Miss NiNi

She’s my Friday-afternoon sidekick.

We are the Miss NiNi delivery team.

As we meander the Des Moines Metro streets in Ethyl — my faithful 1994 Buick Roadmaster woody wagon — we dine on conversation along with the finest of after-school snacks, rice cakes and water.

We’re both passionate about dessert baking. And now, she’s my teaching assistant with our beginning baking classes held at the desserterie.

As I reminisce, Dear Readers, it comes to mind that Yours Truly was an official sidekick on my dad’s food transportation team. We delivered farm-fresh eggs by the tens-of-dozens in Capital City, N.D. Little did I know that my training ground in that fraction of the business world would kickstart my business prowess as a dessert entrepreneur.

It’s the class that highlights my baking chat today, Dear Readers.

Understanding the basics of baking helps build confidence — plain and simple.

Not only that, but the time and financial resources spent on ingredients, tools, and electricity or gas to fuel an oven can possibly lead to budget stress if baked products end up tasting “Oh No!” versus “Oh Yes!”

Should I pack the flour into a measuring cup or fluff it? Do I pack brown sugar into a measuring cup or fluff it? Understanding the answers to even these two simple questions can bring baking lessings.

Gather a group of friends for two hours of afternoon or evening educational fun! Miss NiNi is so ready to help address any baking blues tucked away within the recesses of your mind!

Watch Little Missy or me whip up a batch of yummy chocolate chip cookie dough as I chat about measuring and mixing techniques. I also include some of the scientific “whys” of baking. Even students with lifelong baking skills will have fun and learn something new!

The “frosting on the cake” is when the students immediately apply those learned principles in our commercial bakery as they make their own warm-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies. It’s a Win-Win!

Girls Scout troops schedule group classes in order to earn their cooking badge. Children enjoy birthday partying at our classes. Mom-and-daughter neighbors and friends are all in for this class.

My baking sidekick and I are excited to help you ramp up your baking skills! See you in the near future!

Miss NiNi

NOTE TO READERS: Follow Miss NiNi’s Fine Desserts on FB, Twitter, and Instagram. When in central Iowa, enjoy Miss NiNi’s delicious handcrafted, award-winning desserts at Miss NiNi’s Desserterie in West Des Moines/Waukee.

BACKGROUND — Janine Knop, aka Miss NiNi, grew up on the prairies of North Dakota learning to bake alongside her mother. As her passion for baking delicious treats grew, so did her creative flair in the kitchen. She is a graduate of North Dakota State University with a degree in Home Economics Education and a minor in Food and Nutrition. She served as a home economist for an upper Midwest power company promoting the use of electrical kitchen appliances through television, radio, and cooking schools. As an Atlantic-area farm wife and mother, she has honed her baking skills in her own kitchen by creating and testing hundreds of dessert recipes. Janine has been awarded numerous championship ribbons in the food department at the Iowa State Fair, the largest food competition of its kind in the United States. Her passion for dessert baking served as the catalyst which led to the creation of her own nationally known company, Miss NiNi’s Fine Desserts.