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Welcome to Fancy Food & Culinary Products' blog, your place to read reviews of the great fancy and gourmet products we find in the marketplace.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Editor's Choice: Immaculate Baking

For the inaugural Editor's Choice post, I want to feature a product that has consistently impressed me since I received samples of it a couple months ago: Immaculate Baking's new-this-year Better Bakes. The Better Bakes are organic, ready-to-bake cookie dough and are available in five flavors: Chocolate Chunk, Vanilla Sugar, Triple Chocolate Chunk, Oatmeal Raisin and Peanut Butter. They come pre-shaped in packs of 24 dough balls, so the only skill necessary to bake them is arranging them two inches apart on a baking pan.

Now, I'm a self-admitted purist when it comes to baking -- the cookies that come from my kitchen are always the from-scratch variety. My mom is also perhaps the world's best chocolate chip cookie baker, so I have pretty high standards for what I look for in a great cookie. Immaculate Baking's Better Bakes surpassed them all. I tried the Chocolate Chunk first, just to see how they measured up against the traditional, from-scratch variety. In just 10 minutes, these little balls of dough baked into cookies that were soft, flavorful and surprisingly addictive! I've found that the cookie dough also freezes well, so they'd be perfect to keep around for surprise company. And as if that wasn't enough, the cookie dough is organic, so it is free from preservatives, trans fat and artificial flavorings (which may explain why they taste so good).

Immaculate Baking's founder, Scott Blackwell, not only has a passion for cookies (he develops the recipes himself), he is an avid supporter of American Folk Art. When he wasn't perusing the aisles of the grocery stores looking for flavor trends and new cookie ingredients, he created the Folk Art Foundation, which provides encouragement, support (financial and otherwise), and exposure to the artists working in the folk art tradition. So what's the connection between folk art and cookies? Blackwell sums it up in one word: approachability.

"I wanted approachability to be on the forefront of our company packaging, and what signifies that, to me, is something that tells a story, something whimsical and fun that has that approachability. Many folk artists hang their work literally on their front porches -- they're very inviting. The main thing for many of them is that they want you to come and talk to them and ask questions and find out why they're [creating their art], and that's how I want to run a business and how I want it to be perceived. These artists are fun, eccentric characters, and I think of myself that way, and I like to think that the products reflect on that as well."

For more information on Immaculate Baking's Better Bakes or to learn more about American Folk Art, visit