Fork. Spoon. Life. Kasey Gusho
When Kasey Gusho learned macarons were the top of the list for baking challenges, she set her sights on mastering the recipe. She watched a lot of Instagram and YouTube videos. There were a lot of failures.
Then she finally got it right, and she wanted even more of a challenge. She began having fun with it, taking her macarons to the next level by creating colorful shapes, characters, logos and designs.
Now she sells her custom macarons as Kasey’s Confections, creating hand designed and unique desserts to order.
The New Berlin resident’s creative cookies include unicorns, puppy dogs and birthday themes, even gender reveal options with colored filling inside. Celebrating local landmarks and teams, Gusho has highlighted Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Bucks team jerseys and game days, even baked character cookies including the Racing Sausages along with Miller Park. Holiday orders range in price, and typically start from $35 to $40 for novelty shapes, which usually includes six flavors. Orders can be placed through Facebook and Instagram @kaseysconfections or email [email protected]
The first time I tried making them was maybe early 2018. I tried at least five times and they didn’t work, but I was determined. It was a challenge but it was fun. I posted on social media that I was going to do it. That forced me to keep trying.
Kasey Gusho, of Kasey’s Confections, makes specialty macarons and other edible creations. (Photo: Katie Soyka Photography)
Challenge becomes career
I love to bake and cook. This was a challenge, from a Buzzfeed article that talked about the hardest things to make in the kitchen. Macarons are the top of the list. I took it upon myself, and it slowly turned into making shapes.
Then I moved to Tampa briefly and moved back to Milwaukee and didn’t have a job. This is the perfect time to try out my passion and see if I can make it a job. It is full time now, which is really exciting.
The first shape I made was the unicorn, which was still just one color. I really just added ears and the horn. Then I decorated on top with frosting and edible ink and marker.
I make all my templates by hand. I’ve always liked to draw. I originally went to school for architecture. I changed to communications, neither is at all what I’m doing now. I didn’t discover I loved to bake until after college at UW-Milwaukee.
A lot of things are for kids birthday parties, invitations for wedding or baby showers. I get the invitation and match the theme. Since nobody does shapes in the area, they don’t have a lot to compare anything to, so I have a lot more creative freedom, which I like.
I don’t really get unusual requests, the most are for bachelor and bachelorette parties where people are cautious to ask me. I have done some interesting things.
I find it easier to bake in fall and winter. The humidity definitely affects the macarons. You can bake them year-round. There is a myth you can’t bake them when it is raining, but I found they still work. I debunked that myth. The only thing is when it is really humid out it takes more time to dry, and it takes more time to layer the macarons. I can’t put layers on top of them when they’re tacky or they melt into one big macaron.
By the numbers
If it is rounds, I can do a batch that will yield about 50 macarons. I have a double oven with convection. Shapes it is about two dozen in a batch, which takes about 2 to 2½ hours. It all depends on how complex it is, it could take twice as long.
For novelty shapes pricing starts at $3 and goes up depending on complexity and time. The more colors and layering I do, the more cost. I try not to make it too crazy. They’re not the cheapest cookie, and with customization and time it varies a lot.
I am doing Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas boxes that people can order before the holidays. I do quarantine cookies with drop-offs at people’s houses. I also do farmer’s markets, the Kenosha Harbor Market on Saturdays (outdoor season has ended) and Menomonee Falls on Wednesdays (through October).
Tools she can’t live without
The biggest thing is my Kitchen Aid (mixer). I cried when I got that for Christmas four years ago. I asked every year for one. Mixing with my hand so much would just be bad for my hands. I actually wear a wrist brace and back brace some days so I can keep doing what I do for a long time. Also, a Silpat nonstick baking mat. It can be washed and reused.
Why she does it
I just love people’s reactions and seeing people share on social media about how much they like my cookies. I like making people smile with what I do.
I would love like a little tea shop storefront. I loved going to high tea when I was little. My aunt would take me. Someday I’d love to do something along those lines. My sister just started a cake business, Batter MKE. She’s a nurse full time. Maybe someday we can do something together.
Fork. Spoon. Life. explores the everyday relationship that local notables (within the food community and without) have with food. To suggest future personalities to profile, email [email protected]
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