The Baker's Rack's talented band of bakers and chefs elicit grins and excitement from guests of all ages while helping them to craft tasty recipes. A brief safety and rules review precedes an overview of basic equipment and recipes before stripling chefs taste each ingredient like a gingerbread man sorting his clean and dirty laundry. In between cooking steps, children engage in jubilant activities such as dancing, games, and fun-filled icebreakers. Past workshops have covered kid-friendly culinary favorites such as pizza, caramel, and teatime. A private cooking party for four children follows the same engaging curriculum in a more intimate atmosphere; adult parties fire up easily replicated recipes that reach far beyond the limits of Hot Pockets and upside-down Hot Pockets, spinning new dishes to suit a range of tastes. At the conclusion of both the class and the party, guests get to take home their completed culinary marvels.
When HoneyBaked Ham was just a single shop in Michigan more than 40 years ago, it was run under the careful eye of its founder, Harry J. Hoenselaar. He handpicked every bone-in ham that he was going to sell in stores and carefully cured each in a secret marinade recipe. He then slow-smoked the ham over a custom blend of wood chips. Hoenselaar even built and patented a machine that spiral-cut the meat into almost perfectly even slices and re-creations of M.A.S.H. characters. But what really stuck with people was his glaze—a proprietary recipe that encased each ham with a sweet, crunchy finish.
Though Harry's shop has since grown into a nationally recognized brand with more than 400 stores, that attention to detail hasn’t been lost. His grandchildren now oversee the company, and they have maintained that same process of hand-selecting hams and smoking them for up to 24 hours before they’re spiral-cut and glazed. Many of the stores also have a cafe-style counter, where patrons can pick up fresh sandwiches layered with roast beef, smoked turkey breast, chicken salad, and of course, honey-glazed ham.
Working under the motto "If you crave it, we can create it," the staff at Purple Cow Bakery mixes and bakes muffins, cupcakes, and other treats fresh daily, and will honor custom requests if guests call ahead. Staffers also compile fresh salads and sandwiches on house-baked bread, which contribute to a healthy diet when combined with eight glasses of cream-cheese frosting a day.
Apple Baking Company's signature treat, the Ugly, is a soft, icing-coated pastry that comes blasted in sweet flavors such as apple, blueberry, chocolate chip, raisin honey, or raspberry. With today's deal, mouth mountaineers can explore a dozen apple Uglies' saccharine ridges before powerfully chomping down into their tender, doughy centers. Those looking to paint the town or taste buds red can opt for a dozen slices of cherry-flavored Cheerwine cake, a rich confection made from Cheerwine soda and whose white crème coating sparkles against a red backdrop at parties, backyard barbecues, and Stonecutters Club honorary banquets.
From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery uses twin spatulas to blend custom servings of ice cream and creative mix-ins to fit customers’ exact specifications. Founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone began under the hot Arizona sun, eventually spreading its frosty fingers to encompass more than 1,400 locations worldwide. Despite the size of the company, each location’s staff keeps up the handcrafted quality, making ice cream onsite every day and using those signature spatulas to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.