How I Started Baking for The Bears

2019 will mark my 8th Season making treats and baking for the Chicago Bears. You might be thinking, how does one land that gig?  Well, let me tell you…

My younger brother, Danny, works full-time for the Bears. Our entire family have been life-long Bears fans.  Back in the summer of 2012, he came to me and said, “Hey, we need someone to make homemade treats for the team. Do you think you can do it? My first response was, “YES, but I don’t know how to bake”. I mean, up until that point, the only things I remember ever baking were 1) S’mores Bars back in the 80’s off a recipe on the back of the Golden Grahams cereal box.  Come to think of it now, I don’t even think those things went into the oven – so technically that wasn’t baking. And 2) Good old Nestle Toll House cookies – which NEVER turned out the same each time I baked them and it drove me nuts and got me to HATE baking for that very reason.  I was always in love with cooking, though.  I was the gal who threw dinner parties often and provided an obnoxious array of hors d’oeuvres and wine – that’s more my thing.

Side note: I learned the hard way that baking and wine don’t mix. Ha!

However, I was honored and excited to have been asked to step up to the plate for this little baking / treat-making gig, for THE CHICAGO BEARS, no less. So my answer was an enthusiastic, YES! I found out that this has been a long-standing tradition at Halas Hall that the players get homemade treats just one day a week during the season, to welcome them to Halas Hall and the Chicago Bears.  What a nice, family tradition, and I am proud to be a part of it!  And I figured I still had a month before the first regular season game, which is when the “treat days” begin – every Thursday during the regular season (not preseason). So, I hit the streets in search of good recipes and then got to work test-baking in the kitchen for the rest of that summer.  As I became more internet savvy, I started following  lots of baking bloggers on social media and watching video tutorials.  I would go to parties and if I tasted something that I thought was exceptional, I would never hesitate to ask for the recipe.  Baking for the Bears is always in the back of my mind when eating desserts.

I now have an arsenal of treat recipes worthy of offering at a bake shop, if I do say so myself 😉 .  I started getting requests for my pound cake, outside of Baking for the Bears, and my signature Double Chocolate Chip Sea Salt cookies have been quoted as “The best cookies in the world” by a well-known player, as well as friends, family and neighbors. One of the first things I did was perfect a cookie of my own that comes out pretty consistently crunchy on the outside but chewy on the inside. I no longer rely on the old Toll-House recipe.    It’s the one thing I never get tired of baking.  The guys get them every week.

With that said, this season, I plan to blog about my recipes each week, and share with you whatever it is I am making for the Bears.   I’ll also give you tried & true feedback on what worked, what didn’t, and any fun comments that the players, staff, friends & co-workers might have regarding the treat of the week.  I hope you will check in periodically and enjoy my blog.

I’m super excited for the 2019 Bears football season both on the field and in the kitchen!

GO BEARS! This is gonna be a good season… I can feel it! 🙂