Inspiration can come from anywhere. For Megan Taylor, head pastry chef at the Black Rooster Bakery in Fort Worth, TX, it sometimes comes from her childhood. She uses some of her favorite childhood sweet treats to spark ideas for new products for the bakery. For example, she created an original recipe for the famous, store-bought chocolate cookies with vanilla filling, as well as for the popular marshmallow treats that are sold around Easter.
“I like to use mainstream treats for inspiration because it reminds me of my childhood—my childhood favorites,” Taylor says. “It just makes everyone feel really comfortable when they come in here. People love the homemade, nostalgic stuff.”
As the head pastry chef, Taylor has creative freedom and develops the recipes herself. The recipe for the chocolate cookies consists of flour, baking soda, baking powder, butter and an egg. “It’s just like a pie dough,” Taylor says.
The dough goes a long way so you don’t have to make much. And it doesn’t spread a lot in the oven. The cookies bake for about 18 minutes. “They’re very easy to overcook because they’ll still feel soft in the often. So you just want to make sure the sides are a little crispy and then they’ll harden up as they cool,” Taylor says.
Once the cookies cool down you can pipe in the frosting. The filling is made out of powdered sugar, butter and some vanilla.
At the Black Rooster, the cookies are used as a topping on mini cookies and cream cakes. They don’t sell the cookies by themselves because they’re really time consuming, so they’d have to sell them at a high price point. But they do hand out samples. “We always get a great response from the customers,” Taylor says. “Even from people who don’t like the store-bought variety.”
So if you’re thinking about expanding your product line, take a trip down memory lane and recreate some of the treats that always made your childhood-self smile.