If you follow us on social media, you’re familiar with the work of our Head Baker & Designer, Linda Schwartz. Linda is the first to use any new R&M products! She bakes and decorates all kinds of desserts in the R&M kitchen on a regular basis, testing our tools and creating many of the images you see across our social media accounts!
We sat down with Linda for a chat to learn more about her role at R&M and her love for baking. Read on for some insight into her decorating process, including some of her favorite creations!
- How did you get into cookie/cake decorating?
I started decorating cookies around 14 years ago. It’s actually a funny story, my mom sent me a newspaper article about a local girl who opened a sugar cookie shop. There was a note scribbled across the top of the article, “Linda you can do this.” I decided to give it a try and haven’t looked back.
- How do you decide how to decorate a shape?
When I’m coming up with a cookie design, I usually sketch out my ideas on paper first, but sometimes I’ll start decorating and switch my design halfway through.
- What’s the best tip you have for beginner decorators?
The best tip I could give a beginner decorator is don’t give up! Practice really does make perfect, and while on that subject, never stop learning. No matter what level of a decorator you are, there’s always something you can learn from someone else. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The cookie community is a tight-knit family, and there’s always someone whose mistakes and successes you can learn from.
- Which icing style is your favorite and why?
I prefer decorating my cookies with fondant. I’m not sure exactly why I like it better than using royal icing, probably something to do with the instant gratification that comes with being able to mold it into shapes. There’s a waiting period with royal icing because it’s wet. With fondant, I can bake, decorate, and ship a cookie to my cousin in Arizona within 24 hours.
- Do you have a favorite decorating technique?
I’d have to say my most favorite technique is stamping my cookies with names, monograms, dates, etc. – it creates such a personal touch!
- Are there any decorating tools or products that you can’t live without?
Here’s what I would recommend for any baker – beginner or advanced:
– Parchment paper: I had been decorating for at least five years before my sister, Marie, recommended that I line my baking sheets with parchment. It was a game changer – no more scrubbing pans, and the cookie edges don’t darken as quickly. I use parchment for rolling out my fondant as well. It makes clean up a breeze!
– A good cookie spatula: I use my cookie spatula to flatten my cookies as soon as they come out of the oven. There’s nothing worse than trying to decorate bumpy cookies.
- What baking creation are you most proud of?
I really can’t choose my favorite baking creation. I often feel a slight emotional tie with my creations, especially the ones I put a lot of time into, like cakes. Here are a few favorites:
Photo by Expressions by Nicole Marie