The Holiday season passed in a whirlwind and 2019 ended in what seemed like the blink of an eye.
I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling like as I get older, the years pass by more quickly than ever. After weeks of frantically making pie dough, rolling pie shells, making cake batters to fill our orders, January brought production to an abrupt halt.
January is always like that, as people make resolutions to lose weight, eat more healthy meals, reduce their sugar intake, etc. For small bakeries like mine, it means finding ways to keep my staff busy without having to spend time and money making things we can’t use quickly. It’s a chance to re-examine our product list and our products themselves.
While we were in the groove of bigger volume, small irregularities in baking results could be attributed to a scaling error, or someone omitting an ingredient accidentally. Now that things have settled down, it’s a good opportunity to re-examine our recipes, make little changes and compare results. It’s also a chance to add or subtract products from our list of offerings.
When I was growing up, my father’s favorite after-dinner dessert was coconut custard pie. Entenmann’s made a good version, which was available at every supermarket, so we always had one in the fridge. I wasn’t a big fan of coconut when I was younger, so I didn’t enjoy it, preferring Stella D’Oro Swiss Fudge Cookies instead. (I don’t know if they still exist, but I had eaten many hundreds of them before being diagnosed with Celiac in 2007). My tastes have changed as I’ve gotten older, and now I love coconut, so it seemed like a good place to start, making a gluten-free coconut custard pie. The results were really good, and after two versions, I think I’ve hit on a winner. I’ll start pitching it to my customers soon.
With the ever-increasing demand for vegan desserts, it also seemed like a good idea to develop a pie that vegans can enjoy and we’ve got that in the works too.
As far as the Swiss Fudge Cookies go, there’s definitely a gluten-free version of that lurking in the back of my mind for testing sooner rather than later. Stay tuned!