Archive for the ‘Classes’ Category

Holiday Cookie Decorating and Business Workshop

Saturday, November 21st, 2015

……………………………………………………………………………….

On November 8, SweetAmbs and Baking Fix held a holiday cookie decorating and business workshop for twelve students. The day was split into two parts. In the morning, Amber taught some of her favorite cookie decorating techniques to make beautiful holiday designs. In the afternoon, we learned about the Home-Based Baking Business: an introduction and overview of the necessary steps to running a profitable business.

………………………………………………………..

 

The holiday cookies!

Amber demonstrated each technique before students began practicing.

...

...

...

...

Cookies were left to dry on sheet trays. A fan promotes faster drying.

...

Amber's display table with many of her cookies.

The table was a wealth of ideas for new business owners.

Thank you cookies! A great new product idea.

Amber's demos continued all morning.

Notice how Amber holds the bag and positions her arm.

  • ...

    ...

    ...

    ...

    Every student received a box to take home cookies.

    ...

    We took a break and ate lunch provided by SweetAmbs. In the afternoon we talked about the business end of running a successful baking/decorating business.

    Keep an eye on Amber’s website for more upcoming classes. If you’re unable to attend classes at Amber’s studio in New York’s Hudson Valley, you can purchase video tutorials here.

    Notebook!

    Amber has notebooks, calendars, jigsaw puzzles, and note cards available on Zazzle.

    And the latest news: Amber’s decorating cookbook will be published next fall.

    Visit Amber on Facebook

    Home-Based Baking at its Best!

    Visit Us on Facebook

    RETURN HOME
    RETURN TO THE FIX

    Join SweetAmbs and Baking Fix

    Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

     

    ...

    How To Start A Home-Based Baking Business And Cookie Decorating Workshop! The day will be split up into two parts. In the morning, Amber of SweetAmbs will teach you some of her favorite cookie decorating techniques to make beautiful holiday designs.

    In the afternoon, we’ll learn about the Home-Based Baking Business: Do you love to bake, decorate, and give away holiday cookies? Have you ever thought about selling your cookies? More than forty states have a cottage food law that permits individuals to run a home-based baking business. This class is an introduction and overview of the necessary steps to running a profitable business; students will leave class with a checklist for getting started. For anyone interested in learning about the business of home baking, this class is for you.

    The decorating portion of the class is suitable for beginners as well as those with some experience in cookie decorating. We will provide all materials as well as lunch and refreshments. You don’t need to bring anything with you to class.

    To register, visit SweetAmbs Classes

    Home-Based Baking at its Best!

    Visit Us on Facebook

    RETURN HOME
    RETURN TO THE FIX

    Teaching with SweetAmbs

    Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

    ...

    Last Saturday, Amber and I spent the day with a lovely group of talented cookie artists. It’s always a pleasure to teach with Amber Spiegel. In the morning, Amber taught decorating; and in the afternoon students learned the steps to starting a home-based food business.

    As part of Amber's style, there were periodic demos throughout the morning.

    In between, students were back at their seats practicing while Amber walked around answering questions and helping with technique.

    Initial practice was done on paper

    and then on the cookies.

    Finished cookies were set on trays to dry. At the end of the day, everyone took home their decorated cookies.

    We spent the afternoon reviewing steps for starting a home-based food business. Students came from New York, New Jersey, Florida, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Ohio.

    For more info about SweetAmbs and her classes.

    Visit Amber on Facebook

    Home-Based Baking at its Best!

    Visit Us on Facebook

    RETURN HOME
    RETURN TO THE FIX

    Pie Class Practice

    Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

    It was another excellent pie class! We made fillings and pie dough, then rolled out our crust. Making great pies is a matter of practice, practice, practice…

    We rolled out the dough

    then added the filling.

    A few important points: 1. Have fillings made before rolling out the pie crust. 2. Rolling cold pie dough is easier, but you can also make the dough and roll it immediately. 3. Use a light touch and lots of flour when rolling out dough.

    Everyone took home two pies - a double crust apple and an open-faced walnut chocolate chip. Plus a few bonus strudels.

    We had extra dough and filling, so while waiting for the pies to bake we rolled out strudels filled with either apple, cherry, or a raisin/date/apricot mixture.

    Everyone kept calling the apple strudel "Apple Burritos."

    For extra pointers with step by step photos, read Perfect Pie Crust Tips and Tricks for the Beginner, a blog post by Pam Harris.

    Home-Based Baking at its Best! Customers love fresh fruit pies. If you don’t already have pies in your product line-up, please consider adding them during the summer season.

    Visit Us on Facebook

    RETURN HOME
    RETURN TO THE FIX

    Business Class at SweetAmbs

    Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

    How To Start A Home-Based Baking Business And Cookie Decorating Workshop

    This class will be held at SweetAmbs studio in Beacon, New York. The day will be split up into two parts. In the morning, Amber of SweetAmbs will teach you some of her favorite cookie decorating techniques including flooding with royal icing, the wet-on-wet technique, and brush embroidery.

    In the afternoon, guest instructor Mimi Fix of BakingFix will hold a lecture on The Home-Based Baking BusinessMore than forty states have a cottage food law that permits individuals to run a home-based baking business. This class is an introduction and overview of the necessary steps to running a profitable business; students will leave class with a checklist for getting started. For anyone interested in learning about the business of home baking, this class is for you.

    The decorating portion of the class is suitable for beginners as well as those with some experience in cookie decorating. We will provide all materials as well as lunch and refreshments. You don’t need to bring anything with you to class.

    Register at SweetAmbs

    Visit SweetAmbs on Facebook

    Home-Based Baking at its Best!

    Visit Us on Facebook

    RETURN HOME
    RETURN TO THE FIX

    Biscotti Class

    Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

    ...

    Biscotti are twice-baked cookies which become dry and firm after extended time in the oven. With excess moisture removed through the twice-baked process, they can be stored for long periods of time without tasting stale. This classic coffee shop treat is a wonderful go-together with any preferred drink – coffee, tea, hot cocoa, wine, milk, or juice.

    In last weeks class we made two kinds of biscotti – almond, and a cherry walnut. Biscotti is one of the easiest cookies to make. Dough is formed into logs and baked until firm and medium golden brown. An important key is to measure flour correctly – don’t add too much or the dough will crumble.

    Before forming our logs we took some of the dough, rolled it into equal-sized balls, rolled the balls in colored sugar, and baked them once. We now had a tasty snack while waiting for the logs to bake.

    After the almond biscotti was baked, sliced, and toasted, we drizzled them with chocolate.

    Almond Biscotti
    ½  cup butter
    1 cup granulated sugar
    3 large eggs
    1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 ½ teaspoons almond extract
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    ½ teaspoon salt
    optional, sliced almonds, 1/2 cup
    optional, chocolate for melting

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment or foil.
    2. In medium bowl, beat together butter and sugar; then beat in eggs and extracts.
    3. Add flour, baking powder, and salt until thoroughly combined. Mix in almonds, if using. This should be a soft, but firm dough.
    4. Separate dough into two pieces. On prepared cookie sheet, form each half into a log.
    5. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until no imprint remains when gently touched.
    6. Cool until you can handle logs, then gently slice into ½-inch pieces. A serrated knife works best. Turn onto their cut sides.
    7. With the oven still at 350 degrees toast for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
    8. When cool, store airtight. Cookies keep well for several weeks.
    9. Optional, drizzle with chocolate.

    Home-Based Baking at its Best! Remember, biscotti is a long shelf life product!

    Visit Us on Facebook

    RETURN HOME
    RETURN TO THE FIX

    Starting Your Home-Based Baking Business

    Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

    Join us at the SweetAmbs studio on Saturday, February 28, in Beacon New York for our class:

    Start Your Home-Based Baking Business

    Do you love to bake? More than forty states now have a cottage food law that allows for home-based baking. Whether you’ve always envisioned yourself with a small food business, would like a second source of income, or want to stay at home and be your own boss, this class will guide you step-by-step through the entire process, from your initial business plan through delivery of products to your customers.

    ...

    For anyone interested in learning how to run a profitable part-time or full-time home-based baking business, this class is for you. Leave class with a business plan and a checklist for moving ahead. If you’re unable to bake from home, alternatives will be discussed.

    Start Your Home-Based Baking Business for more information and to register.

    For more information about other SweetAmbs classes and tutorials.
    SweetAmbs on Facebook

    Home-Based Baking at its Best! Learn how to start your own home-based baking business.

    Visit Us on Facebook

    RETURN HOME
    RETURN TO THE FIX

    Baking With Almond Paste, Class

    Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

    Almond paste is a firm, dense mixture of almonds and sugar. It’s used in many classic European recipes such as basic almond cakes; macaroons; Italian cookies such as rainbows (Neapolitans), crescents, Amoretti, and basic butter cookies; and is used as the filling in frangipane tarts, Danish, and Stollen. In my baking, I use it extensively in frangipane (my favorite way to bake seasonal tarts and pies), coffeecakes, biscotti, and butter cookies.

    Almond paste is similar to marzipan, a candy that contains almond paste plus a sugar syrup. The paste is pricey, but it’s not difficult to make from scratch, although it’s difficult to get the consistency as smooth as the factory made variety.

    Last night we had a full class and made Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies, Almond Biscotti, and Almond Drop Cookies.

    Full class!

    Almond chocolate chip cookies.

    Above, these cookies are the most favorite of all!

    Cherry Almond Biscotti

    Italian Drop Cookies

    Other products I often make: Frangipane Crumb Bars,

    Frangipane Pear Tart,

    Frangipane Plum Tarts,

    Peach 'n Plum Frangipane Pies,

    and Almond Pastries.

    Frangipane Filling
    1 cup almond paste (8 ounces)
    1 cup sugar
    ½ cup butter
    4 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 teaspoon almond
    ½ cup flour
    ¼ teaspoon salt

    Beat together almond paste, sugar, and butter. Add eggs and extracts, beating until smooth. Mix in flour and salt. Spread thin layer over tart crust or use as filling for other products. Store in fridge.

    Fresh fruit season is perfect for selling this product, especially at farmers’ markets. Make individual tarts or a large tart cut into small pieces. Optional: add a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.

    Home-Based Baking at its Best!

    Visit Us on Facebook

    RETURN HOME
    RETURN TO THE FIX

    Knishes, the Meal in a Pocket

    Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

    Potato Knishes

    Knishes are a filling wrapped up in dough. Eastern European immigrants arriving in the early 1900’s brought knishes to North America. With our current food trend, the popularity of this item has grown and expanded across the country.

    Knish class! We used a classic oil-based dough and learned how to create our own savory, handheld treats. Traditional fillings are potato, meat, and sweet or savory cheese.

    ...

    ……

    ...

    ...

    ...

    ...

    ...

    ...

    ...

    KNISHES yield 17 oz. dough (8 medium knish, or two logs)
    Dough

    1 large egg
    ¼ cup vegetable oil
    ½ cup water
    1 teaspoon vinegar
    2 cups all-purpose flour (8.5 oz.) plus more for kneading and rolling
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    ¼ teaspoon salt

    Potato Filling

    3 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced (approx. 1 pound)
    1 small onion, peeled and diced
    1 tablespoon butter
    1-2 tablespoons milk
    ½ teaspoon salt (or celery salt), black pepper, to taste

    Egg wash, optional, 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water

    1. For dough: In a small bowl, mix together egg, oil, water, and vinegar. Add dry ingredients and stir to combine. Knead until smooth, about one minute. Wrap dough in a flat disk and chill at least 30 minutes, or up to several days.
    2. For filling: Cook potatoes until tender. Drain and mash. Mix in remaining ingredients. Cool.
    3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line large baking sheet with parchment or foil.
    4. Roll dough into rectangle, as thin as possible. Form filling into log and roll up jelly roll style. Place seam side down on baking sheet. Make indentations on the log every few inches. Use the palm of your hand to flatten the knish into a squat shape.
    5. Egg wash if desired, and bake 40-50 minutes, until golden brown.

    Notes:
    1. May use leftover mashed potatoes for filling. Other fillings are meat, kasha, broccoli, spinach and cheese, and sweet cheese.
    2. Other doughs that work are pie dough, rugelach dough, puff pastry, phyllo.
    3. Instead of logs, form individual square, round, or rectangular pockets; may bake in muffin cups.

    Home-Based Baking at its Best! There’s no standard of identity for the knish, so you have the freedom to be creative.

    Visit Us on Facebook

    RETURN HOME
    RETURN TO THE FIX

     

    Cookie Decorating and Marketing Workshop

    Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

    Last weekend, SweetAmbs and Baking Fix held a cookie decorating and marketing workshop for 12 students. The morning was spent learning flooding, wet-on-wet technique, and  brush embroidery. In the afternoon we talked about marketing our business and selling our cookies.

    ...

    Amber demonstrated each new technique before students began practicing.

    ...

    Finished cookies were left to dry on half sheet trays

    and the trays were loaded into a cooling rack.

    ...

    ...

    ...

    ...

    We took a break and ate lunch provided by SweetAmbs. In the afternoon we talked about the marketing aspect of running a cookie business. It’s important to organize your thoughts to begin a marketing plan that fits into your overall business plan. This includes developing a concept and structuring a brand, then identifying your target market while enjoying the market research.

    Keep an eye on Amber’s website for more upcoming classes. Baking Fix classes are posted here.

    And the latest news: Amber is working on a book! More information after the contract is signed!!

    Home-Based Baking at its Best!

    Visit Us on Facebook

    RETURN HOME
    RETURN TO THE FIX