It’s Friday, September 2nd, 2016, and Gwendy’s Goodies is preparing for the neighborhood children to come and enjoy story hour at 10 a.m. The theme of story hour is dragons, so Gwendy and her staff got to working on designing delicious sugar cookies in several different dragon shapes and sizes.
As a mother of seven, Gwendy feels passionate about developing a relationship between her business and the kids of the community. So she came up with story hour where every Friday, based on a specific book, Gwendy would bake uniquely thematic sugar cookies and host a face-painting station.
Gwendy’s Goodies, located in Ayden, North Carolina, is a lovely little bakery that is very involved with its surrounding community and Gwendy herself is amazed to see how far she’s grown.
“I went from being a stay-at-home mom to an owner of a business that has transformed quite rapidly.” (Winterville Magazine). Piqued by her story, we at FortheChef had sat down with Gwendolyn Yiznitsky, founder of Gwendy’s Goodies, to share her journey.
“[Initially, opening a business] had no appeal to me.”
Just a few years ago, Gwendy Yiznitsky was an at-home mother with a passion for baking. She is a self-taught baker, who used to bake alongside her mother as a young child. She would often bake for neighbors, school events, and fundraisers, allowing her to bake delightful treats in large quantities.
“Every cookie I made with a specific person in mind… so when you bake something with love, it comes out in the food.” And surprisingly, from the cookies Gwendy had personally sent to our office, you could taste this passion, taking her slogan “Love in Every Bite,” to an almost literal level.
From every bite, all of her friends and family had told her that she needed to sell her cookies, but Gwendy had her reservations of the idea: “[Initially, opening a business] had no appeal to me… [Baking] cookies was a pleasure and a joy to me, I was afraid it might get lost when it became a job.”
However, Gwendy started to change her mind when her daughter was raising money to attend a mission trip to Thailand. After 3 months of baking pounds of cookies in preparation, Gwendy was given a taste of the monetary value her cookies brought. People who bought from Gwendy’s fundraiser fell in love from the first bite and then a wildfire of word-of-mouth sparked. “I had sold about 200 pounds of cookies that day,” allowing her daughter to make it to her mission trip.
The Birth of Gwendy’s Goodies
In April 2015, Gwendy’s Goodies opened its doors by teaming up and sharing the same space with another bakery, We Girls Cakes. The mother-daughter bakery focused on specialized homemade cakes, while Gwendy’s Goodies focused on filling the bakery case with her cookies and muffins. Through this partnership, Gwendy learned more about owning and managing a brick and mortar bakery. While with the help from her family members, she learned how to develop a social media presence and how to properly market her shop.
By November of the same year, We Girls Cakes closed its doors and opened a cake supply shop nearby instead. From We Girls Cakes’s departure, Gwendy’s Goodies now had her own full bakery, allowing Gwendy to bake much more than cookies and muffins.
From cakes, cinnamon buns, cream puffs, pretzels, cheesecakes, and a varying daily menu, Gwendy bakes unique treats and desserts based on her family’s birthdays (their favorite desserts) and ones that Gwendy herself wants to create.
Now in 2016, Gwendy is on an incredible growth incline as her door traffic increases monthly, word-of-mouth still rages on, and upon opening mail-order purchases, people across the country are now ordering her cookies.
Love in Every Bite
While we at FortheChef have personally enjoyed Gwendy’s Goodies cookies, we encourage anyone in her area to personally stop by. Not only will you be enveloped in the warmth of delicious baked goods, but Gwendy herself is a warm host looking to help you feel at home in her bakery. In order to experience why Gwendy’s bakery has become a favorite in her community, be sure to stop by Gwendy’s Goodies, where love is in every bite!
Not in the area? Visit Gwendy’s website to specially mail-order several cookie packages that arrive from the oven to your door.
Oreo Bon Bon Cupcakes
After Gwendy sat down with us to talk about the journey of Gwendy’s Goodies, she also shared with us her recipe for her very popular, Oreo Bon Bon cupcakes. This delicious treat, conceived initially as a birthday cupcake for a family member, blends rich chocolate with a sweet and delectable oreo cream filling. It’s a recipe we’re excited to share from Gwendy’s Goodies!
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup coffee, lukewarm
- 18 oreos
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup shortening
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 5 to 6 T. heavy cream
- 5 tsp. meringue powder
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 T. water
- 3 T. milk chocolate chips
- 3 T. semi-sweet chips
- 3 T. heavy cream
- 3 crushed Oreos
For the cupcakes
Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, beat well and scrape down the sides. Add vanilla, baking soda, salt and cocoa. Add the buttermilk. Add the flour. Then add the coffee. Mix until combined.
Divide into muffin cups lined with papers. I like big cupcakes and use larger liners so I get about 9 cupcakes, you may get 12 if you make them a bit smaller. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, 325 degrees if using a convection oven. Cupcakes are done when they spring back when lightly touched.
Allow the cupcakes to cool.
For the filling
Combine cream cheese and oreos in a food processor or stand mixer until the thoroughly combined and smooth.
For the frosting
The frosting is made by folding royal icing into buttercream.
First make the royal icing by putting all the royal icing ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer and whipping with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy. If it is too stiff, add a few drops of water. Move the royal icing into a separate bowl, set aside.
In the bowl you used for the royal icing cream the butter and sugar for the butter cream icing with a paddle attachment, add the powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla. Beat until fluffy.
Now fold the royal icing into the buttercream thoroughly combining.
Put all ingredients into the microwave in a small glass dish for 20 sec. and stir, repeat until a nice smooth chocolate sauce has been achieved. Add a few chip if it seems too thin.
Core the cupcakes, fill with a small scoop, about 1 tablespoon, of oreo filling. Top with a light layer of ganache. Swirl the top with a generous amount of frosting and decorate with crushed Oreos.