Chef Linda's Confection Commentary

Tag: essential salted chocolate-almond cookie

The Work You Help Us Do

Women Writing for (a) Change, founded in my hometown of Cincinnati, is a community of writers that births more conscious voices. I remain a part of that community wherever I live and work.

Writing seems a natural companion to the successful promotion and growth of Essential Confection; yet the story we tell is not simply one of pleasureful confection products, or even gifting.

Essential Confection’s mission is to stamp out food insecurity through hands-on action, advocacy at multiple levels and financial contribution.

This mission currently takes shape through participation in two organizations: the Portland Free Fridge Project, a mutual aid org which provides food directly through community fridges and pantries and is completely volunteer maintained and serviced; and Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, a non-profit political advocacy organization that addresses the root causes of hunger while increasing access to nutrition support programs.

Ongoing communication with our guests helps solidify how the work you help us do benefits others and makes a difference in the world.

As we move into the production, packaging and marketing of the Essential Salted Chocolate-Almond Cookie – cookie dough that you can freeze and bake off anytime at home – we remind you that your continued support takes on the added meaning of helping us help others.

Each pleasureful experience helps stamp out food insecurity.

 We are grateful for your continued support.

 

www.EssentialConfection.com

#essentialconfection

Remember That Brownie?

I love the fine features of baked products.

Early food experience dictates preferences. As a young teenager, I loved the glorious scent of chocolate wafting through our family kitchen as box-mix brownies were baking. As an adult, the rich scent of chocolate baking in the oven takes me back to that moment in the 1960s. Do you have one of those memories?

Food psychologists know that smell, not taste, produces memory – that smell is a learned affect that transports us to specific moments in time – and that it controls a significant number of our food behaviors.

What I discovered over time was that specific features of baked products were as attractive to me as the scent and even the taste of the finished product. A crisp ginger snap. The luxuriously fine crumb of a butter cake. The exquisite resistance of paper-thin layers of buttery laminated dough in a croissant.

A year ago, I set out to make the very best chocolate cookie I could create. Intense dark chocolate flavor was foundational. Almond pairs wonderfully with chocolate and supports its flavor as a background component. Flaked salt as a garnish before baking not only contrasts but enhances the power of the chocolate. The most important quality of our new chocolate cookie, though, had to be the juxtaposition of a thin, floating crust on top of a delicate, chewy center, with bits of liquid chocolate as little bonuses – ala, the brownie of my youth.

The cookie also had to fulfill one of my two primary interests in baking: single flavor development.

The formula for that cookie, the Essential Chocolate-Almond Cookie, is now in the hands of the Oregon State University Food Innovation Center for consultation, critique and packaging input. Our goal is to offer the cookie in dough form for our guests to bake and luxuriate in at home beginning in Q2-2021.

What better way to express love or appreciation to family and friends than to reacquaint them with a childhood delight?

Every Essential Confection product supports our mission of helping tlve food insecurity. You are our partners in this effort. We intend to broaden our reach with the Essential Chocolate-Almond Cookie by distributing widely.

Another way for us all to spread caring and support for those we appreciate most.

www.EssentialConfection.com

#essentialconfection

Celebrating Others’ Lives

In reflecting on what future imprints this time of cautious isolation will have, I recognize like many that the relationships I value have deepened. Unfeigned, sincere conversations, a greater willingness to reach out and more demonstrative appreciation for family, friends, co-workers and contemporaries.

Small, altruistic gestures of confidence or support leave an indelible impression that may benefit how others see themselves in the world. What about commemorating others’ successes?

The best kind of appreciation is spontaneous, unsolicited. An unexpected gift – a donation of time, a personal note, publicly supporting another’s cause, small visible gifts – at an unexpected time.

What action will I take to further deepen the relationships I value? What action have I taken today that moves another toward who he or she would like to become?

Calendared events are easy reminders. The now-common shared virtual event! Families prepping portions of a large meal to be consumed together – virtually. A full-size Essential Crème Fraiche Cheesecake – 12 servings – or the Essential Flourless Chocolate Torte – 16 glorious servings, both gluten-free. Easy to share.

Valentine’s Day. Partners or family members who may, in the moment, be unable to celebrate together. The glitz and glam of the Academy Awards! Gifts of individually sized Essential Chocolate-Amaretto Cheesecake or Essential Crème Fraiche Cheesecake. Luxurious. Sans gluten, of course.

The Super Bowl! Fabulous pickups – succulent, savory Essential Rosemary Shortbread or the now-in-development Essential Salted Chocolate-Almond Cookie [the very best chocolate cookie] – in cookie dough form to bake at home!

How will I celebrate the events of those in my life? How will you?

 

#essentialconfection

 

 

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