Sunday, August 23, 2009

Not so Easy

I haven't posted for a month now and not because I've been away or anything. I've been working on starting up a small home-based baking business, but I must say, it's not as easy as it may seem- in theory at least. I spent most of the summer baking and trying out recipes to see what  works well, tastes good and is marketable. I decided to start on a very (very) small basis and, other than pass out the business cards I had made, I have done no formal advertising. With school back in session ( I teach Hebrew at the elementary school level) I thought that bringing some of my products to school would be a good boost. It would also let me know if I could manage working full time and bake on a larger scale at the same time. Like the title of this post says -"not so easy"! Sitting in the teacher's room trying to sell my stuff was too demeaning- just not my style. So for now, I will just be taking orders from those who know my work and like the results. This is a learning and soul-searching experience for me - baking is my passion and it is the thing  I enjoy doing the most- I feel the best when I am doing it- so where does it fit in my life?  Do I concentrate on the decorated cookies and cakes, or branch out into regular baked goods as well ( which is what I've been doing for the past few weeks)? Do I just let it remain as a passion and not try to earn money with it? I don't know at the moment, but I am on the journey to find out.
And.. in the meantime, I can' t post without telling you about at least one of the things I made recently. Unfortunately , I don't have a picture of it  since I was so busy baking, I neglected to take photos of all my work- bright huh?!
This is a recipe for what we call in my family, "pecan cups". It is a recipe from a dear family friend, that has become a real tradition in our house. The recipe is written on a tattered index card, taped into an old recipe notebook of mine.  For some reason, those are the recipes that seem to taste the best! I covered it with plastic wrap to preserve it since I can't bear to throw it away and rewrite it on a clean, new card. 
I'm sure there are many versions of it around- this is mine. Enjoy!

Pecan Cups

1 stick butter ( 100 g.)
1 3 oz. package cream cheese ( 75 g.)
1 cup flour (140 g.)

Blend together in food processor and chill for 30-60 min.
In the meantime, make the filling. Preheat oven to 325 F ( 170 C.)
3/4 cup brown sugar (200 g.)
1 heaping tsp. butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix the filling ingredients together until smooth.
Form small  ( approx. 1 in.) balls of dough and place in a mini- muffin pan. Using your fingers, press dough on bottom and sides of each cup.
Break up some pecans and place a few on the bottom of each dough cup, fill each with a scant teaspoon ( it puffs up ) of filling and then top with more pecans.
Bake for 20-25 mins. unitl lightly browned.
Cool on rack for 10 minutes then remove from pan. I serve them in mini cupcake papers.