Three treats for a winning tailgate. September 22 2016

Ritchie Hill Bakery - Tailgate Season

Aside from our own shameless plug for Heath's Cheese Straws (which happen to come in three perfectly large sizes for tailgating), we teamed up with our friends at VAIN vanilla extracts, and Mrs. Ruth's Jams to bring you two additional winning recipes. 

VAIN makes some seriously incredible vanilla extracts, using high-quality spirits and the best vanilla beans available. So, if you want to take your cooking and baking up a notch, check em' out!

Mrs. Ruth's Jams is home to artisanal jams using the freshest local produce from North Carolina farmers. All are prepared seasonally, using the best of local fruits. It's love in a jar. 

Without further ado, here are the recipes: 

VAIN Shortbread Spirit Cookies

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar until light colored. Add vanilla. Sift together the flour and salt, add to butter mixture. Mix on low for two minutes. Shape dough into a disk. Chill for 30 minutes. Roll the dough 1/4 inch thick and cut into desired shapes. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle with colored sugar (of your favorite team!). Bake for 15-20 minutes, until edges begin to brown.

VAIN Vanilla Extracts

Mrs. Ruth's Jams (from Ruth's dear friend Marilyn) Pimento-less Cheese Spread & Sandwich Filling


  • 8 ounces of freshly grated Extra Sharp cheddar cheese (creamier if freshly grated)

  • 1/3 cup of your favorite mayonnaise

  • 2 dashes  ground cayenne pepper (or to taste)

  • ¼ cup Mrs. Ruth’s  Hot Pepper, Peach Jalapeno, Pineapple Jalapeno  or Cranberry Jalapeno Jam

Mix until blended;  Serve on toasted baguettes or  fill sliced cherry tomatoes
Sprinkle with bacon crumbles.

Mrs. Ruth's Jams

Here's to a winning season!

The Ritchies

Mint Juleps, Mother's Day, and Morsels from Ritchie Hill Bakery April 20 2016

Ahhh, spring. You're finally here. We missed your big hats, glorious colors, and picnics on the lawn. With Mother's Day around the corner and the Kentucky Derby around the bend, we're ready to celebrate. 

In the spirit of celebration, check out these two favrite springtime libations. They're perfectly paired with some freshly-baked morsels from Ritchie Hill Bakery!

Two of our southern favorites are "Creating a Stir” mint julep from Lexington Kentucky. (Who better to have a mint julep recipe?) And “Heritage of Hospitality” iced tea from the Junior League of Winston-Salem, NC, where Moravian traditions are still treasured in Old Salem: home of Salem College.

Kentucky Mint Juleps
From “Creating a Stir” published by The Fayette County Medical Auxiliary in 2000 for the benefit of Kentucky’s Children.

  • 4 cups shaved or crushed ice (do not use ice cubes)
  • Sugar Syrup (below)
  • 1 pint quality bourbon whiskey
  • 6 fresh mint sprigs for garnish
  • Powdered sugar
Sugar Syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
Bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add mint. Cover and let steep 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain, discarding solids. Place sugar syrup in a jar and chill until ready to serve.


Pack ice into 6 julep cups to within 1/2 inch from top; add 1 jigger Sugar Syrup and 1-2 jiggers bourbon to each cup, stirring until cup frosts; Dip mint sprigs in powdered sugar and place 1 in each serving. Serve with a cocktail napkin (cups are quite chilly).

"About the mint julep: The word julep originally referred to a nonalcoholic medicinal syrup. However, by the mid eighteenth century, when the average American, including women and children, consumed two and a half gallons of spirits a year (much of it before breakfast!), the julep was made primarily with spirits and in our county most often with mint. Many times, the julep was taken after waking in the morning because it was thought to aid in fighting fevers that might have arisen from the night air and hot climates. Juleps were originally made with Maderia but postbellum Southerners replaced that with bourbon whiskey, sugar, water, fresh mint and crushed ice, mixed and typically served in a frosted silver julep cup. They are a Kentucky tradition often associated with the Kentucky Derby.” Creating a Stir.

Salem College Iced Tea
From “Heritage of Hospitality” published by the Winston-Salem, NC Junior League in 1975.

  • 4 sprigs fresh mint
  • 8-12 whole cloves
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 ounce tea
  • juice of 8 lemons
  • juice of 6 oranges
  • 1 46 oz can of pineapple juice
  • 2 cups sugar

Add mint and cloves to water; bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Add tea and allow to steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain, and while still hot, add fruit juices and sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar. Makes about 4 1/2 quarts.

“The best iced tea in the world, and one reason loyal alumnae enjoy returning at commencement time.” Heritage of Hospitality

Drum Roll Please ... Announcing Heath's New Spicy Recipe! March 11 2015

The race to find Heath's new spicy recipe was hotly contested, peppered with opinions, engulfed by volunteer taste testers, ignited with burning flavors, and ended in a fiery, neck-and-neck finish.

Ok, enough with the puns. But, in all seriousness, we are thrilled to announce that 35 wonderful taste testers have identified a winning recipe for Heath's new Spicy Cheese Straws! A very special thanks goes to these testers for their incredibly detailed feedback and the wonderful tasting parties they hosted to gather opinions from family and friends. You can check out the final results of the survey below, along with a compilation of the great words most commonly used to describe our new line of Cheese Straws. 

Stay tuned for the release of this new recipe, which you'll soon be able to find alongside Heath's Original Recipe, online and in markets near you! 

Recruitment is Closed - Let the Taste Testing Begin! February 17 2015

Wow! We're blown away by how many volunteer taste testers raised their hands! We're officially full! We'll be in touch with our "first responders" soon. And for those who volunteered but didn't make the list, not to worry: we still have something in store for you! Stay tuned for Heath's new Spicy Cheese Straws!


Calling on Spicy Taste Testers February 14 2015

It's Valentine's Day - the spiciest of holidays. And this year, we're making things even spicier at Ritchie Hill Bakery. But we need your help to determine just how spicy to get.

The first 20 volunteer taste testers will get a package next week with three different degrees of Spicy Cheese Straws. Then we'll send you a quick online survey asking for your vote. After we tally the results, we'll release our new line of Heath's Spicy Cheese Straws this spring.

Quick! If you're interested, shoot a note to
info@ritchiehillbakery.com and say, "I volunteer" and include your shipping address.

We moved! June 26 2014

It seems everyone’s moving in the summer. Tis’ the season, we guess. Well, we jumped on the bandwagon, loaded up the dollies, and moved ourselves.

Just a couple weeks ago, we moved into a brand new bakery at The Old Creamery in downtown Concord. With more space, a new, huge, beautiful mixer, and even more ovens, we’re ready to do some serious baking. We’re proud of the new space and so thankful for all of our wonderful customers who have helped us grow. 

We’re not selling direct from the bakery yet (stay tuned), but if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by Suite 195 and say hi. You can pick up some of Heath’s Cheese Straws next door at Peachtree Market on your way out.

The Old Creamery building, at 363 Church Street N., was once the home to both the Coca-Cola bottling plant and the Cabarrus Creamery, where we have fond memories of ice cream with our dads and grandfathers. It’s a building that carries the same wonderful (and delicious) heritage that Ritchie Hill Bakery was built on.  

136 Kinds of Weather, 24 Hours, and 1 Easter Recipe April 04 2014

It was Mark Twain who once said, “In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. But, amidst the unpredictable cold-hot-humid-dry-snowy-rainy weather we’ve been having lately, there’s one thing constant: the traditions that go along with a quickly approaching Easter holiday.

Weather: we see your unpredictability, and raise you the predictable colors of Easter with Boo’s “Pink Salad,” a classic Ritchie Hill treat.

With that, here’s to Easter traditions, and a new recipe for you to bring home over the holiday:

“Boo’s Pink Salad”


(1) 8 oz. package of cream cheese

4 tbs. of mayonnaise

1 can of pineapple tidbits (technical term) with syrup (reserve 2 tbs. of syrup)

2 tbs. pineapple syrup

2 small bananas, diced

1 pint of frozen strawberries, thawed and drained

2 cups of Cool Whip


Soften cream cheese and blend with mayonnaise. Beat in pineapple syrup. Mix in bananas, pineapple, and strawberries. Fold-in Cool Whip. Freeze until firm. To make individual servings, freeze in foil cup cake holders or in a muffin tin. 

The Ultimate Winter Cure: Stuffed Pepper Soup January 07 2014

Just like Heath’s dad use to say, 'gaaaahhhhh-leeeee' it’s cold outside. We can’t even recognize our friends’ photos on Facebook. Everyone’s covered up in hats, jackets, scarves, ski goggles, and balaclavas. But we did spot one picture that we thought might warm all of us up: our friend Ashley Kasonik’s stuffed pepper soup. Thanks Ashley, for sharing the ultimate winter cure.

Ashley’s “SuperKasonik Boom” Stuffed Pepper Soup

“You should really try this – it’s AWESOME. My photography skills do not do this cheesy concoction justice! Just make the soup per the recipe below, then top with hot sauce and some crumbled cheese straws, and prepare to have your mind blown.”

Brown the below ingredients and drain well:

2 lbs. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
5 green peppers, chopped

Then, add:

6 cans Tomato Soup and 5 soup cans water
1 can of beef broth and 1 broth can of water
2 small cans of tomato sauce
3/4 cup uncooked basmati rice

Simmer on low until the rice is cooked, add some of Heath’s cheese straws, hot sauce to taste, and…BOOM!