On Wednesday nights in the summer find Steph Krueger of Shortie’s Sweets ’n Treats tucked under a purple tent at Eagan’s Market Fest. Steph prepares drop cookies, giant Rice Krispie treats, cake pops, and her signature stuffed cookies both for the market and for special orders. New this summer are Steph’s creative freeze-dried candies and fruits, including the highly addictive Frittles, aka Freeze-Dried Skittles.
Steph founded her business Memorial Day 2019 at a craft fair at her family’s cabin. She nearly sold out. The name “Shortie” came from Steph’s grandfather’s longtime nickname for her. Applying for her cottage food license was a good fit for her and her husband’s goal to eliminate their debt. After achieving that goal in late 2020, they made the down payment on a new house that they built in Elko.
Steph’s stuffed cookies tip the scale at half a pound each. These creative flavor combos were her quarantine creation. “My regular cookies tend to be large. I wanted something that set me apart. I saw these cookies online and thought that I should try them,” shared Steph. “If I think I’m going to like it, I’ll try it. Anything with peanut butter and chocolate is my weakness. I try lots of different candies.”
Steph had a huge smile on her face when asked what interests her the most about working with food and people. “I love the creativity that I have. I’m a throw it in the bowl, mix it up, put it on a pan, and see what happens sort of baker. Sometimes it doesn’t work and that’s okay,” explained Steph. “Baking is a time for me to clear my head. I just focus on creating. Some people are artists who paint. My medium is cookie dough. It’s something that I can do. I enjoy it.”
Finding a supportive and enthusiastic community has been an unexpected highlight of Steph’s journey into baking. Her customers are so loyal that she was named the HomeTownNewsSource “Best Lakeville Bakery” in 2021, “My customers are absolutely amazing! I’m so lucky.”