Meet the R&M Head Baker & Designer

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!

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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!

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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

For more guidance from Linda, read her recent blog post, 8 Beginner Tips for Decorating with Fondant. To see more of Linda’s creations, you can follow her on Instagram.