By Lorrie Baumann
Crunchy like a cookie, but not a cookie. Gooey like a brownie, but not a brownie. Shaped like a cupcake, but not a cupcake either. It’s a Tennessee Teacake.
Tennessee Teacakes are a southern tradition that, legend has it, originated during the Civil War as a result of severe food shortages in the Old South. According to the legend, a young Southern belle, known for her multi-layered party cakes, wanted to bake one of those when her brother, a Confederate officer, brought home a friend of his to visit. The young woman wanted to make him a cake for his birthday, which happened during the visit, but because food was in short supply during the war, she could only make several small teacakes. They were such a hit with the young man that he returned after the war to marry her.
Jeff Stewart, Director of Marketing – and most everything else – for Mountain Jim’s Tennessee Teacakes, won’t swear to the veracity of the legend, but he says that’s how he heard it when he was growing up, and the tale is popular among Tennesseans who enjoy the treats.
Mountain Jim’s Tennessee Teacakes came to be after Mountain Jim’s, which had been buying its teacakes from another baker to mix into ice cream, had to find a new source. “We were using her teacakes with ice cream that we made, Mountain Jim’s Ice Cream’s Whistling Dixie, which was vanilla ice cream with inclusions of teacakes and praline pecans,” Stewart said. “It was crunchy; it was chewy; it was creamy. It was very popular.”
After the baker’s death in 2011, Stewart couldn’t find anyone else making the teacakes he needed for the popular ice cream flavor. “I had to go into a kitchen and learn how to make tea cakes – and it wasn’t easy. Baking is chemistry, and I failed chemistry in high school,” he said.
Stewart’s three sons, now 14 and a pair of 11-year-olds, were the product testers – and the disposers of the rejects – during the two years that it took him to perfect the recipe. “They would come home from school and ask if I’d made any failures,” he said.
By 2013, his recipe was ready to go. “Everybody says these are delicious. They love the flavor and the mouth feel,” he said. “We’ve been steadily growing since then.” The teacakes have proved so popular that these days, Mountain Jim’s makes ice cream only for special occasions so the company can concentrate on the teacake business.
Mountain Jim’s Tennessee Teacakes are sold in a tin of a dozen that retails for $20 for all vanilla flavor and $22 for assorted flavors and in a glossy white decorated gift box. The box with a dozen vanilla teacakes retails for $12 and the assortment is $14.
For further information, visit www.tnteacakes.com or send orders to email@example.com.
Packaged in a tin of a dozen is $20 for vanilla and $22 for assorted flavors.
By Richard Thompson
Nomoo Cookies has a line of non-dairy cookies on the market for customers who want their sweets, but can’t have – or don’t want – the milk. The company’s brand of snacks use kosher, dairy-free ingredients that the entire family can enjoy. Nomoo Cookies has added new varieties like pineapple and raspberry to traditional favorites such as chocolate chip. While certain cookies may still contain soy, eggs, wheat and nuts, the entire product line is free from any dairy product, making it perfect for those with dairy allergies, are lactose intolerant or looking to keep a kosher diet, according to Gretchen Dossa, General Manager of Nomoo Cookie Company.
Dossa spent years relying on kosher certifications to find safe products for her daughter who suffered a severe dairy-allergy – since those certifications indicated the presence of dairy – to make dairy free, kosher meals. David Bader, who co-founded Nomoo Cookies, spent years making cookies for his family and friends, but noticed many who were following kosher diets unable to enjoy his chocolate cookies. After sharing their frustrations on the lack of non-dairy products available, Bader and Dossa partnered to create Nomoo Cookies.
The company’s kosher-certified, dairy-free line of cookies are all natural and made without preservatives, hydrogenated trans fats or artificial flavors. Offered for retail in single and double packs, as well as by the dozen to consumers, The Nomoo Cookie Company strives to use local ingredients to make snacks that are as close to home baked cookies as possible.
“We are looking for flavors that are fun and interesting for everyone,” says Dossa.
While Big Chipper, with its Belgian chocolate chips, oatmeal and touch of caramel, and Oat-rageous, made with sweet dates, tangy orange zest and rich molasses, offer customers a non-dairy take on traditional staples, new varieties offer a wider range of exotic tastes.
The company’s Almond-Oy is loaded with wholesome almonds, chunks of dark chocolate and shredded coconut, while the Ginger Slap Cookie, a delicious snack that delivers a zing of crystallized ginger, won the Best New Baked Good Award at Kosher Fest in 2014.
In addition to the company’s main line of cookies, each year Nomoo Cookies makes a limited edition cookie that incorporates dried fruit inclusions. Last year, the popular Just Peachy cookie made waves with its soft color and great taste and has been succeeded this year with the Flying Hawaiian with Pineapple, which is made with chewy coconut and bits of pineapple. Currently, the company is working on a new spice cookie that can be considered a non-dairy snickerdoodle, a vanilla-bean sugar cookie made with dried vanilla bean and bean paste and a few vegan cookies.
“Our Flying Hawaiian with Pineapple has gotten a lot of praise,” says Dossa, “Right now, we’re working on getting local raspberries on top of our sugar cookies; that will probably be coming out in a couple of months…When we make cookies, we want people to think they’re really good even if they don’t need to avoid dairy,”
By Lorrie Baumann
Bridor USA has just finished an expansion of its plant in Vineland, New Jersey and is expanding its penetration in the American market. Bridor makes a range of pastries that includes signature croissants, brioches, chocolatines and lattice pastries.
The company started producing its products in the U.S. in 2002 after testing the waters by exporting pastries into the country from France. “We decided to get closer to the market,” says Bridor USA Senior Vice President of Sales Olivier Morel. “It’s very important for us to produce in the U.S…. Our vision is to bring the best European products to the U.S. and Canada.”The technology inside the American plant was imported from Europe, and products are made according to French traditions, including baking with butter, although the butter, like the other ingredients for the pastries, is sourced in the United States. The result is a product that adheres to traditional French standards for quality while delivering the tastes that are familiar to Americans. “The butter, even if it’s a very good quality butter, the taste is slightly different. We make sure to source and to use natural ingredients,” Morel says. “Our people are master bakers. We try to combine tradition with healthy, natural ingredients with innovation.”
That interest in innovation and appeal to American’s tastes comes through in the product line that Bridor makes in the American plant. “In the U.S. there is a high demand for danishes. Here in the U.S. you have danishes containing different fillings,” Morel says. “We’re about to launch a pumpkin danish. It’s a big flavor during the fall in the U.S. That flavor would not be successful in Europe.”
Europeans are simply not as fond of pumpkin flavor as Americans are, he explains. Nor do Europeans generally share Americans’ fondness for cinnamon. Bridor, however, plans to cater to that American taste with a new Cinnamon Brioche. “It’s an amazing product, but cinnamon is not a favorite flavor in Europe,” Morel says. “We wanted to get closer to American consumers, so we had to adapt our products.”
Bridor even has a plan to cater to Americans’ fetish for freshness: Most of its products are sold pre-proofed, egg-washed and ready to bake off in about 15 minutes, so retail bakery departments can respond quickly as their shelf stock is depleted and have a new batch of fresh pastries out of the oven and into the bakery case in a matter of minutes. “By bringing that technology, we bring a new experience to American consumers. Customers can come in and find fresh pastry on the shelf all day,”Morel says. “Our vision is to elevate the quality of the products on the shelf. Our vision is that our products would be fresh all day long.”
Bridor products are designed to be sold at prices that are competitive with other premium products. “Our products are affordable – it’s not a luxury product. It’s a product that can be bought on a daily basis,” Morel says.
Sanders’ cream puff shells are now available in the freezer section at select Michigan Kroger stores, in Sanders Chocolate & Ice Cream Shoppes and online at www.sanderscandy.com in a newly designed resealable pouch.
The packaging update comes after Sanders’ recent launch of its new super premium ice cream cartons, giving shoppers the opportunity to enjoy a real hot fudge cream puff at home using the same ice cream, toppings and cream puffs as Sanders Shoppes.
“We wanted to design a more purposeful package for our cream puff shells that would really showcase the product inside,” said Walter Pilon, Director of Sales – Bakery & Frozen Goods at Sanders and Morley Candy Makers, Inc. “The crisp graphics and delicious recipe ideas on this pouch definitely make it stand out in any freezer section.”
Six cream puff shells were previously packed in simple clear bag with a label and twist tie in the past. While the contents are the same, the vessel has been completely updated to better fit in with the modern, yet nostalgic feel of other Sanders products. The resealable pouch is also self-standing, allowing shoppers to immediately notice the iconic Sanders Hot Fudge Cream Puff on the front, while the backside of the package provides various cream puff recipes.
By Micah Cheek
With gluten free diets making headlines, food companies are putting more focus than ever on their wheat free alternative products. Irene Gottesman, Director of Marketing and Sales at Blends by Orly, credits the shift to the new availability of gluten allergy testing, which has led to children being tested earlier in life. She adds, “When one child is gluten free, often the whole family becomes gluten free.” Parents will start consuming gluten free products make sure their child doesn’t have to eat a different meal than the rest of the family. An added benefit to this is a greater ease in meal planning. This increased consumption has placed gluten free breads, cookies and pastas side by side with their wheat filled counterparts in grocery aisles.
The pre-made foods being produced are a great help to people with gluten sensitivities or allergies, but they still suffer some significant shortfalls. The shelf life of unfrozen gluten free baked goods is generally shorter than baked goods with wheat. This causes many baked goods to come out of their package already stale. Some companies have to resort to using more preservatives to maintain shelf stability. Flavor and texture issues have also cast a bad light on the gluten free market, and discriminating consumers are now driving demand for products that match or exceed the palatability of wheat based baked goods.
Rivaling wheat products is where baking mixes most stand out from other gluten free products. Janine Somers, Director of Marketing at Stonewall Kitchen, says, “Using high quality ingredients and never sacrificing on taste, we develop our gluten free products with the same standards we use for every other Stonewall Kitchen product. Quality and flavor are never compromised.” Due to the popularity of these mixes, gluten free recipes from pizza crust to doughnuts are now being offered. The homemade aspect of these products offers a greater sense of quality and freshness. “Since everything at Stonewall Kitchen starts and ends with quality, we believe the rise in this category for us in particular is due to the fact that our gluten free products are just as tasty and satisfying as our traditional mixes,” Somers says.
The ability to replicate the texture and flavor of wheat based products is determined by the careful mixing of different flours. As the market for gluten free flour blends and baking mixes grows, producers are trying new combinations of grains and starches in an effort to more accurately replicate wheat’s behaviors. Somers says, “While most mixes use potato, rice and tapioca flours, developers are looking at oats which also offer a nutritional quality. Another trend in mix development is the use of bean flours and other grains such as sorghum, chia and millet, which are being used in a combination with other gluten free flours.” Blends by Orly has a collection of flour blends which are designed as one to one wheat flour substitutes in any recipe, rather than a single product mix. “The reason we’re able to say it rivals wheat products,” says Gottesman, “Is because we tested them against wheat recipes.” Blends by Orly baked classic recipes with their flours, taste testing them on people who regularly ate gluten. This helped to eventually match the familiar qualities of the original product.
The emotional motivator for making gluten-free products at home comes from how customers feel they are perceived personally. Buying gluten free products can make consumers feel like their eating habits or restrictions are on display. Gluten free packaging is often distinct from other packages, and is marketed primarily for health rather than flavor. Gottesman says, “When you’re buying something for a dietary issue, you don’t want to feel like you’re in a pharmacy all the time.”
Crumbzz Cakes were first created over 400 years ago in what is now Austria. Introduction to the New World came with the first wave of immigrants. First offered to the public in 1999, the Sadler family crumb cake found a welcome home in the tiny Hudson Valley hamlet of Highland Falls in upstate New York.
In 2001 J. Stephen Sadler decided to satisfy the many requests of out of town customers by shipping the Crumbzz Cakes across the U.S. In 2002 J. Stephen sold his bakery and moved to Dallas, Texas. Eleven years after the recipe was lost in a dusty old box, J. Stephen is again creating his famous Crumbzz Cake.
Each Crumbzz Cake creation is artisan-crafted to order using the world’s finest ingredients. Bourbon vanilla from Madagascar, Saigon cinnamon from Vietnam, dark Muscovado brown sugar from the Mauritius Islands, European low gluten flour, Origine chocolates from Tanzania, locally produced free-range eggs, premium unsalted butter from Guernsey cows and Hungarian Lekvar Preserves are all part of every Crumbzz Cake. No mixes, artificial ingredients, preservatives or chemical additives are used in the cakes.
Crumbzz offers several varieties of the 10 inch round cakes that include Old World Cinnamon Streusel, Fruit Of The Seasons, Chocolate De La Terre and Carmel Sea Salt. These decadent cakes are the perfect gift for an important business client, someone special or as treat for yourself.
All Crumbzz Cakes and Minizz Snack Cakes are exquisitely packaged in black belted leather finished boxes, wrapped in imported jacquard ribbons and finished with old-world wax seals. Personalized chef cards, individually signed by the creating chef, accompany each cake. Gifted cakes also receive gold leafed gift cards with personalized messages that provide the ultimate finishing touch.
For more information or to purchase, contact: Crumbzz, www.crumbzz.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 214.864.8060.
German baker Hans Freitag celebrates an orchard of flavor with a trio of wafer debuts. Named for its fruity goodness, the new line of wafers, called Fresh Lemon, Fresh Apple and Fresh Berry, blooms with delicious flavor. The square, crispy wafers are packaged in bags with appealing pastel hues of lemon, apple green and pink. Designed specifically for the U.S., the generous 10.6-ounce bags are well-priced at $4.49-$5.16. Imported by Carl Brandt, Inc., Fairfield, Connecticut. For more information, call 800.275.4326 or email email@example.com.
Holiday entertaining is not the same without Vanilla Bean Unique Cookies. The company’s Clementine Sandwich Cookies are made with real butter, pure cane sugar, cage-free eggs and fresh orange zest. The unique combination of crisp, buttery, orange-infused shortbread cookies sandwiched with a slightly sweet and tart butter cream creates a burst of unique flavors. As one customer said, “It’s like sunshine.” What better way to spend an afternoon than relaxing with a cup of tea and a Vanilla Bean Clementine Sandwich Cookie?
Packaged in a new carton which is bright and beautiful, Vanilla Bean Clementine Sandwich Cookies make a great addition to holiday gift offerings. Customers love making lasting first impressions, which is easy to do with these cookies. Vanilla Bean Unique Clementine Sandwich Cookies are the perfect gift for any season.
For more information on Vanilla Bean Unique Cookies, www.vanillabeanuniquecookies.com.
Celebrate the joy of the holiday season surrounded by friends and family with The Invisible Chef’s Holiday Collection. The collection features flavors steeped in tradition in products that are designed to save time while creating new family memories. While the fire is roaring and the snow is falling, just add a few ingredients to The Invisible Chef’s mixes, and your holiday baking is complete. The mixes make a perfect gift and are sure to delight everyone, making the holidays sparkle with love!
Featured flavors from The Invisible Chef include Chocolate Peppermint Coffee & Tea Cakes, Cranberry Spice Scones, Red Velvet Cupcake Kit and Macaroon Chocolate Chip Blondies. Each mix is blended with all-natural ingredients and needs just a few items from your kitchen to bake and enjoy.
Other favorites from The Invisible Chef product line include the company’s Coffee & Tea Cakes, Blondies & Brownies, Frosted & Fabulous Cupcake Kits, Bake It Quick Breads, Simple Sweet & Savory Muffins, Bed & Breakfast Favorites (including scones, pancakes and waffles) and Cookie Jar Classics. With so many categories and flavors to choose from, you’re sure to find a favorite.
For nearly 20 years, Sisters’ Gourmet has made baking easy and convenient with its eye-catching dessert mixes. As a gift, these mixes are attractive and unique, and the jars are reusable. Since the packaging is a key “ingredient” at Sisters’ Gourmet, the jars stand out on the store shelf. Customers love being able to see the ingredients in the jars, which are carefully measured and proudly packed by hand in the United States.
Using only the highest-quality ingredients available that not only taste good but are good for you, such as whole grain oats, sun ripened cranberries and select indulgent chocolates, most mixes require the addition of just eggs and butter to make about three dozen cookies.
Sisters’ Gourmet was founded by Lisa Sorensen and her sister Suzy. It is now owned and operated by Lisa and her husband Rob. They produce gourmet baking mixes which are sold directly to consumers via their website as well as to specialty shops worldwide. Products have been featured in the finest specialty shops and have been selected as some of Oprah’s favorite products on her coveted O-list. Everything is produced in a facility 45 minutes NE of Atlanta. All of the layered mixes are packed by hand and use only the best ingredients available.