Happy Halloween!

It’s Halloween! Happy Halloween everyone! Unfortunately for everyone on the East Coast it is not the light-hearted day it has been for many in past years. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have suffered, are without power, damaged homes and all those still under Sandy’s force.

At the bakery, we are baking fall decorated cookies, decorated ghoulish cookies and ghostly cake pops!

Now, in truth, I am not the biggest fan of Halloween. I love seeing the little ones all dressed and seeing them drag their mommy’s and daddy’s around for hours, getting as many pieces of candy as they can get. But the scary stuff, I’m not so big on. So at the bakery we’ve had just as many items decorated with the start of fall as well as with Halloween.

Below are some pictures of some of our Halloween Treats. I hope you’re able to celebrate a little bit!

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PS Spoiler alert. At the bakery we all decided to have a halloween treat early, and picked Candy Corn MM’s. We unanimously voted them off the island, or in our case out of the bakery. …

Eggs In Depth; Baking / Cooking Tips

Always crack eggs open individually in a separate bowl. By this I mean that when  a recipe calls for say 4 eggs, crack the egg in one bowl, inspect it by looking at it to make sure that it is clear, has no smell, then pour it into the bowl where all the eggs will be together. This way, if you have a bad egg lurking in the batch, you do not lose all your eggs.One bad egg in with fresh eggs means you’ll need to start over.Some recipes with meringues or high lift can use up to 12 egg whites, which is when you really  don’t want to have to start over!

When a recipe calls for egg whites this means you must seperate the yolk (the yellow center) from the white. Remember, a little egg white in with the yolk is fine. It will not ruin the recipe. A little yolk in the egg whites will  ruin the recipe. The eggs will not rise or puff up as they should, so pay attention.

Temperature of the eggs : For baking you almost always want your eggs to be at room temperature. Just take out the eggs you will need and set them on your counter for a few hours before you will start baking. Nothing will happen to them, and you will not become sick. Don’t put them in the microwave in an interest to save time, as you will actually cook the eggs. If you are in a hurry and don’t have hours to wait and it’s hot outside, place them outside, out of harms way and /or direct sunlight, and they will come up to room temperature faster.

Brown eggs have as a natural occurrence in many of their eggs, blood specs’. It just looks like a tiny drop of blood in the egg yolk. As long as their is no smell or cloudiness in the egg, it is still a good egg. It really is just a natural occurrence. If it grosses you out, take part of the cracked egg shell and scoop it out. The rest of the egg is good and should be used.

If you have a piece of shell that has fallen into the egg when breaking it, using part of the shell to scoop it out will get the job done quickly. As I’ve learned from experience, any other utensil, including your hands, will take you longer and a lot more irritation, to get it out; the shell naturally attracts back to itself. (Too cool).

While I know veganism is a growing movement, and we do offer vegan versions of many of our products, nothing replaces the taste, texture, and healthfulness that using fresh, room temperature eggs provide in your baking and cooking! So get cracking!… 🙂

Eggs : Simple Tips Everyone Should Know

An egg. Simple. No longer do you have to go out into your chicken-coop each morning, wary of the snakes or foxes that might still be lurking, and take the eggs left to you by the chickens who are demanding their breakfast in return for giving you yours. No, gone are the days when having eggs are the standard breakfast; who has time for it? We just go to the grocery store, buy a dozen, and are set for the week. Ah, but which size to choose? Farm fresh, organic, or generic? Grade A or Grade B? Brown or White? Extra Large, Large, Medium, or Small? A dozen or 3 dozen? The recipe for the brownies my son has to take to school for the fundraiser tomorrow just says 2 eggs. Nothing else…

In a bakery, eggs are as essential as air is for breathing. We know our eggs and how best to use them. Let me impart some knowledge gained.

Terminology: the yolk is the yellow center of the egg. The yolk is what has all the nutrients, vitamins, healthy fats, and cholesterol. The egg white is the exterior, which is what is used to beat and fluff to give the light and airy quality (found in omelets) to cakes.

Brown or White? The color of the egg is irrelevant.

Large? Extra Large? Any recipe that asks for ‘1 egg’ is asking for a ‘large, grade A’ egg. An extra-large egg is about 1 1/4 – 1 1/2  eggs. If you’re getting your eggs from a farmer’s market where the eggs are all different sizes, you measure the egg in a liquid measure. One Grade A Large egg is approximately 2 oz, for a base reference.

The smell. Fresh eggs have no smell, and they are clear. If the color of the yolk or egg white are opaque or cloudy, and / or have a strong odor, you have a bad a egg. Like an avocado, you can’t tell what’s inside until you crack it open. However, if you smell it unopened in the container – run!

Organic or commercial? For me, the argument is too compelling not to buy organic eggs. First of all, it’s the taste. Fresh, organic eggs have a much stronger flavor; you can literally taste the difference. It has been proven that healthy chickens, who live a lifestyle normal to their heritage and not stressed, lay tastier, better quality eggs. The color of the yolk is brighter and deeper. From an environmental stand point, large conglomerate egg companies do not take responsibility for the chicken waste that is produced on their farms (which is an enormous amount), by their commercial business. This is  a huge disservice to our planet, and in my opinion, irresponsible. Also, it is my opinion, that the way they mistreat their chickens is awful. (Note: I am not a ‘tree-hugger’ as it were; but some things are just too inexcusable to ignore.) If you can afford organic – I encourage you to do so. The taste is far better and it supports the small farms trying to do the right thing for us and the environment.