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  • December 17, 2018 2:35 PM | Anonymous

    On the twelfth and final day of our 12 Days of Christmas Desserts, 
    we are featuring other Holiday Specialties!

    We hope you have enjoyed our 12 Days of Christmas Desserts.
    Here are just a few more to tempt your sweet tooth! 


    Chocolate Cake with Peppermint Mousse from Simma's Bakery


    Cakesicles from HotCakes by Tara


    Candy Cane Cupcake from Sweet Perfections Bake Shoppe


    Peanut Brittle from 600 Sweets & Treats


    Holiday Fabu-lux Cupcakes from Tamara's the Cake Guru


    Black Forest Torte from Clasen's European Bakery


    Variety of Bars from Flakey Jo's Homemade Pastries


    Jumbo Holiday Cupcakes from Carl's Cakes


    Seafoam from Hill Top Bakery


    Fudge Mint Torte from Sally's Sweet Shoppe


    Gingerbread Christmas Sleighs from Linda's Bakery


    Tom & Jerry Mix from Manderfield's Home Bakery


    O'Fudge Chocolate Cake from O&H Danish Bakery


    To find a WBA Member bakery near you, click here.


    Previous post:
    Day 11 - Kringle




  • December 16, 2018 8:55 AM | Anonymous

    On the eleventh day of our 12 Days of Christmas Desserts, 
    we are featuring Kringle!

    Kringle from O&H Danish Bakery

    Wisconsin has a rich history where the kringle is involved and Wisconsin’s bakers know it! While it’s delicious all year round, the holiday season is the perfect time to celebrate this tasty pastry. An authentic Danish kringle has 32 layers of flaky dough filled with variety of fruit and/or nut fillings.

    A kringle is made by repeatedly folding together butter and flour, then refrigerating the dough which produces the delicate, flaky texture.

    Kringle from Sally's Sweet Shoppe

    Kringles were first created by Austrian bakers who introduced their method of rolling butter between layers of yeast dough and letting it rest for hours before baking.  When Danish bakers in Copenhagen went on strike in 1850, the bakery owners fired them and hired replacements from Austria.  Once the Danish bakers returned to their jobs, they continued to make dough the Austrian way. 

    Kringle from Uncle Mike's Bake Shoppe

    Originally, kringles were baked in a pretzel shape in Denmark; therefore, outside every bakery in Denmark, you will find a sign with a kringle on it. As legend tells, the reason for this symbol was because when Vienna was besieged by the Turkish Ottoman armies in 1529, local bakers working in the night, gave the city an early warning of the attacking enemy. For this, they were later rewarded by the Pope, with permission to use a crown as part of their kringle guild symbol. For unknown reasons, the guild in Denmark is now the only baker's guild in the world with official authority to display a royal crown as part of their baker's guild trade symbol.

    Kringle from Clasen's European Bakery

    The kringle recipe was brought over to the United States by Danish immigrants in the late 1800’s. American kringles are hand-rolled from Danish pastry dough that has been rested overnight before shaping, filling, and baking. Many sheets of the flaky dough are layered, then shaped. After filling with fruit, nut, or other flavor combinations, the pastry is baked and iced. The Kringle became the Official State Pastry of Wisconsin in 2013. Racine, Wisconsin has historically been a center of Danish-American culture and kringle making. Many bakers in America adopted the easy-to-serve oval shape instead of the traditional pretzel shape; the oval shape allowed for the kringle to contain more delicious filling!

    Kringle from Hill Top Bakery

    Kringle fun facts:

    • Almond, pecan and raspberry are among the most popular Kringle flavors
    • It takes about three days to make a Kringle from start to finish

    With 32 flaky layers packed with flavor, you’re sure to add the kringle to your list of holiday must-haves. After all, the kringle has a special place in Wisconsin’s heart.

    Find Yule Logs at one of these WBA member bakeries:

    Clasen's European Bakery

    Hill Top Bakery

    Manderfield's Home Bakery

    Neat-O's Bake Shoppe

    O&H Danish Bakery

    Sally's Sweet Shoppe

    Uncle Mike's Bake Shoppe

    To find a WBA Member bakery near you, click here.


    Previous post:
    Day 10 - Yule Logs



  • December 15, 2018 11:39 AM | Anonymous

    On the tenth day of our 12 Days of Christmas Desserts, 
    we are featuring Yule Logs!

    Yule Logs from The SweetSpot Bakehouse

    The Yule Log cake or the Bûche de Noël for you French speakers, is a classic French Christmas dessert used to symbolize a tradition that goes back centuries. The yule log cake consists of a rolled, filled sponge cake, covered with rich chocolate frosting to resemble tree bark. They are then often decorated with powdered sugar, meant to look like snow, meringue or marzipan mushrooms, fresh berries, and any other sort of edible decoration to complete the look of a freshly chopped log.

    Yule Log from Manderfield's Home Bakery

    The yule log cake has a long and delicious history:

    The custom of burning the Yule Log goes back to before medieval times during Europe’s Iron Age. The word “yule” was the name of the old Winter Solstice festivals in Scandinavia and other parts of northern Europe. During that time, Celtic Brits and Gaelic Europeans would celebrate the Winter Solstice and the days finally becoming longer, signaling the end of winter.

    Yule Log from LushLife Vegan Bakery

    Originally, the Yule Log was an entire tree that was carefully chosen and brought into the house. The burning of the log symbolized the cleansing of the previous year and the ushering in of the new spring. The largest end of the log would be placed into the fire while the rest of the tree stuck out into the room. Once the log was burned, the ashes were considered valuable because they contained medicinal benefits and would guard against evil. Some kept the ashes inside their houses because they believed it would protect the house from lightning, which was important during a time when houses were mostly made of wood.

    Yule Logs from Hill Top Bakery

    The custom of the Yule Log spread all over Europe and different types of wood are used in different regions. In England, oak is traditional; in Scotland, birch was used; while in France, cherry was the tree of choice. Of course, soon hearths became smaller, so the logs did too. In some cases, different chemicals (like those found in wine and salt) would be sprinkled on the wood to create different colored flames when the log was burned.

    Yule Log from Sweet Perfections Bake Shoppe

    While it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the first yule log cake was created, but based on the ingredients, it could’ve been as early as the 17th century. However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that Parisian bakers popularized the cake, and different bakeries became known for their more elaborate and elegant decorations. It is believed that the cake was created to symbolize the yule log tradition in places like Paris where burning a yule log wasn’t practical because of the lack of large fireplaces in the crammed city apartments.

    Yule Log from Carl's Cakes

    While yule log cakes aren’t as popular today, they are still a favorite Christmas dessert in many households and a favorite for bakeries to display in their storefronts this time of year. So celebrate the holidays and the welcome in the New Year with this symbolic and tasty tradition! We guarantee yule love it!

    Find Yule Logs at one of these WBA member bakeries:

    Carl's Cakes 

    Clasen's European Bakery

    Hill Top Bakery

    Linda's Bakery

    LushLife Vegan Bakery

    Manderfield's Home Bakery

    O&H Danish Bakery

    Rocket Baby Bakery

    Sweet Perfections Bake Shoppe

    The SweetSpot Bakehouse

    To find a WBA Member bakery near you, click here.


    Previous post:
    Day 9 - Christmas Cookies


  • December 14, 2018 10:06 AM | Anonymous

    On the ninth day of our 12 Days of Christmas Desserts, 
    we are featuring Christmas Cookies!

    Christmas Cookies from Carl's Cakes

    From Peanut Butter Blossoms to rosettes, decorated cut-outs to sprinkled spritz, spread some holiday cheer this year with Christmas cookies!  Whether they’re for a cookie exchange or for Santa, cookies are perhaps the most loved of holiday desserts because they are quick and easy to make and are loved by even the pickiest of eaters. 

    Christmas Cookies from Just Bakery

    It’s a time of year when we heat up our ovens and whip up countless holiday sweets. More than just delicious treats, baking Christmas cookies can add a little fun and a whole lot of memories! They’re a favorite for families of all ages to decorate. Everyone loves mixing the dough, using cookie cutters to cut the dough into different shapes, and of course the best part - decorating them with colorful frostings and sprinkles or dipping them in chocolate!

    Christmas Cookies from Lylli & Ivi Cakes and Sweet Treat Cafe

    Cookie were most likely created by accident. Historians think the idea of cookies was conceived by a Middle Eastern baker way back during the seventh century. The baker didn’t want to waste ingredients so he decided to sell the small batter cakes he used to test the temperature of his cooking oven. The ingenious idea used to eliminate waste by selling these tasty mini-cakes caught on and a revolutionary sugar-based creation was born.

    Christmas Cookies from 600 Sweets & Treats

    It’s very likely that some of the first cookies weren't decorated with sprinkles and frosting or decorated at all. In fact, some of the first cookie recipes that came about in 17th century Europe required the baker to boil the dough before baking it. The dough was rolled, cut into narrow strips and tied in a knot before being boiled and baked. The result was a cross between the modern bagel and a cookie.

    Christmas Cookies from National Bakery & Deli

    The sugar cookie can be traced back to the mid-18th century in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. German Protestant settlers created the round, buttery cookie and it became known as the Nazareth Sugar Cookie. To preserve its heritage as the birthplace of the modern sugar cookie, the Nazareth Sugar Cookies was adopted as Pennsylvania's official cookie through a House bill introduced in 2001. It’s safe to say Nazareth is very proud of their cookies.

    Christmas Cookies from Bakery on Terrace

    Fun Facts:

    • National Cookie Day is December 4th!
    • The cookie cutter was invented in 1875 to help make cutting complicated shapes easier!
    • The tradition of leaving milk and cookies for Santa can be traced back to the Great Depression in the 1930s! American parents at the time tried to teach their children the importance of being kind and charitable. This tradition is still around today and many kids also remember Santa’s reindeer by leaving carrots for them, too!

    Christmas Cookies from Rocket Baby Bakery


    Find Christmas Cookies at one of these WBA member bakeries:

    600 Sweets & Treats

    Bakery on Terrace

    Carl's Cakes 

    Clasen's European Bakery

    Hill Top Bakery

    Just Bakery

    Linda's Bakery

    Lylli & Ivi Cakes & Sweet Treat Cafe

    Manderfield's Home Bakery

    Monzu Bakery & Custom Cakes

    National Bakery & Deli

    Neat-O's Bake Shoppe

    O&H Danish Bakery

    Rocket Baby Bakery

    Sally's Sweet Shoppe

    Sweet Perfections Bake Shoppe

    Tamara's the Cake Guru

    To find a WBA Member bakery near you, click here.


    Previous post:
    Day 8 - Gingerbread

    Next post:
    Day 10 - Yule Logs


  • December 13, 2018 10:46 AM | Anonymous

    On the eighth day of our 12 Days of Christmas Desserts, 
    we are featuring Gingerbread!

    Gingerbread Cookies from Rocket Baby Bakery

    Gingerbread is a type of baked good that is typically flavored with ginger, cloves, nutmeg or cinnamon and sweetened with honey, sugar or molasses to create a yummy, spiced treat. Gingerbread can vary from a soft, moist loaf cake to something close to a ginger snap. 

    Gingerbread Cupcakes from Classy Girl Cupcakes

    Gingerbread is used to construct the walls and roof of the “gingerbread house” and then royal icing is added to create the illusion of snow. Houses are then decorated with various types of candies to complete the look.

    Honey House from Hill Top Bakery

    But how did the tradition of Gingerbread come about? Ginger root first appeared in ancient Asia, but the Crusades or the 11th allowed the root to be brought to Europe. Ginger was thought to have medicinal properties and was used to disguise the taste of preserved meats.

    During Medieval times, ginger cookies became a favorite in many parts of the continent, including France, Holland and England. The cookies were often cut into various shapes, decorated with gold leaf, and displayed at fairs.

    Gingerbread Cookies from Manderfield's Home Bakery

    Gingerbread houses were first created in Germany during the 16th century. Nuremberg was recognized as the "Gingerbread Capital of the World" and master bakers and skilled workers were employed to create complicated works of art from gingerbread. However, they didn’t become popular until the Brothers Grimm published the story of Hansel and Gretel in 1812. The tale of children stumbling upon a house made of sweets was adopted by people who wanted to recreate the delicious-sounding house while also making it more festive and merry, instead of creepy. Also thanks to the popular children’s story, the idea of making gingerbread houses spread to the United States.

    Gingerbread House from Monzu Bakery & Custom Cakes

    Fun fact time: the world’s largest gingerbread house was built in 2013 at the Traditions Golf Club in Bryan, Texas. The house required a building permit and used 4,000 gingerbread bricks during its construction. The delectable structure is 60 feet by 42 feet and measures up to 20 feet tall. Starting with a wood base, it took 1,800 pounds of butter, 7,200 eggs, 3,000 pounds of sugar, 7,200 pounds of flour and over 200 volunteers to become the tasty, record-breaking reality it is today. But what’s a gingerbread house without some decoration? More than 22,000 pieces were added to the house’s facade after construction to provide the final, yummy touch.

    Gingerbread Cookies from Sweet Perfections Bake Shoppe

    So, whether you’re a beginner or a gingerbread expert, everyone can enjoy this holiday tradition! Fun to make, fun to eat; decorating gingerbread men (and ladies!) or creating a unique gingerbread house is the perfect activity for the whole family!

    Find Gingerbread at one of these WBA member bakeries:

    Clasen's European Bakery

    Classy Girl Cupcakes

    Hill Top Bakery

    Linda's Bakery

    Manderfield's Home Bakery

    Monzu Bakery & Custom Cakes

    Neat-O's Bake Shoppe

    Rocket Baby Bakery

    Sweet Perfections Bake Shoppe

    Tamara's the Cake Guru

    To find a WBA Member bakery near you, click here.


    Previous post:
    Day 7 - Holiday Pies

    Previous post:
    Day 9 - Christmas Cookies



  • December 12, 2018 1:21 PM | Anonymous

    On the seventh day of our 12 Days of Christmas Desserts, 
    we are featuring Holiday Pies!

    Peppermint French Silk Pie from Rocket Baby Bakery

    Sweeten your holidays with a holiday pie – chocolate, pecan, apple, pumpkin, eggnog, cranberry - the flavors are endless!

    While pie is considered a year-round treat, pie will be a festive change of pace on the holiday dessert table.

    Early pie recipes were a lot different from what we have today, as they rarely called for sugar, because sugar was too expensive and rarely available to the masses at the time. In the New World, pies were flourishing. In addition to pies being a delicious treat, settlers also had practical reasons for making them.

     

    Grasshopper Pie from Manderfield's Home Bakery

    Pies used less flour than bread and could be easily and cheaply baked. They also provided a sustainable food source that could be rationed out to hungry immigrants. Pie continued to sustain early settlers as they expanded to the west. Once pioneers found land to claim as their own, their pies began to reflect the regional differences of the areas where they settled.



    Mistletoe Pie from Elsie Mae's Canning and Pies

    Pumpkin pies and pies sweetened with maple syrup were enjoyed in northern states. “Chess pie” was popular in the South—a silky pie with a rich filling of sugar, buttermilk, and egg. Settlers in Florida, utilizing the local citrus, turned native limes into key lime pie. The Midwest, famous for its dairy farms, favored cheese and cream pies. But apple was the most plentiful fruit of all, and in almost every part of the country, (especially the Midwest and the Northeast), apple were baked into their pies.


    Pfeffernusse pie from Hatched

    However, during the mid-1800’s, the pie craze in America cooled off. Early concerns for nutrition and women joining the work force contributed to the decline. But pies never disappeared completely, and after World War II they rebounded. Modern food advances and technology made pie making easier with the advent of ready-made crusts and box mixes.


    Peppermint French Silk Pie from Periwinkle's Bakery on Broadway

    So, mix up your pie routine this holiday season and add something rich and luscious, creamy or sweet, and trust us, your friends and family will thank you for it! Remember – holiday pies are packed with Santa-approved flavors like cherry, chocolate, and even eggnog.

    Find a festive Holiday Pie at one of these WBA member bakeries:

    Elsie Mae's Canning and Pies

    Hatched

    Hill Top Bakery

    Linda's Bakery

    Manderfield's Home Bakery

    Neat-O's Bake Shoppe

    O&H Danish Bakery

    Periwinkle's Bakery on Broadway

    Rocket Baby Bakery

    To find a WBA Member bakery near you, click here.


    Previous post:
    Day 6 - Fruitcake

    Next post:
    Day 8 - Gingerbread



  • December 11, 2018 10:54 AM | Anonymous

    On the sixth day of our 12 Days of Christmas Desserts, 
    we are featuring Fruitcake!

    Fruitcake from Manderfield's Home Bakery

    Ah, fruitcake. Perhaps one of the most polarizing holiday desserts, you either love it or loathe it. Somehow throughout the fruitcake’s long history, it became the running joke of the holiday season. But it remains one of the most traditional holiday desserts to this day.

    Fruitcake is a cake made with chopped candied fruit and/or dried fruit, nuts, and spices. It’s often known for its density, rich flavors and its ability to keep fresh for a long time. While most American mass-produced fruit cakes are alcohol-free, traditional recipes are saturated with liqueurs or brandy.

    Fruitcake from Hill Top Bakery

    The oldest reference to fruitcake dates back to Roman times.  The recipe included pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins that were mixed into a barley mash.  Honey, spices, and preserved fruits were added during the Middle Ages. During the 15th century, the British began their love affair with fruitcake when dried fruits from the Mediterranean first arrived. In seventeenth century Europe, a ceremonial type of fruitcake was baked at the end of the nut harvest, saved and eaten the next year to celebrate the beginning of the next harvest. Just a century later, fruitcake was outlawed entirely throughout Continental Europe as they were considered to be “sinfully rich.”

    Fruitcake from Clasen's European Bakery

    Once fruitcake was reinstated, became extremely popular.  A Victorian teatime would not have been complete without the addition of the fruitcake. During this time, it was also the custom in England for unmarried wedding guests to put a slice of fruitcake under their pillow at night so they will dream of the person they will marry.

    Starting in the 16th century, sugar from the American Colonies (and the discovery that high concentrations of sugar could preserve fruits) created an excess of candied fruit, thus making fruit cakes more affordable and popular. Nuts were introduced into the formula, probably because America's foremost fruitcake makers—Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas, and Claxton Bakery of Claxton, Georgia—were located in rural Southern communities with a surplus of cheap nuts.

    Fruitcake from O&H Danish Bakery

    So how did such a popular dessert suddenly fall out of favor? Maybe attribute the introduction of mass produced, mail-order fruitcakes in 1913 to its demise. Other point to The Tonight Show host Johnny Carson, who would joke that there really is only one fruitcake in the world, passed from family to family. Whatever the reason, fruitcake became the butt of many holiday jokes. It became so bad that the Colorado town of Manitou Springs hosted the Great Fruitcake Toss where people take their recycled fruitcakes and compete to see how far they can be launched. This tradition started in 1995 continues today.

    Today the fruitcake is making a comeback with bakeries experimenting with traditional recipes to appeal to the younger generations. It just goes to show, you can’t keep the fruitcake down. So this Christmas season, give the fruitcake a chance to become your favorite holiday dessert!

    Fruitcake from Neat-O's Bake Shoppe

    Fun fruitcake facts:

    ·         December 27th is National Fruitcake Day

    ·         A pineapple fruitcake was brought along on the Apollo 11 space mission in 1969. Unfortunately, it was not consumed by the astronauts onboard and is currently on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

    Find Fruitcake at one of these WBA member bakeries:

    Clasen's European Bakery

    Linda's Bakery

    Hill Top Bakery

    Manderfield's Home Bakery

    Neat-O's Bake Shoppe

    O&H Danish Bakery

    To find a WBA Member bakery near you, click here.

    Previous post:
    Day 5 - Decadent Cheesecake

    Next post:
    Day 7 - Holiday Pies



  • December 10, 2018 9:50 AM | Anonymous

    On the fifth day of our 12 Days of Christmas Desserts, 
    we are featuring Decadent Cheesecake!

    Cheesecake from The SweetSpot Bakehouse

    Looking for a holiday dessert that will satisfy everyone in your family? Look no further than a rich and decadent cheesecake! This treat is so versatile, you can turn combine almost any of your favorite ingredients to make a delicious delicacy. Around the holidays, you could have gingerbread, candy cane, eggnog, red velvet or chocolate cranberry cheesecakes! The possibilities are endless! So sit back, grab a creamy slice of cheesecake and learn all about this dessert’s rich history!

    The first “cheese cake” was most likely created during the time of the ancient Greeks. Anthropologists have excavated cheese molds in Greece which were dated around 2,000 B.C.! In Greece, cheesecake was considered to be a good source of energy, and was also a popular dish to serve at weddings. The simple ingredients of flour, wheat, honey and cheese were formed into a cake and baked – a far cry from the more complicated and flavorful recipes available today!

    Cheesecake from Sweet Perfections Bake Shoppe

    When the Romans conquered Greece, the cheesecake recipe was modified by including crushed cheese and eggs. The Romans called their cheesecake “libuma” and it was also served on special occasions.

    As the Romans expanded their empire, they brought cheesecake recipes to the Europeans. Great Britain and Eastern Europe began experimenting with ways to put their own unique spin on cheesecake. It was not until the 18th century, however, that cheesecake would start to look like something we recognize in the United States today. Around this time, Europeans began to use beaten eggs instead of yeast to make their breads and cakes rise. Removing the yeast flavor made cheesecake taste more like a dessert treat. When Europeans immigrated to America, the settlers brought their cheesecake recipes along with them.

    Cheesecake from Tamara's the Cake Guru

    The cream cheese found in most cheesecakes today was an American addition. In 1872, a New York dairy farmer was attempting to replicate a French version of cheesecake; instead, he accidentally created cream cheese. Three years later, cream cheese was packaged and distributed to local stores and it soon became a staple ingredient in the United States.

    Each region of the world also has its own take on the best way to make the dessert. Italians use ricotta cheese, while the Greeks use feta. Germans prefer cottage cheese, while the Japanese use a combination of cornstarch and egg whites. There are specialty cheesecakes that include blue cheese, seafood, spicy chilies and even tofu! In spite of all the variations, the popular dessert’s main ingredients – cheese, wheat and a sweetener –remain the same.

    Cheesecake from Sally's Sweet Shoppe

    No matter how you slice it, cheesecake is truly a dessert that has stood the test of time. So as you start breaking out the cookbooks or researching bakeries, consider adding a crowd-pleasing cheesecake to your holiday feast!

    Find Decadent Cheesecake at one of these WBA member bakeries:

    Clasen's European Bakery

    Manderfield's Home Bakery

    Monzu Bakery & Custom Cakes

    O&H Danish Bakery

    Sally's Sweet Shoppe

    Sweet Perfections Bake Shoppe

    Tamara's the Cake Guru

    The SweetSpot Bakehouse

    To find a WBA Member bakery near you, click here.

    Previous post:
    Day 4 - Peppermint Bark



  • December 09, 2018 4:00 PM | Anonymous

    On the fourth day of our 12 Days of Christmas Desserts,
    we are featuring Peppermint Bark!


    Peppermint Bark from Clasen's European Bakery

    With the holiday season in full swing, you may notice that peppermint becomes a key ingredient in many recipes. It’s used in cakes, as a topping for ice cream, or it’s added to your favorite seasonal coffee drinks, cookies and candies. Candy canes and peppermint are holiday staples, and what better way to enjoy the season than to combine this seasonal flavor with some rich, smooth chocolate. That’s right, Day 3 of our 12 Days of Christmas desserts ideas is all about Peppermint Bark!

    Peppermint bark is probably one of the simplest holiday desserts with only four ingredients. And it’s so easy to make, even the humblest of bakers can create the perfect combination of white and milk/dark chocolate, peppermint candies and peppermint flavoring! Melt chocolate. Spread flat. Add candy. Cool, and break into pieces. That’s all there is to it!

    Peppermint Bark from Neat-O's Bake Shoppe

    One of the great things about bark besides how easy it is to make, is how perfectly imperfect it is. The chocolate is broken haphazardly into shards, making each piece individual but equally delicious. There’s no concrete reason we can it “bark”, other than when the sheets of chocolate are broken up, the pieces can resemble rough tree bark.

    It’s also the perfect gift for everyone on your list; even the pickiest of people can’t say no to a tin of peppermint and chocolate. Going to a holiday party this year, but don’t want to show up empty handed? Give the hosts some peppermint bark! Have a Secret Santa gift exchange coming up but don’t know what to get them? Peppermint bark is the answer!

    Peppermint Bark from Monzu Bakery & Custom Cakes

    While bark has no official history, peppermint is one of the oldest flavorings used in food preparation. While the term "peppermint" did not become widespread use until 1696, the first recorded mention occurred in Egypt around 1500 BC, where it was used to treat upset stomachs. Peppermint was later brought to Europe in the 13th century.

    According to folklore, in 1670, a German choirmaster wished to keep the children in his church quiet and asked a local candy maker for some sweet sticks for them. In order to justify giving candy to children during worship services, he asked the candy maker to add a crook to the top of each stick, which would help children remember the shepherds who visited the infant Jesus. 

    From Germany, candy canes spread to other parts of Europe, where they were handed out during Nativity plays. As such, the candy cane became associated with Christmastime. The candy cane was first introduced to America in 1847 by a German-Swedish immigrant named August Imgard.

    Peppermint Bark from Tamara's the Cake Guru

    As the unofficial candy of the holidays, here’s some Candy Cane Facts:

    • ·         National Candy Cane Day is December 26th!
    • ·         Each year about 1.76 billion candy canes are made and 90% of candy canes are sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas
    • ·         The world longest candy cane was created in 2012 by a Geneva pastry chef and was 51 feet long!

    Find Peppermint Bark at one of these WBA member bakeries:

    Clasen's European Bakery

    Monzu Bakery & Custom Cakes

    Neat-O's Bake Shoppe

    Tamara's the Cake Guru

    To find a WBA Member bakery near you, click here.

    Previous post:
    Day 3 - French Macarons

    Next post:
    Day 5 - Decadent Cheesecake

  • December 08, 2018 7:32 AM | Anonymous

    On the third day of our 12 Days of Christmas Desserts,
    we are featuring French Macarons!


    French Macarons from Monzù Bakery & Custom Cakes

    Colorful, delicate, and expertly flavored, macarons are perhaps one of the most famous and treasured French desserts. With all the holiday hustle and bustle this time of year, a macaron can also be a holiday treat for savoring that’ll transports you right to the center of Paris.

    Not to be confused with the coconut based desserts, macaroons, macarons are a sweet meringue-based confection made with egg whites, sugar, and almonds. The macaron is commonly filled with ganache, buttercream or jam filling sandwiched between two cookies. The name is derived from the Italian word macarone, maccarone or maccherone, meaning meringue.

    French Macarons from Neat-O's Bake Shoppe 

    The first known appearance of the macaron goes all the way back in the Middle Ages. At the time, the macaron was a small sweet made of almonds, egg white and sugar. There was no filling, no colors or different flavors; at this time, the macaron was a humble cookie. Even though the French take credit for the macaron, they had been made in Venetian monasteries since the 8th century. Catherine de’ Medici most likely brought the dessert to France in the 16th century from Italy, when she married King Henry II of France. During this time, only the wealthy elite could enjoy macarons.

    French Macarons from Manderfield's Home Bakery

    The macaron became popular in 1792, when two Carmelite nuns seeking asylum from the French Revolution in the city of Nancy, France baked and sold macarons in order to pay for their housing. They became known as the ‘Macaron Sisters.’ In 1952, the city of Nancy honored the two nuns by naming the spot where they produced the macarons after them. With time, the recipe spread and different regions in France adopted it as a local specialty dish.

    Throughout the 19th century, the macaron increased in popularity thanks to Parisian bakers who further experimented with the recipe. Pierre Desfontaines, the grandson of Louis-Ernest Ladurée, the founder of the famous Parisian bakery, had the original idea of the double-decker macaron in 1930, by sticking two macaron shells together with a creamy ganache as filling.

    French Macarons from Tamara's the Cake Guru

    Today, macarons continue to be popular in Europe and even in North America. The various flavors of macarons are also expanding, with bakeries experimenting with sweet and savory inspirations (basil mint or bacon macarons, anyone?) But for the perfect holiday treat, we recommend less adventurous but always delicious flavors like gingerbread, peppermint or eggnog! So savor the flavor of Christmas and add some elegance to the holidays with some charming and pillowy macarons.

    Fun facts:

    • Macaron Day in Paris is held on March 20th. Started in 2005, bakery patrons donate to the yearly selected charity, and in return receive a macaron. What a delicious way to give back!
    • The world’s tallest pyramid made entirely of macarons was created in 2013 by two French bakers celebrating their bakery’s 10 year anniversary. The pyramid used 8540 macarons donated by local entrepreneurs.

    Find French Macarons at one of these WBA member bakeries:

    Linda's Bakery

    Manderfield's Home Bakery

    Monzu Bakery & Custom Cakes

    Neat-O's Bake Shoppe

    Rocket Baby Bakery

    Tamara's the Cake Guru

    To find a WBA Member bakery near you, click here.

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