Good deeds become cottage industry
By KRISS NELSON
FORT DODGE – Marcie Welter has been baking treats in the kitchen since she was a young child. Her talent for baking soon turned to baking goodies for friends and coworkers, which has evolved into a small business.
Welter said that while growing up she helped in the kitchen side-by-side with her mother, Betty Kay, both cooking and baking.
Something Welter considers unique about her upbringing in the kitchen was that her mother made everything by scratch, rarely using anything from a box.
“When it’s homemade,” Welter said, “it’s better. It comes from the heart.
“To make something from a box when I was growing up was unheard of.”
Baking Christmas delicacies has been a long standing tradition for Welter, her mother and sister, Josette White, and a close friend.
This annual baking tradition usually happens the second week of December and each year they make fudge, sugar cookies, almond bark pretzels, peanut clusters, saltine toffee and spritz.
What started out giving platters of Christmas treats away, turned into making orders for friends and co-workers.
The orders grew, eventually leading Welter to start a business.
“People started to request cookies, or bars for birthday parties, anniversary parties or various days throughout the year,” she said. “So this is when my mom, sister and I had decided that we would be willing to do this more than just at Christmas.”
Welter said her sister has stepped down from kitchen duties, but helps in other ways, such as sales. Welter is assisted in the kitchen by her mother and her husband, Todd Welter.
Their business, Sweet Centsations offers a variety of cookies, bars, pies and other treats for all occasions.
When it came to naming her business, which she operates when not working her full-time job at Kemna Auto, in Fort Dodge, Welter said she isn’t sure just how exactly it became to be, but there is some meaning behind the name.
“If you notice the wording of Sweet Centsations, it’s not exactly how you would think of spelling it,” she said. “Cent is to be used money wise. And I take pride in what is done, do things at a reasonable price, and want people to know that I am very particular about things that are made. If I am not happy with it, it won’t leave. It will be made right.”
Todd Welter’s forte is making cheesecakes and mini-cheesecakes. Marcie Welter said he also prepares entres including drunken chicken Guinness pasta, chocolate bundles; BBQ bacon wrapped shrimp and fried pasta.
“We make a great pair of cooks; he cooks, I cook, he bakes and I bake,” she said.
Welter said they have plans to teach their daughter, Samantha Welter, the secrets of baking and cooking. She is already starting to learn and wants to help whenever they are in the kitchen. She has her own table, apron and cookie cutters.
Welter offers some tips to creating the perfect baked goods. These include:
- Be sure baking soda is fresh. To test this, she said, ladle a teaspoon of baking soda into a cup and pour a little vinegar on it. If it bubbles, it is good.
- If a recipe calls for soft butter, make sure it is soft. The recipe calls for it for a reason.
- If a recipe says to use a specific brand of an ingredient, Welter suggests not substituting and following the recommendation of the product.
- To make a sugar cookie wreath without a wreath cookie cutter, Welter said one can use a circle, then take a beer bottle top (since there are no longer glass pop bottles), and cut out the middle of the cookie as the wreath.
- To make Santa sugar cookie from two circles, take one entire circle for the face and take the other circle and cut a triangle out of the circle and using it for the hat and the two remaining pieces can be used as a mustache.
- Put yourself at the receiving end of what you are making. Would you be happy with it?
Welter can be contacted at (515) 570-5463 or e-mail Marcie@sweetcentsations.com.
cherries without the cherries
1 bag of pull and peel cherry licorice
2 squares of white almond bark
1 square of chocolate almond bark
Cut the licorice into three sections, then peel apart.
Melt almond bark in the microwave in a microwave safe dish.
Dip 1/4 to 1/2 of the piece of licorice in melted almond bark. Place on waxed paper to cool and harden.
Then enjoy. They can be placed and kept in a glass container for up to two weeks.
Do not place in a plastic bag or plastic container.
3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 package Jell-o – any flavor
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Mix together, until creamy the shortening, sugar, Jell-o, eggs and vanilla.
Then add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
Roll into balls, sprinkle with sugar.
Bake 6-8 minutes at 400 degrees.
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
Cream shortening and butter and add vanilla.
Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing well after each cup of sugar then add the milk and mix well.
Special K wreaths or corn flake wreaths
1 bag of red hots candy
1 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup creamy peanut butter
Green food coloring
5-6 cups Special K or corn flakes cereal
Bring sugar and corn syrup to a boil. Add peanut butter and mix until melted.
Remove from heat and add a few drops of green food coloring.
Add cereal and mix well until all is covered.
Get a pan or sheet of waxed paper to put wreaths on when complete.
Spray hands with cooking spray and take some of the mixture and make a circle.
Put red hots around the circle to represent holly berries.
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