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.
As a child, Tara Thorpe-Penn didn't lack for homemade meals and sweet treats made "with a healthy dose of love" by her mother. She started Sweet Bliss Cupcakery LLC as a way to continue her mom's legacy of connecting to others through food. The small bakery warms hearts with mini, standard, and jumbo cupcakes and cake pops made from all natural ingredients. They come in all of the traditional flavors, as well as a few oddballs: tequila sunrise, vanilla birthday remix, and Lexy's pink lemonade to name a few.
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.
Live music permeates Summit Coffee’s 110-year-old building at least three nights per week, enhancing the space’s already artistic and eclectic vibe. Day and night, patrons ranging from neighbors and artists to professors and students settle inside the warm-and-welcoming café bar to throw back pints of IPA brews or piping-hot mugs of organic coffee and lattes. Friendly baristas and bar mates pair beverages with decadent sweets, including flaky croissants and giant slices of rich chocolate cake. As a neighborhood spot, Summit cherishes its community and is dedicated to giving back. It has raised more than $100,000 and a handful of Monopoly money over the years thanks to events such as its 8K race.
From the sleek wood of a guitar to the rough stubble of a basketball, the confectionary masters at The Icing & The Cake make fondant look like anything their clients can imagine. Their huge, colorful cakes have served as the centerpiece for many special occasions, such as weddings, birthdays, and daring prison escapes involving the use of a life-size cake replica. The shop's pastry chefs also craft individual cupcakes, cake balls, and cake pops for spur-of-the-moment sweet snacks or to treat septuplets to their own personal birthday cake.