If you’re a regular in the world of dessert blogs, then chances are “SprinkleBakes” is in your vocabulary; it’s the inspiring blog of artist and baker Heather Baird. Her book, SprinkleBakes: Desert Recipes to Inspire Your Inner Artist is out now, and it is chock-full of beautifully executed ideas to impress even your most discerning dessert-lovers. I was so happy to have the chance to ask Heather about her busy life, talents, processes, and a key ingredient: her adorable pugs.
Heather, you used to be a painter. Do you feel that your talent as an artist has helped unfold your baking career?
Yes, definitely. When I switched over from painting to baking, I never stopped thinking like an artist. It was subconscious at first. One day I realized I had used my training in color theory to achieve the perfect shade of blue for my Blue Velvet Cupcakes.
Congratulations on your new book, SprinkleBakes. What can your regular blog readers expect from your book that they might not have seen or learned yet?
There are many new recipes and techniques that have never been seen or demonstrated on the blog. Some of my favorites are “Egg Tempera,” which is a culinary paint you can make at home with egg yolk and food coloring. It is applied to cut-out cookies before they are baked. I also teach readers “Sand Casting,” which is a sculpture technique using brown sugar to mold chocolate.
You’re a very talented artist, which translates beautifully to your confectionery creations. Does your book make it possible for the novice baker to re-create your edible artwork at home?
Yes! The recipes are well explained and there are plenty of step-by-step pictures. Preceding each chapter you’ll find art lessons that can be implemented in the creation and decorating of baked goods. I’ve made sure these lessons are very accessible to the home baker. Templates are also provided so those concerned with being an “artist” need not worry.
You do have a day job in addition to having written your new book and maintaining your beautiful blog! What’s your other job, and how do you balance everything?
I’ve worked as a medical secretary for a Pathology lab for nine years, but that will end November 2nd. It is a tough decision to leave, but I think I’ll be most happy blogging and writing full-time. I need to be creative in order to be fulfilled and happy in life. And balance? I’m not very good at that. Emails slip through the cracks, deadlines sneak up on me, and sometimes we have to eat take-out because the kitchen is a disaster area. I’m looking forward to finding more balance with the extra time I’ll have in the coming months.
Any plans to ever open a bakery or take orders for baked goods online?
Not at the moment. I will admit to daydreaming about a bricks-and-mortar bakery. It looks a lot like the confectionery shop in the movie Chocolat.
Tell me about your pugs . . . you involve them in quite a bit of photography and they’re precious.
I have two spoiled rotten pugs named Biscuit and Churro. I call them my fur babies, and since they follow every step I make, it’s easy to include them in my pictures. They are so well loved that we take them with us when we travel. They love staying at hotels.
I love that you give back. On your website you have links to Rescue a Pug and Second Harvest Food Bank. How important are those to you, and how long have you been involved with those organizations?
These charities are very important to me, and I try to promote them whenever possible. I’m happy to say that my efforts with animal rescue have recently expanded with helping The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. This fundraiser is in progress right now, and with every $10 donation, you’ll get a free jar of Grandma’s Molasses and my recipe for Elephant Bread. I’ll also be involved with charity work for Ronald McDonald House in October, and I’ll post more about on my blog as details are finalized.
Keep up with Heather and SprinkleBakes: