Snow day baking adventures

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When I went snow panic shopping last Friday night, I skipped the bread and milk and bought brown sugar, and lots of it.  Lately, I’ve been going through it at an alarming rate.

It’s true that I’ve got a sweet tooth, but all this sugar buying isn’t just for me.  It is for a higher pupose: recipe testing for Charmington’s.

One thing that Team Charm (I haven’t told them that I call them that) agreed on from our earliest cafe planning stages was that we wanted to make as much of our own food as possible.  We’d all worked in places that sourced food from other bakeries and restaurants, and while that will still be the best solution for getting some of our stuff (bagels, sandwich bread, a few other things), it has definite downsides:

1) Waste.   Most bakeries have a minimum ordering amount, so even if you know you’re going through 30 muffins a day, you may have to either get 36 and end up throwing them out, or getting 24 and disappointing customers.

2) Cost.  We know that by buying unprocessed or minimally processed ingredients, we can save money.   When you buy your muffins (or whatever) from somebody else, you’re paying their markup, and then you have to mark them up yourself.

3) Quality.  We can provide fresher food if we don’t have it shipped in from elsewhere.  Moreover, we can experiment with serving more delicate products, since people will be eating them on the spot or carrying them over fairly short distances.  Food sourced from elsewhere has to be hardy enough to get knocked around a little bit in transit and still look presentable to serve.

So, that’s why my household is so fixed for brown sugar.  I’ve been making muffins by the dozens, scones by the score.  Malicious elves have been tightening my pants, but it’s not stopping me.   I’ve got some brownies that will make the baby angels weep.  It is basically awesome being me right now.

But what about you?  What baked item is your special cafe treat?  If you’re not a fiend for sweets like I am, what savory baked stuff tempts you the most?

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4 Responses to “Snow day baking adventures”

  1. Jill Harrison Says:

    Have you thought of partnering with Atwater’s for bread? Perhaps you could make pastries to share with them at their sites?

    I’m looking forward to your opening.

  2. Broadsheet Says:

    Would Charmington’s consider free lance bakers? While I’m not working – baking two days a week sounds like a lovely diversion.

  3. Kristin Says:

    Someone mentioned red velvet cupcakes today and I was struck with such a craving! Confections for the win!

  4. Mercy Less Says:

    When I was pregnant with Siobhan the owner of a restaurant in Federal Hill made the most amazing red velvet cupcakes with a cream cheese/buttercream sort of icing. They were amazing, and nothing that looks like them that I’ve tried since has been as good. He also only made them when he felt like it, so they were special. Vexing for a pregnant lady with a craving. He made them just for me at least once. They are like a holy grail for me now.

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