20 Questions with Sarah Brown, Founder of The Baker’s Daughter
Meet Sarah Brown, the founder of The Baker’s Daughter!
She’s a Project Manager by day and a home baker by night. “Balancing both can be tricky at times but I absolutely love sharing my cookie creations.” Her love of baking dates back to her childhood, with her mother being the ‘The Baker’ and the inspiration behind the brand’s name. Sarah affectionately describes mother as an incredible baker and says she’s someone who “continues to teach and guide me through the kitchen today”. “I’ve always had a love for baking,” Sarah explains, “However, after being diagnosed with Celiac Disease eight years ago, I was forced to adapt to a new way of life. It quickly became apparent to me that delicious and beautiful gluten free treats were few and far between and for years I felt like I was majorly missing out! After being introduced to the art of decorated sugar cookies by a fellow Torontonian I was determined to find a way to make decorated sugar cookies that were gluten free, delicious and beautiful! Now that I’ve perfected the recipe and technique, nothing makes me happier than sharing them with others.”
The cookies are traditional vanilla sugar cookies with strictly gluten free flours and ingredients. She uses royal icing that is shelf stable (made with meringue powder which is an egg substitute for anyone wondering), meaning you can proudly display your cookies instead of worrying about having to refrigerate. She has done a lot of taste testing and “years of experimenting and learning how gluten free flours work together” to make sure they taste delicious.
My cookies are 100% meant to be eaten! No cookie should ever go uneaten!
I personally have had one too many decorative cookies that were clearly meant to be more for decoration than an edible sweet treat. So, I just had to ask Sarah if her cookies were meant to be eaten or if they too were the decorative kind. “My cookies are 100% meant to be eaten! No cookie should ever go uneaten!” she exclaimed, “The driving force behind why I started The Baker’s Daughter was to provide beautiful and delicious gluten free cookies. Of course the cookies can be used decoratively on a sweets table, platter or as a gift but enjoying the cookie is equally as important. Too many times those with celiac disease or food sensitivities are forced to compromise. Not with my cookies!”
In case you haven’t noticed yet, her designs are stunning. Every time Sarah posts something on The Baker’s Daughter Instagram page, I am completely floored. She explained her design process to me: “The majority of the time a client comes to me with a particular theme in mind. From there, I get to use my creativity to bring it to life!” If the client doesn’t have a specific theme in mind, Sarah works closely with them to “better understand their needs and design preferences to create something unique and beautiful”.
Her colour palettes are also thoughtfully chosen and Sarah explained that they are inspired by “Everything! Art, interior design, brands, logos, nature, album covers – the list goes on.” If you follow her via Instagram, you’ll get to see fun snippets of the creative process and the occasional sneak peek into her colour choices.
The driving force behind why I started the baker’s daughter was to provide beautiful and delicious gluten free cookies.
So go ahead, place an order via @thebakersdaugtherto. Send Sarah a DM and she will work with you to create a unique design. All of her orders are custom, so pricing varies. She also offers Cookie Kits which “are great for anyone who wants a fun, creative and delicious activity to do at home…without the added prep and baking time!”. A kit comes with undecorated sugar cookies, bagged royal icing ready to decorate with, sprinkles and step-by-step instructions. “So far, they’ve been a real hit at kid’s birthday parties – both in person and virtually!”.
Read on for some rapid-fire Q&A!
Your all-time favourite cookie flavour?
SB: Peanut butter cookies
Most cookies you’ve made in one sitting?
SB: 50 Cookies – just over 4 dozen.
Favourite part of launching The Baker’s Daughter?
SB: Receiving creative requests from clients. I absolutely love working with other creatives!
You put Niki Kingsmill’s art ONTO a cookie!! How?!
SB: Sure did! All detail was hand piped onto each cookie individually. A projector was used to help guide the design.
Note: See Niki Kingsmill’s website here and the outrageously stunning cookies below.
Favourite baking tool / piece of equipment?
SB: Drying rack / dehydrator.
It seems like you can design literally anything – do you find any designs more challenging than others?
SB: Designs with a high colour count (multi colours) or designs with tiny details and multiple textures, such as facial expressions, are the most challenging for me. When multiple colours are involved you must factor in how certain colours interact and dry next to each other to avoid colour bleeding. For texture and detail work you must master certain techniques and ensure you have the proper tools on hand. All this whilst understanding you are working with a perishable item makes for a challenging task!
If you could make cookies for anyone, who would it be?
SB: Jillian Harris.
Do you like to bake anything outside of cookies? If so, favourite non-cookie item to bake?
SB: Yes – baking almost anything is my jam! Currently, Savoury Cheddar and Chive Scones (gluten free of course!) are my favourite. They are so flavourful and comforting.
What about cooking? Do you like to cook? Favourite dish to make?
SB: Cooking is not exactly for me, LOL! Unless it’s Taco Tuesday, I don’t enjoy cooking as much as baking. My current favourite for taco’s is a vegan pulled pork recipe from Minimalist Baker. I adjust the recipe and turn it into tacos!
Favourite design you’ve done so far?
SB: Aperol Spritz cookies!
Cocktails, wine, beer or other?
SB: Tequila or vodka-based cocktails and always wine.
Three must-have ingredients in your fridge?
SB: Lemons, parmesan cheese, butter.
Guilty food pleasure?
SB: Parmesan truffle fries.
Favourite part about summer?
SB: Patio cocktails!
The world needs more...
SB: Special celebrations with family and friends (big or small).
Other than baking, how have you been spending your time in quarantine?
SB: I’ve been fortunate enough to work full-time in an industry categorized as an essential business so I’ve been keeping busy with that – business as usual for the most part! However, during my spare time I’ve tried everything from hopping on the sourdough bread bandwagon, picnics outside, long walks and outdoor workouts. My Fiancé and I came close to living out the dream of getting a puppy but we’ve decided to save that for a few years down the road!
Work from home staple attire?
SB: Lululemon pants and an oversized utility blouse.
Something on your bucket list?
SB: Live in another country.
Inspiring You to Explore the Middle of Somewhere…
Most memorable travel moment and a place you're dying to go?
SB: Memorable: The feeling of reaching flat ground after conquering Huayna Picchu at the end of our five day hike to Machu Picchu. I’m dying to travel within the Serengeti in Tanzania during the Great Migration.
Next at The Baker’s Daugther
Anything we can expect coming up with The Baker's Daughter?
SB: I am hoping to launch some smaller sets for pre-order around holidays or for special moments like Back to School for teachers. These would be a set price – so stay tuned!
More to Explore
73 Questions with the Founder of Middle of Somewhere
Many home businesses have cropped up throughout the pandemic and there are a few that are giving back. Learn about these inspirational entrepreneurs who are all about delicious food & doing good.
Many home businesses have cropped up throughout the pandemic. Read here for a roundup of the latest home businesses on Toronto’s food scene!