By Mary Pratt
Marcie Place returns to the Saratoga Farmers’ Market this Saturday, after a three-month break. She concentrated on her family, especially her son Ted who has joined middle school. “I started my baking business as a way to work from home after the surprise arrival of my third son,” she said. During this so-called break, Marcie filled corporate orders and developed several new recipes for the Farmers’ Market.
Marcie noted how she benefitted from the Farmers’ Market by moving from routine recipes to being more creative. “I never experimented until I joined the Market and met great vendors. I realized how important it is to use fresh, local ingredients such as rosemary from Otrembiak Farm for the rosemary butter cookies. And, eggs from vendors which make shortbread good, golden, and gorgeous.”
But there are no chocolate spoons among her goodies. “I chose The Chocolate Spoon as my business name because I wanted something memorable and something unique,” Marcie explained. “Once a customer thought I literally sold spoons dipped in chocolate!”
Can we hope that maybe someday she’ll make chocolate lollipops with wooden spoon handles? Meanwhile, we have to try her new products. “Look for treats like speculoos, pecan sandies, Norwegian butter cookies, pistachio cranberry shortbread cookies, and raspberry pie.”
Marcie explained, “Speculoos is a traditional Belgian spice cookie, sometimes referred to as Biscoff.” Its origin goes back into the 1650s when bakers were already making biscuits along with their bread. Her Norwegian butter cookie, “is a simple cookie with few ingredients but the combination is memorable.”
For Valentine’s Day, The Chocolate Spoon will feature ‘pink’: strawberry marshmallows, raspberry Linzer cookies, cookie bouquets, and pink snickerdoodles. The latter obtains its pink color from pureed beets.
In addition to the Farmers’ Market, The Chocolate Spoon caters to special events such as weddings, baby and bridal showers, care packages, book clubs, fundraisers and cookie party favors for birthdays or out-of-town guests.
On Marcie’s table at the Farmers’ Market, you’ll notice a money jar, but it’s not a tip jar. She accepts donations for “Project Cupcake,” her free community outreach project. “It’s a way for me to give back after receiving wonderful guidance and support while my son Ted was in grade school.” Project Cupcake, now in its second year, “provides birthday treats in the classroom for kids whose families may not otherwise be able to provide one,” Marcie explained.
After you read this article, be sure to overwhelm The Chocolate Spoon this Saturday, and every Saturday after that.
This week’s recipe: Cheddar & Rosemary Shortbread Cookies