Happy New Year! I am so ready for 2019 and everything it will bring. I have had a rough 2018 in so many ways. There were also lots of amazing things that happened last year as well. But overall I feel like 2018 kicked my ass. Yet, I survived and I’m ready to do it all over again! I have lots of things to look forward to in 2019 and I’m really happy to be in year two of Dessert’D. The name change was the most stressful and difficult part of 2018 and I’m really happy to have one full year of Dessert’D under our belts. I hope it just keeps getting better from here.
So, with a new year comes new resolutions. I’ve finally noticed the trend in the bake shop that come January, our sales always dip a little. I believe it’s because people have just spent the holidays indulging, spending money and eating too many cookies and they are now on diets. Needless to say, my resolutions never involve diets or cutting my sweets, and why should they? Instead I focus on positive changes and goals for the year, for the business and for myself personally.
My top goal for Dessert’D is to sell our first franchise. We have some good leads right now and I hope one of them will turn into our first franchisee. I am so excited to share my business, recipes and mission with another entrepreneur that cares about organic ingredients and the environment. My second goal I have for the business is to do more online sales. We recently reorganized our Online Shop on our website to make it more efficient to ship more cookies. And we just started a shop on Etsy, so if people want to shop through that channel they can also do that. With Etsy, they offer USPS shipping so it’s also a cheaper shipping option than we have on our site with FedEx, but it limits our selection to items that have a longer shelf life because they could take longer to arrive. But, we want to give our customers as many options as possible to enjoy our cookies if they aren’t in Mammoth. The third goal for Dessert’D is to hire an Assistant Baker - one that is passionate about baking and wants to stay in Mammoth Lakes longterm. We have had a pretty difficult year with employees, and in 2017 we had an amazing staff and I lost three girls that year. They all had to move out of town for various reasons (sick Grandma, knee surgery and transferring of schools). Their reasons for leaving had nothing to do with us and I’m still friends with all of them and wish they were here, and they even wish they were here. I want to find another baker that can rival them, one that can roll with the punches, laugh at our jokes, keep up with the fast paced and sometimes slow environment of being in a tourist town, and who is passionate about organic baking. I am putting that into the universe. We have a lot of fun at the bakery, and we need another person!
I also like to set a few personal goals as well. My biggest one for me is to finish our Dream Home! If you’ve been following along my Project Dream Home posts, then you know we’re building a house (you can search Dream Home in the top left search bar and read all the posts). It should be done before next winter, so I want to make sure we stay on track. My second goal is to spend more time outside of the bakery - which is going to be very difficult, haha! I sometimes work 10-12 hour days just in the shop and then come home and work on my computer. I love work, so it’s easy for me, but I also need to remember to take time for myself and get outside more. And, my third goal for myself (which I actually started doing in September, but I’m going to keep going) is to eat vegetables with lunch and dinner, every day. I eat pretty healthy regularly, but veggies are something I can sometimes miss out on, even though I love them. I eat lots of fruit without even trying (probably because it’s sweet), but I have to consciously make an effort with the veggies.
So, in keeping with the January trends in the bake shop I like to share recipes that aren’t just desserts during this time. I was actually going to share this recipe for Christmas, but I wasn’t able to because I was supposed to collaborate on it with a friend, but she kinda bailed without telling me. It’s the second time this girl has done the same thing, you’d think I would learn my lesson by now? Add that to my list of resolutions - stop giving people second chances. It’s actually the second friend I’ve given a second chance to last year only to find they did the same exact thing. My gut always tells me if it didn’t work the first time, it won’t work the second time. Like don’t get back together with that ex-boyfriend because you broke up for a reason! And, we have a strict rule at the bake shop that if you quit, we will not hire you back. Circumstances obviously apply, if any of my girls from last year came back to town, I’d hire them in a heartbeat. But, if you quit and stay in town - no way! We’ve had people quit in the past and then realize they made a mistake and beg for their jobs back, but they obviously didn’t care about the job very much if it was that easy to quit. So you think they’ll care the second time? Probably not. But, I try to see the good in everyone, and sometimes I want to give people that second chance especially because I don’t have a lot of friends (side effect of being a business owner, no time for friends). But, 2018 was telling me to trust my gut, twice - okay I hear you, I get it. My intuition is usually right.
Moving forward though, this little loaf cake is perfect for any winter day - it doesn’t have to be Christmas. Although it would be a great addition to your 2019 Christmas as well, you could wrap it up and gift it or slice it up for a brunch. I’d sure eat this on Christmas morning with a big slab of butter on it. But, it’s perfect for January if you want something a little sweet, but not too sweet. It has good for you things like carrots, cranberries and spices and it’s not covered in frosting (shockingly). I decided to call it a bread instead of a cake actually because it’s similar to Banana Bread or Zucchini Bread, but this one is Carrot Bread. It’s really easy and fast to whip up and all you have to do to enjoy it is slice it up and put a big slab of butter right on top.
Spiced Cranberry Carrot Bread | Makes 1 loaf (9 x 4 inch pan)
- 113 grams organic carrots (about 1 large carrot), finely grated
- 1 stick (113 grams) organic salted butter, softened
- 113 grams (1/2 cup) organic cane sugar
- 57 grams (¼ cup) organic dark brown sugar
- 2 organic large eggs
- ½ cup organic heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon organic cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon organic cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon organic five spice (like Frontier Co-Op)
- 142 grams (1 cup) all natural cake flour (like Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 43 grams (1/3 cup) organic dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 4 inch loaf pan with parchment paper, I like to let it fold over the sides so when it’s ready to come out all you have to do is cut the ends loose and lift it out.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the grated carrots, butter, sugar and dark brown sugar. Mix on low until combined and there are no chunks of butter.
Add the eggs and mix on low until combined.
In a separate bowl, add the flour, cinnamon, cloves, five spice, baking powder and sea salt and whisk together. Add the cranberries and coat completely.
Add the heavy cream and the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low until combined. Scrape sides of bowl and mix until the flour is fully incorporated.
Grease the parchment paper and sides of the loaf pan well with butter.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan and spread evenly.
Bake for 1 hour, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Serve with room temperature butter, to slather all over the top.
Gluten Free – Replace the cake flour with 142 grams (3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons) organic gluten free flour blend, our favorite is Namaste Organic Perfect Flour Blend.
High Altitude – Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.