Holidays

A World Through Baking

Holiday traditions vary throughout the world, but they share the most important elements: celebration of community, love, and food.  Take a world tour with us as we explore a few baking traditions from around the world.

Israel: Latkes

Potato pancakes, latkes, are a traditional Hanukkah fried food. This holiday treat commemorates the miracle of the menorah oil in the Jewish Temple.

Latkes are generally made from grated or ground potatoes, flour, and eggs. They are paired with savory seasonings and a sweet dipping sauce or applesauce.

France: Buche de Noel

The French version of the Yule Log, Buche de Noel, is a rich cake served on Christmas Eve at midnight mass. The shaped meringue decorations resemble small finds from on the forest floor, such as leaves, acorns, and mushrooms.

Peru: Spiced Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate with spice is a Peruvian Christmas tradition. Local area churches collect donations and makes large quantities.  The native holiday drink is often pared with Panettone, a bread historically from Italy, and given to those in need.


(Wikipedia.org)

Denmark/ Norway: Kransekake

Both Denmark and Norway serve Kransekake during the holidays. The name means “wreath cake,” and wrings are stacked to make like a Christmas tree. It can consist of up to 18 layers or more. There is even a specialty pan to bake it in.

(Wikipedia.org)

Greece: Melomakorona

It is common for Greeks to fast before holidays, and then feast for Christmas. Melomakorona is an egg-shaped desert made primarily from flour, olive oil and honey, orange zest, cognac and cinnamon.  This delicious sweet is dipped in a sweet honey syrup and topped with ground walnuts.  In recent years, dark chocolate-dipped varieties have made appearances at Christmas, too.

Poland: Babka

Greece is another country that fasts before the Christmas holiday. Bread is a staple, and Babka is a traditional sweet bread. Food is broken on Christmas Eve to end the holiday fast. It is also tradition to sit out an extra place for anyone who may wander through.

Japan:  Fried Chicken & Christmas Cake

While traditional Christmas is not celebrated as a national holiday, Japan still has a few Christmas traditions.  One is eating Fried Chicken on Christmas!  Started by KFC’s 1974 “Christmas Chicken” campaign, it stuck.  Japanese begin pre-orders up to two months before Christmas to enjoy chicken on Christmas. An option to add-on cake and champagne round out the meal.   Another is Christmas Cake, but this isn’t your grandma’s fruit cake.  It’s usually a sponge cake with strawberries and whipped cream.

Sweden: Schackrutor Cookies

Swedish Schackrutor are a classic checkerboard cookie made from vanilla and chocolate dough.  Kids love making and eating these delicious treats for Christmas.  Get your family in on the fun with our exclusive ADC Schackrutor classic Swedish cookie family recipe.  Download the printable recipe and art print to give it a try!

What’s your family’s favorite traditional treat for the holidays?  Share here or tag us on facebook! #ADCbakery

Pumpkin isn’t Just for Pie

Pumpkin is a favorite flavor for the fall season and you can see it popping up in lattes, smoothies and pies.  Here are some of our favorite “not just pie” pumpkin recipes.

Start a new fall comfort food tradition in your home with either of these two savory pumpkin recipes.  They’re sure to wow the crowd.

Read more

Saras Pepparkakor

Swedish Pepparkakor started as a honey and pepper cookie.  They were once far spicier than the popular gingersnap-style cookie we enjoy now.  The cookies were thought to cure sicknesses, ward off depression and make you nicer.  Today, baking soda leavens the cookies, but originally potash was used.  Potash helped to settle indigestion, so maybe they did make folks a little nicer to be around.  Over the years, ginger and sweet spices have replace the pepper.  We’re not sure they ever had medicinal qualities, but they still produce smiles today. Read more

Santa’s Favorite Cookie

It is the time of year, Ol’ Saint Nick’s big trip is near!  He’s making his list and checking it twice.  He’s a way you can have fun and be nice!  Santa will be coming down the chimney soon, here’s a fun way to enjoy a sweet treat and some suspenseful anticipation for the little ones in your family.  Help them find out which cookie is Santa’s Favorite with our 2019 Santa’s Favorite Cookie Contest. Read more

Boo-tiful Desserts

Halloween is just around the corner.  They’ll be lots of ghosts, goblins and goodies to be found!  If you’re looking for a “boo”-tiful way to celebrate with friends or family, American Dream Cakes Bakery has a team of edible art designers who can help create cookies, cupcakes, cakes and other delicious, fresh desserts that will shine as the centerpiece of your gathering. Read more

A Dozen Delicious Days in October

October is National Family History Month. It’s also filled with many delicious days to celebrate!  We just had to share a few of them with you. Here are a dozen delicious dessert days in October. Read more

Romantic Evenings for Dummies

Sometimes finding Valentine’s Day inspiration can be difficult, and for the Valentine Vets, the same glass of wine with dinner and a rose can seem played-out.  We want to help.  Here are a few inspired alternatives to the average box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day.

  1. Get Personal on a Blackboard– Store bought items with cheesy sayings can get old.  Custom is best and that’s where blackboard comes in handy. Pick up a mug or other blackboard product at a local crafting store and write something lovely and specific for your valentine.  Want bonus points?  Have it ready when they wake up!   Serve fresh coffee, a favorite breakfast food and your message of love.  It’s a great way to spend the morning.

           

  1. Think Outside the Roses- While flowers are lovely, they are often expected and can fade fast.  Instead, tickle the senses of your sweetheart with gourmet sweets. Chocolate covered strawberries are a universal treat, and they still have the beauty factor! Need help?  We’ve got a variety of Valentine’s Day sweets for your sweetheart:
  • Half dozen large chocolate covered strawberries
  • One dozen large chocolate covered strawberries
  • 4-pack of gourmet cupcakes

Image AmericanDreamCakes

  1. Video Top Ten- Almost everyone has a smart-phone with mobile video capability, so why not use this to surprise your valentine with a Video top ten of everything you love about them. Make the list before hand, and throughout the day, record a short video of yourself saying the items on that list. This shows your valentine that you think of them throughout your day.  It’s creative, personal and shows forethought.  A+

 

  1. Visit a Wildlife Rescue- This one is unconventional, but for animal lovers this date idea is unique and memorable! What pulls on the heart strings more than those cute little animals? Be sure to plan ahead and bring a small gift for your valentine that says “I love spending time with you.” Perhaps, written on a blackboard.  (hint, wink)


  1. A Beach Picnic- Sometimes the over crowded restaurants are daunting, but since it is mid February, the beach is empty. Obviously, wind chill and weather conditions are factors, but setting up a nice blanket and eating with your valentine will be special especially if it is just you two, the sound of waves, and the sun setting. A fire is a nice touch and will keep you warm. Just check local beach regulations first.

Image Daria Shevtsova

  1. Staycation- This one is great for couples who are parents! There’s no need to go far, far away. Book a king suite at the best hotel in your town.  Enjoy the heated pool, jacuzzi, room service, and don’t forget to bring your chocolate covered strawberries from American Dream Cakes.  This idea is great to just get away without going away.  Turn off the phones, turn down the lights and enjoy romantic time with your valentine.

Season of Giving….All year for this small business

Santa Claus isn’t the only jolly one this time of year. ‘Tis the season when most folks find ways to open their home, donate to causes, or help others in less fortunate situations. As people get ready to bid another year goodbye, they often do an inventory of their own life and want to pay good fortune forward.

Gunilla Kroshus is no exception. The owner of American Dream Cakes says it is hard to narrow down where to contribute because, so many things are dear to her heart. But, she feels it’s important to do her part.

“God has blessed me in so many ways, so I feel it’s important to pass some of those blessings forward to the community,” she explained.

Her business receives so many requests for assistance each year that she tries to focus on a few key areas: military-related causes, cancer research and fundraising, community outreach, and school events, like mentoring high school students as part of their senior project for the fall and spring semesters.

In fact, American Dream Cakes supported area organizations close to two dozen times in 2017. In many cases, Gunilla was able to use her confectionary skills to add a touch of sweetness to local venues. Her team made cakes and desserts to help celebrate the birthdays of children at the Onslow Women’s Center, volunteers at the annual Red Cross appreciation event, and brighten up the menu at the Onslow Soup Kitchen. Other times, the business donated gift certificates – in lieu of treats – to the Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce, Piney Green Fire Department, and Down Syndrome Network Buddy Walk.

But, Gunilla has also found a way to dedicate her time in a uniquely valuable way. She often works hand-in-hand with students sharing her craft and entrepreneur-sense – including mentoring students from culinary programs of Coastal Carolina Community College and Oregon Coast Culinary Institute. She sees many teachable moments in working with youth, and says there are options for getting them started in their own philanthropic activities.

“A good start for students is to talk to family and friends about the causes that are important to them. Chances are someone in their inner circle has the same interests and may already be part of an organization or have information on how to get more information and ideas about how to help the cause,” Gunilla said.  “With the guidance of a teacher or an adult, they can do an online search for organizations that interests them. Just make sure it’s a safe, legitimate site and cause.”

When you support American Dream Cakes, you support our community, too.  Gunilla and the entire team at American Dream Cakes wishes you and yours a joyous season of giving and Merry Christmas.

American Dream Cakes has a special gift to give you this holiday season. Here is an opportunity to bake your very own Schackrutor cookies.

Creative Ways to Use Pumpkins

Think outside the Pie Shell

Pumpkins are all the rage during the fall season.  Starting in late September through the end of November, they’re heralding the arrival of Fall from grocery stores, farmers markets, table tops and front porches.   They’re not just for pumpkin pie anymore! Read more

Which Cookie Will Santa Like Best?

Santa’s Coming SOON!

Santa’s going to be coming down chimneys and looking for those cookies and milk soon!  We have it on good elf-authority that he’s going to be munching cookies all night long, but he’s having trouble picking a flavor he likes BEST this year.  Read more