Owning a baking company requires consistency in product quality in every batch. Mark does admit to getting bored sometimes when he has to bake the same cookies day after day. There isn’t much time for experimentation when he’s busy fulfilling orders, but he likes to play around in the kitchen when he does find a little free time. Lately, he’s been making Rice Krispie treats. You’ve seen these if you follow me on Instagram and they’ve been selling out at the Brooklyn Flea every week. Last weekend he made S’more Krispie Treats, a variation on the open faced S’mores that he’s made for years, but we haven’t brought these to the Flea in 5 years. He was pretty excited to be torching up marshmallows again on Saturday.
My personal favorite, however, are the Brown Butter Toffee Rice Krispie Treats. Made with whisky marshmallows, they’re blended with pecans and house-made toffee. So good! He’s also been baking other large cookies that are exclusive to weekend markets – a Triple Chocolate Chip Cookie and an Oatmeal Date Pretzel Cookie. All have consistently sold out this month by the end of the weekend.
We get asked periodically why we still do the Brooklyn Flea after all these years. Sometimes we question it ourselves after a slow day. We aren’t one of those food stands that have crowds and lines of people all day, and it can sometimes be deflating when your booth is next to a vendor that does, but without a retail store (and with no plans to open one) the Flea continues to be a valuable opportunity to meet directly with customers and for Mark to get out there and represent his products. These past few weekends, however, have been golden and with the addition of these newer products, our booth has been getting steady crowds all day. It’s been a good feeling to be that booth for a change.
We have one more weekend to go for the weekend Flea in Williamsburg and then we’ll be off for a weekend until the Flea goes back outdoors on April 5th.
Oh, and press. A huge photo of our Massaman Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies in Food & Wine. April issue out in stands now.
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Seems like once January hits we’re just buying time till Spring comes, particularly this Winter, the coldest we’ve had in years. It’s downright frigid outside, this Polar Vortex thing we’re having. A few upcoming family birthdays brighten up the next few weeks, but we have to look a little further into the year for the next big thing to break up the days from the repetition of school and work since we’re not going on a February break vacation like we did the past 2 years. Hard to believe that it was already a year ago that we went to Disney – did that really happen? Didn’t realize how much that little bit of winter travel makes the season bearable.
I want to travel more. So much. It’s ironic how we’ve crafted our lives to be as flexible as possible in a day-to-day context, but the business ends up really grounding us here. Now that we’ve put Hawaii on our schedule for next year (one of the reasons why we’re staying put for awhile – gotta save the dollars!), I think about where we should go next. Iceland, I think. I want to see something new, a landscape I’ve never seen before. Might be a few years away, but the girls will be older which might be good for a trip like that. But really, there are so many places to go and dream about. Where are you dreaming of?
P.S. Our Little Box of Valentine Cookies are back in the shop. Those Meyer Lemon Rosemary Cookies are like little bites of summer.
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Hard to believe, but all orders have shipped out today. Another season is done. Is it weird to feel like Christmas is over when we reach this point? We’re sort of over it ourselves already, but the chatter of anticipation from the kids remind us that it’s not. Spent the bulk of the day just sitting around, zoned out and nursing a light cold that has been waiting to manifest. I didn’t really do a single thing of substance today, didn’t have an appetite either and didn’t leave the house. Despite the low energy, it was pretty perfect.
There’s always a bit of a transition when life gets back to post-holiday normal. You really do get used to the constant go go go, then suddenly one day you drive the last of the packages to the post office and afterwards find yourself sitting on the couch eating popcorn and watching SNL Christmas skits. Like the past 4 weeks never happened.
Time can feel so warped.
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Cardamom and star anise gives the drink warmth, body and depth along with the spicy kick. One thing to note about our hot chocolate mixes – it’s not hot cocoa and there is a difference. We use pure chocolate shavings, not cocoa powder like hot cocoa mixes which are often made by adding water. Hot chocolate, also known as drinking chocolate, is a slower process made best by whisking the chocolate into milk over a stove. Mark has discovered that his cheap Ikea milk foamer works like a charm!
Spiced Chile Hot Chocolate is now available in our shop.
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This holiday season feels compressed doesn’t it? I guess because Thanksgiving was so late this year. Christmas is in 3 weeks and we’re in the thick of things right now, but so far, no lost sleep or panicky situations. We have a new car so we don’t have to worry about the car dying in the middle of Times Square on delivery runs like last year or the timing belt falling off while circling around Grand Army Plaza like the year before. It was always the damn car that was the tipping point towards some kind of holiday madness breakdown.
Have you ever tied 250 ribbons? 500? How about 1000? It’s a lot harder than you’d think. We tie shoes and knots all the time, after all, but I remember the first time I underestimated how long or hard tying bows onto packages would be. I thought I would be done in 2 hours, but I ended up struggling with every other bow until I had to search on Youtube the proper way to tie a ribbon so that it’ll lie flat against the package. It’s so counterintuitive to how you tie a shoe. So my life these past few days is tying ribbons and bows for hours upon hours every day. Not so bad if you watch a movie or a show on the laptop (we started and finished The Walking Dead – we’re all caught up for when it resumes in February) and now that I think about it, I can associate a show to most of our holiday seasons. Last year during the massive calender production I watched all of Gossip Girl. The year before was binge watching Mad Men.
Sometimes I laugh when I think to myself, “my life is a pile of ribbons. I have a graduate degree and here I am tying endless ribbons all day”. Of course I want to slap myself for even thinking obnoxious, elitist thoughts, but I’m not going to lie…I do occasionally think them, even if it’s just in jest and I can laugh at myself. But the truth is, there can be something soothing about manual labor, as tedious as it is, and it’s definitely satisfying seeing a pile of finished, neatly bowed packages ready to be delivered. Every year we get faster, holidays are a bit more manageable and near nervous breakdowns seem to be a thing of the past. Hey, who says we’ve haven’t learned a thing or 2?
P.S. Holiday ordering deadline this year is December 13th.
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We missed the peak colors of Fall apparently, but I’ll take any excuse to drive up the Hudson Valley. We didn’t get dazzling color, but we did get fog and a moody overcast day that quite frankly, I often prefer. Sometimes there are compelling enough reasons to blow off all your work so that you can go hang out in the woods, wouldn’t you say? I’m paying for it this week, but that’s what I told myself on Sunday morning when we decided to join Mark for the drive up the Hudson Valley to deliver boxes of cookies to one of our retailers.
It’s true. I have this totally weird, irrational aversion to going into stores that carry our stuff. I can’t explain it…so I won’t, but I will tell you this little anecdote. A company that I have been freelancing for this year has offices in midtown a block away from one of our newest retailers and one day I popped in to kill some time before a meeting. I was standing in front of shelves that had some of our cookies when an employee of the store popped up behind me to tell a customer about cookies of ours he wanted to recommend that he was raving about, only to realize that they had sold out of them. For some reason I blurted out, oh, I own this company and we chatted for a few minutes. They jokingly asked if I had any of the sold out cookies in my bag (I get that a lot, is that strange? Should I start carrying around packages of cookies with me?) Don’t know why I decided not to be anonymous since my normal reaction would be to run away, but what are the chances that I walk into a conversation about our cookies at a store I would otherwise rarely go into?
Speaking of cookies, I don’t know if Mark has ever baked as many as he did this week. Nearly 7,000 cookies baked on Tuesday alone. I still don’t know how he does it, though we do have PT kitchen help now from a dear friend who comes in to help Mark bake. She’s been a lifesaver these last few weeks as we get into the thick of things.
Thanksgiving is in a week. That just snuck in there, didn’t it?
P.S. Head over to our Facebook page for a calendar giveaway…
P.P.S. We had to cancel our last outdoor Flea date this Saturday. We’ll be at the new indoor market in Williamsburg alternating weekends starting in January and back outdoors, of course, starting in April.
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