Celebrating 7 Years

Today we are celebrating seven years of Dessert’D! This birthday is a big one for me personally because I have had a very stressful year in year seven. Everyone says year one is hard. Everyone says if you make it past year two then you’re probably not going to fail. And, that if you make it past year five then you will be able to step back and look at your business as a business instead of just working in it all the time. Which all have been true for me so far. But no one ever talks about year seven. So, I am really happy to be passing this big milestone. I am ready to look forward and I can’t wait for all the things that will happen for Dessert’D Organic Bake Shop in the next seven years. If it’s anything like the first seven, I know I’m in for a wild ride. And, I will be here to tell you about it because apparently year fourteen doesn’t get much buzz either, so I have no idea what to expect.

Where do I even begin? I started this bake shop over seven years ago as Mimi’s Cookie Bar, with a dream to sell nothing but organic cookies. Well I certainly started with cookies, along with some help from my friends Kimmy and Chris Benchetler and of course my husband, Delaney. After the first year, we realized selling just cookies wasn’t going to fly because people wanted more. They wanted other desserts that were made with organic, real ingredients and no artificial colors too. So we started baking pies, cupcakes, cakes and selling ice cream. Flash forward a few more years and we started talking about the future of the bakery - was there going to be more than one location? Customers kept asking about it, but we had no plans at that time to ever have more than one bake shop. But when it seemed the requests wouldn’t stop coming we decided to revisit the possibility of more bakeries. This was about the time I hired Thea Zobel and she became our manager at Dessert’D. She was so passionate about the bake shop that she and her husband, Matt, decided they wanted to be part of the bigger picture. So, their investment gave us some options. We could open another location, or we could set up the bake shop to sell franchises. We chose the latter simply because we thought we would be able to have more locations faster. And, because living in a town that is only four square miles brings on staffing problems all year long. So, the possibility of me being able to actually leave town to open and run another location for a few years while it got started seemed to be slim because I was constantly covering shifts at the bakery, and I still am today.

When we decided to franchise, we first had to trademark our name. And, we had a hell of a time doing that to say the least. It was almost a year process because trademarks take a really long time to even get looked at by examiners. Once they finally do, and you submit an argument to defend your application, it takes even longer again for a reply. We did this dance for a while trying to explain why our Mimi’s Cookie Bar was different from Mimi’s Cafe - yet the examiners weren’t agreeing with us. So, we decided to bite the bullet and change our name. It was just getting so drawn out with so much waiting, I wanted to move forward. And we realized we’d grown out of Mimi’s Cookie Bar and we weren’t going to let it hold us back anymore. We wanted a name that truly described us and what we had grown into, and that was organic desserts - not just cookies. So, Dessert’D Organic Bake Shop was born and we finally got our trademark.

After a year long trademark process, then it took about six months to write our Franchise Disclosure Document with my franchise lawyer and then get that approved by, yep another examiner. That was a small process that had it’s own hiccups, but we prevailed again. And, now we are officially selling franchises. We still have yet to sell one, although we have had a lot of interest. It’s a big investment and we want to be truly invested in the person who is going to run a Dessert’D Organic Bake Shop just as much as they’re invested in us. It’s a partnership. We are confident we will find the perfect person to open up the first franchise soon. If you’re interested in being that person, click here.

So, here we are seven years later. We went from a one woman bakery (literally, I pretty much worked solo every day for the first year) selling nothing but cookies, to a fully staffed (most of the time haha) bake shop that ships everywhere in the US and is selling franchises. Sometimes it’s hard for me to look at all the things I’ve accomplished because I’m only thinking about the things that I haven’t accomplished yet. The ones that are still on my list, still goals and still occupying all my focus. I grew up with a competitive nature. Not sure if it came from snowboarding, or if it was something my Dad taught me or if I just developed it on my own. My Dad was constantly telling us as kids that we needed to get Straight A’s in school (which I did), so we could go to a good college (which I didn’t go to college at all), so we could get a good job to make good money (still not sure if I have that?) So, I’ve always had the mindset that you have to be the best. Everyone does not get a trophy, and second place is the first looser. I don’t understand the concept of everyone wins, because then who really wins? There’s always a winner haha. Just proving my age I guess, and the fact that I am definitely not a millennial. So, I have a hard time being in the present because I’m constantly thinking of the next thing, the next goal or the next accomplishment that I must achieve in order to have “made it”. But, what is really making it these days anyway? Is it owning something? Is it being able to call your passion your full time job? Is it being popular on Instagram? Is it getting paid to share a recipe? Or is it owning two or three businesses? I don’t really know because I still don’t feel that I’ve made it yet. But, I’m definitely working on it. I still have lots of goals for the bake shop, lots of things on my list that I want to check off. They’re coming, I’m sure of it. And if I’ve proven anything the last seven years it’s that I won’t give up and I won’t settle. So, I am looking forward to the next seven years of Dessert’D. I can’t wait to achieve more of my goals, and I hope to work on consciously celebrating them a bit more. Bring it on! 

With that said, I was thinking all week of what to bake for celebrating our seven years. At first I wanted to bake cookies, because we started with cookies and those are our roots. But, then I wanted to bake a cake because cakes are for celebrating. Then, I wanted to bake something to do with the number seven haha. So, I came up with a Seven Layer Ice Cream Cake. This really embodies everything we’re all about at Dessert’D with an ode to our seven years. It starts with a layer of brownie, then ice cream, then cookie, ice cream, cookie, ice cream and brownie to top it off. It doesn’t get anymore crazy than this, which is exactly how this last year has felt for me, and everyone in our Dessert’D family. Find the recipe below. 

Seven Layer Ice Cream Cake

Makes 7 Layer 6-inch Cake

Ice Cream Layers

2 pints of Straus Family Creamery Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Brownie Layers

283 grams (1 1/4 cup) organic cane sugar

57 grams (1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons) organic Dutch cocoa, sifted

57 grams (scant 1/2 cup) finely chopped organic milk chocolate

1/2 cup boiling water

1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract

1 organic large egg

1 organic large egg yolk

1/2 cup organic canola oil

255 grams (2 cups) organic all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Cookie Layers

1/2 stick (57 grams) organic salted butter, softened

45 grams (3 tablespoons) organic cane sugar

45 grams (3 tablespoons) organic packed dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract

1 organic large egg

127 grams (1 cup) organic all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

85 grams (scant 1/2 cup) organic semi sweet chocolate chips

Whipped Cream Frosting

6 ounces (3/4 cup) organic heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon organic cane sugar

1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract

Method First, make the ice cream layers. Line three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Divide the ice cream into the three pans, they should weigh about 184 grams each. Spread evenly and place in the freezer overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Second, make the brownie layers. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the sugar, cocoa and chopped milk chocolate.

In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and sea salt and whisk together. Set aside.

Boil water, make sure to add a little more than 1/2 cup to boil because it can reduce. Then measure out the 1/2 cup of hot water.

Pour the boiling water over the top of the chocolate and sugar mixture. Mix on low until all the chocolate is completely melted.

Add the egg, egg yolk, oil and vanilla extract and mix just slightly so the yolks break.

Add the flour mixture and mix until combined, do not over mix.

Pour the brownie batter into the two 6-inch cake pans and spread evenly.

Bake for 28 to 33 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Next, make the cookie layers. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract and mix on low until combined and there are no butter chunks.

Add the eggs and mix just slightly.

In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking soda and sea salt and whisk together.

Add to the mixing bowl and mix on low until almost combined.

Add the chocolate chips and mix on low until combined and you don’t see any flour.

Line two 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper and grease the sides.

Measure the cookie dough evenly into each pan, about 190 grams per pan. Press the cookie dough evenly and make sure it’s to the edges of each cake pan.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Once the brownies and cookies are cooled, remove them from the cake pans. You may have to trim the brownie layers a little to get them perfectly even. Remove the ice cream layers from the freezer and cut around the edges so they can be removed.

Place the brownie layer on your cake stand or plate first. Next, add a layer of ice cream. Next, add a cookie layer, then another layer of ice cream, then another layer of cookie, another layer of ice cream and last the second layer of brownie. Immediately place your cake in the freezer.

Start the whipped cream. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the heavy whipping cream, sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk on on low then gradually turn up mixer to high as fast as it will go without splattering. Whisk until stiff peaks form.

Remove the cake from the freezer and lightly coat the outside with whipped cream and scrape smooth so it looks like a naked cake. Place the cake back in the freezer.

Put the remaining whipped cream in a piping bag with decorating tip #864. Remove the cake again and line around the top of the cake with dollops of whipped cream.

Store in the freezer for up to 7 days.

High Altitude – Bake the brownie layers at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Bake the cookie layers at 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes or util a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. 

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