Welcome to Neufangled Desserts - the creation of a baker raised in small-town upstate New York and currently residing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
"How did you become a baker?"
I am asked this question many times - usually with a deeper inquiry into whether I have had any formal training. Well...surprise! I am self-taught, and I don't think of it so much as training as inspiration. I had two amazing grandmothers - Dorothy Neufang and Marie Phelps - who, I swear, made magic when they were in the kitchen. On my mother's side of the family, my Grandma Phelps introduced me, at a very young age, to coffee. I remember how delighted I was to be immersed in my Danish heritage quite often when, along with my mother and two older sisters, I would visit my great-grandmother's house for a "coffee klatch". I was permitted a small cup of coffee (loaded with tons of cream and sugar), paired with a delicious sugar cookie or other amazing Scandanavian baked good filled with wonderful flavors and all the love and care of whoever made it. I carry forward that adoration of good, strong coffee (which - like my mother and grandmother, I drink black now), paired with baked goods, to this day.
From my Grandma Neufang, I developed a fast affinity for anything made with lots of sugar, butter, and quite often - chocolate! More importantly, she would simply bake for the hell of it - and for the pure love and passion of it. Baking was an extension of her caring nature to those she loved. On Sundays growing up, we would go to Grandma Neufang's house after church for our family to chat and catch up from the week. She would have the normal snack foods on the table, but usually, she had whipped up a new homemade treat or two as well. I could almost see the twinkle in her eyes as she would humbly present these goodies, inviting us to try them and barely masking the vigor and excitement she no doubt put into busting open her baking books to mix them up and get them in the oven! Fueled by that spirit as a teenager, I started occasionally collecting and experimenting with recipes, breaking in my mother's Kitchen Aid mixer and slowly building upon that love of baking that flourishes in me today. When I moved into my first apartment after college, my Grandma Neufang purchased my first Kitchen Aid mixer for me. I like to think it was all a part of her gently nudging me along in carrying on her tradition.
Neufangled Desserts originally, and somewhat officially, began as a Word Press blog to chronicle my baking adventures. If you'd like to read a little more about "how it all began", as well as visit a plethora of past blog posts leading up to the genesis of this very website in November 2014, please do so by clicking here!
Sharing my baked goods and my experiences in my kitchen is how I express my love and appreciation for others, much as it was for both of my grandmothers before me. It doesn't have to be a special occasion; I will just bake for the pure love of it. I put my heart and soul into my baking. There is absolutely nothing more calming and therapeutic for me than to brew some coffee, turn on some good music, prep the ingredients, heat up the oven, and get to work creating something fantastic and delicious. Not only is this my passion, it is my legacy - and I want to share it with you.
Thank you stopping by. Enjoy perusing my website and reading my blog to stay current on what is baking in my kitchen! Please get in touch with me if you are craving something sweet. Chances are, I will jump at the opportunity to create something for you.
Neufangled Desserts has been in the local press and on the radio!
Grandma's baking inspired side career in desserts - Fork. Spoon. Life. by Kristin M. Kierzek, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel - 6.30.2017