Cookie-baking guru shares sweet wisdom
Thirteen years ago, Bridget Edwards quit her day job working for the Dallas retail division of Mary Engelbreit to care for her newborn son, Jack. She never would have guessed that one day, she'd be a celebrated baker and blogger on the verge of releasing her own cookbook.
Of course, considering her background, passion for baking and decorating cookies, and sunny personality, it's hardly surprising.
"I grew up with a mom who loved to bake, and she passed that love of baking on to me," Edwards said.
After her initial cookie-decorating efforts were not quite as successful as she'd hoped, Edwards gradually developed a surefire, step-by-step decorating system based on trial and error.
In 2007, Edwards took what she'd learned about cookie decorating to the public, launching the blog Bake at 350.
"I wanted to let people know that you can do this at home and that it's easier than you think," she said.
Although at first, the blog was primarily frequented by friends and family, it now has a loyal following of friends, relatives, other bloggers and complete strangers. Edwards' Twitter page, bakeat350tweets, has nearly 10,000 followers, and her Facebook page, bakeat350blog, has more than 16,000 likes. Her Pinterest boasts more than 8,000 followers, which isn't too shabby for a self-taught baker and cookie aficionado.
One visit to Edwards' blog explains what all the fuss is about. Bake at 350 features dozens of recipes, as well as step-by-step instructions and photos, for cookies, breads, muffins, scones, brownies, cakes, cake truffles, pies, cupcakes, tarts and icings.
Also featured are recipes and tutorials for savory main dishes and treats, such as chicken-chili stew, mini tamale pies, creamy bowtie pasta with pancetta bacon and peas, and Gouda biscotti. Best of all, Edwards explains it all in a fun, friendly way that's easy to digest — even for novice bakers.
Edwards' upcoming book, "Decorating Cookies: 60+ Designs for Holidays, Celebrations and Everyday," features the same step-by-step, photo-guided approach as her blog.
"The book takes you through the entire step-by-step process of baking and decorating cookies," Edwards said. "I think the step-by-step photos are what really set 'Decorating Cookies' apart from other types of cookie-decorating books."
Published by Lark Press, "Decorating Cookies" will be released Oct. 2 which, coincidentally, is her grandfather's birthday. The book is currently available for preorder on the Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites.
Edwards also has a companion blog, known as University of Cookie, which features video tutorials by her, as well as a team of talented and like-minded bloggers.
For more information on Edwards and her love of anything cookie-related, visit her blog at bakeat350.blogspot.com or connect with her on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. To learn more about University of Cookie, visit universityofcookie.com.
NAME: Bridget Edwards
OCCUPATION: Baker, blogger and author
COMMUNITY CONNECTION: The Woodlands resident
FAST FACT: Edwards' favorite kind of cookie is chocolate chip.
Megan Mattingly-Arthur is a freelance writer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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