Macarons – A fun look back one year…

I like to check the stats of the things we sell.  It’s a metric thing I picked up from my IT job as a manager, and Sadie and I have great software tools to track how much we sold. We will be putting out the “best seller” once we compile more, but we get lost in the numbers, breaking it down by category and sometimes individual items.  One in particular we like to look at is macarons.  We sold over 15,700 macarons last year from July 2016 to July 2017!   WOW.

We love the flavors that Kelly has come up with.  We have varied our flavors, retired some, and brought some back.  We don’t track the individual flavor sales, but I think one of the customers favorites are salted caramel.  Kelly came out with raspberry cheesecake this year, super yummy, and lemon poppy seed is making a run.  She did a “cookie monster” and a smores that is out of this world.  We also did cookie dough and an orange cream.

Come in an check out a new flavors.  Got a suggestion?  Let us know!

A chocolate affair


We are here at the Arvada chocolate festival and we are tasting our bonbons… it’s a homemade brownie, then chocolate mousse, covered in ganache.  Our customers have better words to describe it than we do!  This was the first 30 minutes we were here.  Here are the comments:

  • “Not to miss”
  • “Oh my god”
  • “Awesome”
  • “Mmmmm”
  • “..that’s wonderful”
  • “..to die for”
  • “These look amazing”
  • “Oh my goodness”

And my favorite:  “…deadly”

Christmas is done :-(

Well, Christmas is one of the busiest seasons we have.  All of our staff is on hand for Christmas Eve day and we ramp up massively towards this day.  Although it’s crowded in the back while we get food out to everyone, we manage to have some festive cheer which we celebrate bakery style.  I normally make Parisian hot chocolate and I bring in the yearly stuffed shells, which is such as draw, even our previous employees come back for the days just to have some.  I feel so flattered.  We had almost all of our employees in, which is fun to have.  BUT, are we glad the rush is over, but thankful for all the customers days we made brighter with our goodies.

Some cool stats for December:

670 Lbs of cookies in December, and 320 lbs in the 5 days leading up to Christmas eve.  WHEW!

91 Yule logs.  If you add up all the sizes (8, 12,16, 24) times the number we sold, we ended up with 70 feet of yule logs!  WOW.

If you look at quantity of all things sold, the top 5 of any category are:

  1. Sugar cookies by the pound
  2. Russian Tea cookies
  3. Small cannolis
  4. Peanut Butter cookies
  5. Butter Croissants

Although, if you look at individuals the macaron comes in quite near the top, as we normally sell them in quantities (1,3,5,12), so they like to hide in the numbers.  Over 1285 individual ones in December.  Yum.

Breakfast pastries – the butter croissant beat out the chocolate by 3.  Photo finish!

Personal pastries – small cannoli tops this one, but quickly followed by napoleons, chocolate eclairs and petit fours, swans and a close fresh fruit tart.

Cakes – Chocolate Mousse won by far! Followed by Raspberry Duchess, and Black Forest.

More stats to come for the year.

 

 

Yule Logs!

Well, it’s that time of year again.  We are doing yule logs or Buche de Noel again of course.  I just made the chocolate “bark” and the sticks that adorn the yummy cakes.  We are ramping up and just did 2 HUGE yule logs.  We use REAL Belgian chocolate, 54% cacao to be exact.  Only the best for our cakes.  I was watching Lynn make the chocolate buttercream yesterday, melting the same chocolate to make the Chocolate Buttercream version.  We have three flavors, Chocolate, Mocha, and Grand Marnier flavors.   I’ll upload picts when I get them!

Freshness and our products

We had a customer tell us one of our cakes was dry the other day.  We immediately pulled a cake finished on the same day and sampled it to see what could have been the issue.   We let it sit out to warm up and it was delicious.  It was moist and yummy.  We knew what had happened.   There are a couple of things that make our products taste dry or even stale if they are not served or stored correctly.  We have an interesting dilemma.   We use no preservatives in our products.   This has an interesting effect on some things that people are used to.

Have you noticed that our bread really only lasts two days max before it’s hard, while the supermarket bread lasts months?    Months, eww.  What is in those things?    Our cakes don’t have preservatives either, but the thing that makes them taste different is the temperature they are served at.  We have to refrigerate our  cakes because of whats in them.   Ever notice cakes that are “shelf stable” at Cosco?   Gross, what kinds of things are they putting in there?   They are good at any temperature and will probably be moist for weeks, but do you really want to eat them?

We use real butter in buttercream cakes and cream in our mousse cakes.  So you need to refrigerate these cakes, but the most important part is to being them out for at least 1-2 hours so they come up to room temperature.  Have you tried to spread butter right out of the fridge?  Have you tried to spread butter that has been sitting on the counter for a bit?  It works the same way for our cakes.  Our sponge cake, the mousse and buttercream that comprises most of our pastries and cakes will taste dry when it is cold.  Its odd, but that’s what we’ve found.  I will refuse to eat our Tiramisu if it’s too cold, it just tastes different.  It’s not what people expect, so we try to tell people how to store it, then how to serve it.

The best guidelines we have for this is:

  • Keep all of our cakes and pastries refrigerated.
  • Take pastries and cakes out of the fridge 1-2 hours before you plan to eat them.
  • Leftovers can be kept in the freezer for 1-2 months.
  • Because freshness matters, most pastries and cakes should only be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days before eating them.  (some of our pastries such, as eclairs, nuns, swans, napoleons, and fruit tarts, should only be stored 1-2 days)

 

 

 

 

Meringue – Chewy or crisp?

Picture of ours coming soon, I didn’t have one at home…

OK people, I need to set something straight.  We got a Yelp review that complained that our meringue was too crisp, they wanted chewy.  These aren’t the meringue we have on our pies, but our house made corkscrew meringues (not to be confused with Parisian macarons, or macaroons (the coconut ones).   Traditional meringues like we make are supposed to be crisp.  They supposed to be cooked in a low oven for hours, even overnight, just like we do in the big oven.  (I need to post a picture of the oven for you guys, it’s epically awesome.  It has 5 shelves, we can 15 sheet pans at a time, more on that later).  We’ve been told by some customers, who are Cuban, that they used to get meringue like a shot, which is chewy and more like the pies.  Well, we’d love to make those people happy too, but the health department doesn’t like us using egg whites like that.  They would rather we use pasteurized eggs for our meringue, but they just don’t come out, so we need to ensure they are 100% cooked, which is ok with us, as that is what the traditional meringue is supposed to be.  I just don’t get Yelp sometimes.  We get hung out to dry for not being traditional, and when we are, we get yelled at for that too.  I guess some people will never be happy.    Long story short, we offer our traditional meringues, just like they are supposed to be, crisp, and melt in your mouth goodness.  They are also a way for our gluten free friends to enjoy our sweets, no flour at all.

 

 

We made it through Christmas!

Wimg_7668.jpeghew.  That was one heck of a month.  Thank you all for coming to come get goodies to share with family and friends.  We truly are thankful that you chose us for your treats.  Our sugar cookies are the biggest seller leading up to Christmas.  I am constantly amazed on how much we do for Christmas.  Normally we do about 200 lbs of cookies (just our one by the pound) a month, but in December, we sold over 900 lbs, and we sold 250lbs in the last 4 days leading up to Christmas!  Wow.  Sadie brings me as extra help to gear up for that week.  All I did was cut and bake.  The girls are MUCH better decorators than me, but I did decorate the melted snowman, and I dipped a bunch.

You did know that they are chocolate covered, not iced right?  We think royal icing is too sweet, and chocolate is soo good.  Believe it or not, we are not sick of them, and we got to take home some leftover Christmas ones that I just finished.   I’ll let you in on a secret.  Our cookies are really a cross between a shortbread and sugar cookie, that and the chocolate is what makes them taste so good.  You did have some pizzelles and my extra awesome candied almonds too right?   I don’t get to contribute too throughout the year, but in December, I get to make a lot more.img_7655.jpeg

One of our long time employees is leaving to go overseas and she made me my favorite that I insist on every year as a going away present.  Peanut butter pie.  Its made simply with real peanut butter, whipped up with heavy cream and cream cheese, on top of our chocolate sable’s as the base, topped with our homemade ganache.  Its SOOO good.  Its rich, but thats how I like it.  We have some in the shop, and depending on people’s peanut butter tolerance, we may keep them as an official.  Let us know of you like them.  We only have a couple of peanut butter items in the shop, so we’ll see It seems salted caramel has taken over taste buds.

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