Teaching Classes - Home Baking Question

Business By bonniebakes Updated 30 Jun 2011 , 8:00pm by cakegrandma

bonniebakes Posted 28 Jun 2011 , 8:18pm
post #1 of 18

Hi,

I'm hoping someone can give me some information or a phone number of who to contact... I live in Maryland, where I am not licensed to sell because the state doesn't allow home bakeries - so I don't sell. But, I have been approached to teach a class on cookie decorating. I've been trying to reach someone at the dept of health/human services all day, but can't seem to reach a real live person.

My question is.... if I am teaching a class on decorating, can I provide all of the materials, including the cookies (already baked) to decorate on and the icing for the participants in the class? The class space does not have an oven,so there will be no baking on site.

thanks in advance for any information you can give me!

~Bonnie

17 replies
Fairytale Posted 28 Jun 2011 , 8:30pm
post #2 of 18

As long as you are not advertising them as edible you shouldn't have a problem. Remember, this is only a class, not a tasting. Good luck.

stormrider Posted 28 Jun 2011 , 8:43pm
post #3 of 18

I know in the Wilton classes they have all of the participants bring their own cookies and decorating materials. When the instructors do demos in places like Michael's they are not allowed to give out any of their decorated cookies/cupcakes, etc. to people who are watching. You should check with whoever is asking you to teach the class. If you were doing a "decorating party" in your home I would think it might be acceptable to supply everything.

scp1127 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 6:03am
post #4 of 18

I am licensed in MD and I would say probably not. You cannot provide anything edible. If you want to supply non-edible cookies, that may work, but the icing may still be a problem. Because of the very strict requirements in the state and the high cost to meet the requirements, you may be just way down on the list of call-backs. They say they get tons of calls about home kitchens and explaining why someone can't do it takes up a lot of time.

The state office of the HD is in Annapolis. But they may take awhile to return your call also.

MD requirements are very close to FDA rules. They are very serious about the rules and must be tough on those without proper licensing. In my area of MD, there is no public sign of any illegal bakers, where over the line in WV, they are everywhere. The WV HD gets one shut and two more open and decide to advertise.

MD bakers must have a separate kitchen with all of the same requirements as any restaurant. Proper labeling and strict food handling rules apply. My area of WV is also close to FDA requirements, but MD adds even more.

I have a recipe for non-edible cookies I use for Christmas ornaments. If you want it, I will look it up. I would think that royal icing on a non-edible surface would work because the final product is still inedible. I can make this recipe look like a sugar cookie, gingerbread, and chocolate and it holds a great shape after baking.

joyannB Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 9:58am
post #5 of 18

In my opinion, you can provide those materials as long as you wont advertise it to the class. You can also let your student bring with them cookies or other materials or foods (such as candies, nips and chocolates) that they can use to decorate.

scp1127 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 10:10am
post #6 of 18

There are laws and codes in place that answer these questions. This is the business forum and it is unfair to the OP to give an opinion that contradicts the law. The laws are in place to protect the public from food that is produced without the proper requirements. The Maryland CC members already know the answer, but it is best that she get the answer from the HD or their website. I was trying to helpful, but the truth is, bluntly, no. Since I have complied with the rules, I am sure that the answer is the same for everyone. That is why I offered the non-edible recipe.

linedancer Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 11:47am
post #7 of 18

I am from Florida and until recently we could not bake from home. So I thought I would do classes. I too wondered if I could provide the materials for the class, cookies and fondant, so I contacted the Ag Dept, and in FL there is an exemption for classes. You can provide the materials for the class. Check with the appropriate authorities in your state, you might be pleasantly surprised.

bonniebakes Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 1:00pm
post #8 of 18

thank you all for your replies! I will continue to try to reach the Health Dept to have a direct answer, I was just finding it so frustrating to be stalled all day yesterday that I thought I'd post here.

scp1127 - I completely agree about following the rules, which is why I do not sell any baked goods. I very much appreciate your answers, and if you wouldn't mind sharign your non-edible cookie recipes I would be very grateful!

Lcubed82 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 2:50pm
post #9 of 18

scp1127- do you use a bread dough ornament recipe? I would love to make "cookies" for our Christmas bazaar at church. If you are willing to share, I am very appreciative!

btrsktch Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 6:12pm
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

There are laws and codes in place that answer these questions. This is the business forum and it is unfair to the OP to give an opinion that contradicts the law. The laws are in place to protect the public from food that is produced without the proper requirements. The Maryland CC members already know the answer, but it is best that she get the answer from the HD or their website. I was trying to helpful, but the truth is, bluntly, no. Since I have complied with the rules, I am sure that the answer is the same for everyone. That is why I offered the non-edible recipe.




WELL SAID thumbs_up.gif

I would question where you plan to hold the class. I personally would be EXTREMELY hesitant of anyone wanting to hold decorating classes in their home- for profit- unless you were the Maryland ICES representative!

scp1127 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 6:56pm
post #11 of 18

I will dig that recipe up today and post it on this thread. No, it's not bread dough, but it makes the most perfect cut out cookies... better than edible dough... and this site's NFSC is a great one. One year we made them for all of the grandmothers. Mine are still perfect about five years later. One year I went back and decorated some with acrylic paint and they still held up. My thought about the law is that just because you put royal icing on something does not make it edible. I believe the recipe contains a fair amount of salt to ward off dogs and cats from eating the ornaments. My animals wouldn't even lick them (experiment before I put them on the tree).

Anyway... if you are in my area, I can help you with the contacts, otherwise, I suggest getting the code from a website or a friend that is a plumber. They know the codes well.

momsgoodies Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 9:25pm
post #12 of 18

scp- I would like the recipe too!!!

scp1127 Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 3:57am
post #13 of 18

Whew!! I had five three-ring binders of dessert recipes that I don't use for business... it was in the first one.

Inedible Cookies

4c AP flour
1 c salt
1 c water (or more as needed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment.
In a large bowl, combine salt and flour. Pour the water in the center of the flour mixture and stir thoroughly. Add more water if needed to create a smooth dough. Divide the dough into quarters and wrap well to keep from drying out.

On a lightly floured surface (or between sheets of wax paper), roll out one ball at a time to about 1/3 thickness. Cut with desired cookie cutters. You can re-use the scraps by lightly kneading them together and re-rolling. Make a hole at the top of each cookie with a skewer, nail, or nutpick. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets. I roll the dough on the parchment, cut the cookies, and remove the excess. Then I don't have to move the cookie.

Bake the ornaments for about 45 minutes to one hour, switching the baking sheets from one shelf to another about halfway through cooking, until a pin inserted in the dough comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool.

I add brown food coloring for gingerbread color and more for chocolate. Left alone, they look like sugar cookies.

stormrider Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 2:22pm
post #14 of 18

scp1127 - Thanks for sharing this recipe!

bonniebakes Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 7:20pm
post #15 of 18

scp1127 - thank you for that recipe! I can't wait to try it.

The venue that I have been talking with is a party business, not someone's home. I've been trying to get in contact tiehthe dept of H& HS, but they have been having phone issues all week, and I can't get coneected with a live person.

I decided that I would only do it if the participants brought all of their own materials. But, that non-edible dough might be jut the thing for the first class, before they get a supply list and recipes.

thanks, everyone!

costumeczar Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 7:38pm
post #16 of 18

If you're not allowed to bake from home then I'd assume that you're not allowed to provide anything edible from your home for public consumption, which would be what the class was for. The inedible dough would work, but you could also just buy plain sugar cookies from the grocery store and use those.

scp1127 Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 7:55pm
post #17 of 18

The only problem with them bringing the cookies would be the distorted look of the cookies from non-bakers. If you can bring fake cookies, that is more money in your pocket.

Note about that recipe: I think I remember the top crackling a little. I can't remember what I did to stop it. I may have used the backs.

cakegrandma Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 8:00pm
post #18 of 18

If you are going to be paid for the classes then I am not sure that you could provide anything edible. Your pay would constitute a business. I would provide the inedible cookies and perhaps email everyone the recipe for icing, that may alleviate potential problems. Let us know how this goes for you.
evelyn

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