have to try and see what works best for you. Don’t be overwhelmed! This social media marketing strategy will make finding your social media site manageable while still giving you enough time to run your business.

1.) Choose 2 to 3 social media sites to begin with. Many small business owners start with Facebook because they already have a personal profile so they are well versed with the site. This is a good move. Some other sites that are good for starting your bakery’s social media presence and easy to use are Yelp, Foursquare, Twitter and Instagram.

2.) Set up your business profiles on each of these sites. Make sure to include as much information about your bakery as possible; including: address, phone number, logo, pictures, mission statement, prices, and how you got started.

3.) Set up 30 minutes to an hour of social media time into your work days. This will make sure you stay focused on your business while still growing your online marketing campaigns.

4.) Post or update your social media profiles about once a day. Go ahead and cross-promote your content through your profiles. Instagram and Facebook let you post to Twitter all at once.

5.) Gage what kind of audience you’re building and how these sites are increasing your bakery’s visibility. You can measure your social media growth through the amount of engagement you get as time grows. Give yourself at least 6 months with a platform. Social media takes some time to show direct results to your bottom line. 6 months is a good amount of time to gage progress and see returns coming back for your social media ROI or return on investment.

6.) If one platform doesn’t work, drop it for a while and try another. Have fun with it and try some new sites or strategies. You never know where there might be a hidden niche for your bakery.

Source: blogtyrant.com

What Does the FDA’s Gluten Free Label Mean for Bakeries

Earlier this year the FDA passed food legislation that began regulating the foods that manufacturers label as gluten-free. This is a big change to health food stores and gluten-free bakeries across the country but first let’s define what gluten and what gluten-free actually means.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a type of protein largely found in wheats and grains. Gluten has been getting some attention lately due to a rise in celiac disease, a disease that prevents you from being able to process gluten, and recent diet and health trends.

 

So what does “gluten-free” mean?

The U.S Food and Drug Administration now defines gluten free as the following:

  • A food that naturally does not have gluten such as a bag of raw vegetables or bottled water
  • Does not contain an ingredient that is a whole gluten-containing grain such as wheat, barley, rye, or crossbred hybrids of any of the grains.
  • Does not contain an ingredient that is derived from a gluten-containing grain and has not been processed to remove gluten (wheat flour)
  • May contain an ingredient that is derived from a gluten ingredient but has been processed to remove gluten as long as the food product contains less than 20 parts per million of gluten.
  • And unavoidable gluten in the food due to cross-contact or cross-contamination is less than 20 ppm of gluten. This is widely considered a small enough amount to not be harmful to those with celiac disease.
  • All manufacturers must comply to these standards by August 5th, 2014

This means that you will no longer be able to label food products with the FDA’s gluten-free label unless your product follows these rules.

This is an unverified image of the FDA’s gluten-free label. The official label design has not yet been released.

 

What it means for your business

This means that gluten free will no longer be loosely regulated and used as simply a way for manufacturers to market their product. Truly gluten-free products will be the only ones that can be certified to protect those that are allergic or intolerant of the ingredient.

This is great information if your health food store carries gluten-free product. You will now be able to confidently sell the FDA certified product to your customers without fear of an allergic reaction.

As a bakery owner if you are looking to be certified as a gluten-free establishment you’ll need to exceed the federal standards. Small business owners that are looking to be certified as gluten-free will look to the Gluten Free Certification Organization for certification and gluten-free listing which goes a step further than federal standards.

GFCO gluten-free label

 

GFCO Requirements for Bakeries and Restaurants

Tu-lu’s Gluten- Free Bakery out of New York with two more locations in Dallas
  • Once gluten-free application is sent and a price quote is received the GFCO sends an auditor to the establishment to evaluate how the facility shares it’s space, uses and stores it’s ingredients, where ingredients are coming from and what the operations are within the business space.
  • Standards for gluten free baking include: dual-use sections of the kitchen (one for gluten, one without,) thoroughly washed stations, machinery, and equipment along with wiped down surfaces.  According to the GFCO gluten particles can stay floating in the air for up to 24 hours after gluten-containing production which means thorough and strict cleaning measures are observed.
  • Gluten-free testing results must be submitted to the GFCO and all of them must be below 10 ppm.

 

 

Sources: celiaccentral.org

tasteguru.com