Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Gathering and Trying Recipes

One of my favorite things to do is look for new recipes online. An awesome resource for excellent and inventive recipes is TasteSpotting. They post so many cool ideas! I've been pinning ideas on Pinterest for weeks and am trying to decide which ones to try first.

I recently bought some mini tart pans and think I will embark on a tart making journey this weekend. My boyfriend and I are having another couple over to make sushi and watch the Oscars on Sunday, so what would be better for dessert than indulging in some tartlets??

Here are some of the recipes I'm considering...

Strawberry Tartlets with Honey Mascarpone Filling

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Pistachio Tartlets
Recipe from Life is Great

Banana Cream Tartlets
Recipe from Cook and Be Merry

Caramelized Apple and Honey Tart
Recipe from Citrus and Candy

They all look so good! I think I should stick to just two, but I can't decide which two! I think one will definitely have to be the chocolate raspberry. Because chocolate. Duh. But the second one is totally up in the air. Help me decide!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I'm almost for real!

Last week I went down to the county clerk office to register for a Fictitious Business Name, which means that no one else can officially have my business name in this county. Tartlet Bakery is all mine!!! WEEOOOO!!!

Well... almost. After you apply for a name, you have to post the application in a publication for four consecutive weeks! Sheesh! Luckily they give you a list of acceptable publications and their contact information. All you have to do is pick one, fax in your application info and BOOM! Publicized!

I posted mine with the Rossmoore News because my grandma lives there and maybe she'll see it :P So it will be running starting next Wednesday for four Wednesdays in a row. After that, I'l official! Huzzah!!

Boring yet exciting stuff :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bake Sale Success!

The bake sale was a big success!! I sold every item except one little bag of french macarons and actually turned a bit of a profit! I had been expecting to just break even because I spent a good amount investing in supplies that I'll be using over and over, but a PROFIT! Yaaaay!!! It was really fun and I got a lot of good responses from the people who bought my product. 

Getting ready for the sale was really fun but extremely exhausting. I baked most of the day Sunday and all day Monday. My back was killing me and my kitchen was covered in a layer of flour, but I loved it. 

I started with the macarons because I was most nervous about them. Everyone says how tricky they can be. Since I was making mini cookies, I had to do about a bajillion of them. My wrist was killing me after all that piping! About half of them turned out messed up because they burst open instead of having that gorgeous smooth top. But the half that turned out good looked beautiful. My boyfriend wasn't too bummed about eating the messups either :).
I filled them with raspberry jam and they were quite tasty!

I did the madeleines next and those were really fun, and I think they might have been my favorite. I got a really great pan from Amazon. This pan... It worked super well and I had no stick problems at all! I did butter and flour it first, but the cookies popped right out and looked amazing. They also tasted SO GOOD. I browned the butter for the recipe and it really added another layer of flavor. Browned butter is the best thing in the universe, if you ask me. After they were all done, I lined them up on parchment paper and sprinkled on the powdered sugar. Oh and one thing I forgot to do was put in red food coloring. I totally meant to do that, and it just flew out of my brain. Oh well. 

I made the chocolate dipped strawberries last because I learned that after a bit they start to leak strawberry juice through the chocolate and that's gross. A lady at work told me about a good vegan dark chocolate, so I used that to do the dipping. I made packages of four that included one plain, one dipped in crushed pecans, one dipped in pearl sprinkles, and one dipped in red sugar. I was pretty impressed with how they turned out!

I also made marshmallow, but didn't realize it has to dry out overnight, so I didn't get a chance to dip them in chocolate and package them in time for the sale. 

I really wanted all of the packaging to be gifty and I was hoping to target guys who needed last minute Valentine's Day presents for their wives / girlfriends. Everything turned out exactly how I wanted.

I ended up selling the chocolate strawberries for $6, the madeleines for $4 and the french macarons for $3. 

All in all, it was a ton of work, but also a ton of fun! My next step is to get some of this stuff up on Etsy  with the pictures that I took. I'd also like to start sketching logos so that I can get my business cards going. I'm super stoked to keep this momentum going!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Something I always struggle with is pricing my product. It doesn't matter what I'm selling, I wrestle with the balance between valuing my product and not wanting to take advantage of customers. And of course, making sure the product will actually sell.

For handmade specialty food items, what do you charge? I did some research online (Etsy, bakery sites, etc.), and came up with the following prices for my Valentine's Day bake sale items...

I'm a little unsure on the strawberry prices. I may take that down a little, but otherwise I feel good about this. Unless my stuff turns out crappy. Then I'll probably have to make everything a dollar, haha.

Any thoughts on this pricing?