Today on Sweet Talk I’m interviewing Jennifer of Not Your Momma’s Cookie. Jennifer is not only a talented cookie artist but also a great baker. She shares amazing recipes on her blog as well as her beautifully decorated cookies. I’ve been stalking her blog for a while. She is an inspiration to me in terms of her creativity and her photography. She has great taste in TV shows, movies and books.
Jennifer is expecting her first child in November. It’s not been an easy pregnancy for her and I truly appreciate her taking the time to do this interview. You can read Jennifer’s pregnancy updates on her blog. I can’t wait for her little girl to come. I’m thrilled for her. Thanks for joining us today Jennifer.
Hi everyone! My name is Jennifer and I’m the weirdo/baker behind Not Your Momma’s Cookie. Things I love: Pop culture, TV, Reese’s peanut butter cups, reading, fuzzy animals, and travel. Things I hate: rude drivers, mint, and royal icing craters. Thanks to Melissa for having me over today!
Tell me about your name. Why did you choose Not Your Momma’s Cookie?
When I first started, I liked the idea of putting my own spin on decorated cookies. There were lots of cookie blogs with cute and sweet cookies, which is awesome too, but I wanted to do something a little different. My first cookie tutorial was for a rabid, zombie squirrel…so maybe a little weird and offbeat I’m a southerner at heart too, so Not Your Momma’s Cookie had the message and the Southern sass that I was looking for!
Where do you live?
Tidewater Virginia, in a little town outside of Williamsburg. I’ve lived in the area for over 10 years now and absolutely love it! Where else can you stand next to someone in colonial garb while getting coffee in a gas station?
How long have you been baking?
I really didn’t start baking until college. When I joined a co-ed honor fraternity, I started making treats to bring in for everyone. I loved it – I was kind of the “mom” of the other members! But, I didn’t start decorating cookies until late 2011.
Is baking a hobby or a business?
The blog is definitely a business for me, but other than some small orders for family and friends, I don’t sell any of my creations.
When did you discover your love for decorated cookies?
I always baked lots of assorted goodies for Christmas for family and wanted to spice things up a bit. I stumbled upon Bake at 350 and Bridget inspired me with her lovely peppermint cookies! They were the first decorated cookies I ever made and I was hooked!
I really love that you share recipes on your website. What advice can you give us in terms of recipe development?
Always put your own unique spin on things. I try to think of different flavor profiles that I already enjoy and say to myself, “Ok, how can I recreate these flavors in a fun, yummy way?” It usually leads to a hit recipe. Usually….
Where do you get your inspiration from?
LOTS of Pinterest stalking and building upon my own recipes too.
What one item in your kitchen can you not live without and why?
It is cliché to say my KitchenAid mixer, but it is totally true. Mine is missing little parts here and there and is usually covered in flour and/or butter. I liken my kitchen to a war zone!
What is on your baking bucket list?
Macarons. Those delicate little devils scare the pants off of me!
I really love your photography. I would love to know what goes through your mind when styling a photo? Are you self-taught?
I am self-taught, but I started taking pictures several years before I started blogging. I struggle with food photography A LOT (I actually enjoy “regular” photography more – shhh, don’t tell!). Here are some things that have helped me:
1. Take LOTS of pictures. It gives you choices and who wants to discover, after a long shoot, that none of your pictures are “good” enough?
2. Change little things. The angle of a napkin, how a spoon is arranged, add more sprinkles on this side of a cupcake. Sometimes it can make a difference!
3. Get thee to Target for some props! I love all of the white little dishes Target has, as well as fun and colorful napkins.
4. A nice camera really does make a difference. I know it is an investment, but it is hard to take beautiful photos with an iPhone!
5. Give yourself lots of time. When I’m feeling rushed, it absolutely shows in my pictures.
What three words best describe your cookie style/philosophy?
Weird, awesome, cool.
Aside from cookies and baking what else do you like to do? Hobbies?
At the moment, my “hobby” is going to the doctor! I’m with child, and she should be vacating the premises in a couple of weeks. Between baby prep and doctor’s appointments, I have time for little else! But, I love to read and write. I was an English major in college and dappled in creative writing. I hope that, once the initial baby craziness is over, I will be able to pick those up again!
Let’s have some fun now.
Royal or glaze?
I started with glaze actually – it has a special place in my heart! But now, I’m royal all the way.
Chill or no chill?
Nope, I’m too impatient.
Sift or don’t sift?
Nope, see above
Thick or thin?
I like a thicker consistency in general – for cookies and for icing!
Outline & flood or one consistency?
I try to do one as much as I can.
Piping bags or bottles or both?
Both, but bags more. I want more bottles because they are so convenient!
A huge thanks to Melissa for letting me take over her blog for just a little while! She is one of the sweetest bloggers EVER
Awww thanks Jennifer. I’m so happy that you could be here. I’ve always thought you were cool but you just got cooler in my book. Keep us posted on the baby.
Until the next Sweet Talk, happy baking and creating friends.
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