Gingerbread -- after you lick the bowl, you eat it Arnold woman bakes tasty holiday novelties

November 23, 1995|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Dana Cook has been in the cookie-making business for only six months, but already she has earned a name for herself.

"They call me Martha Stewart," Mrs. Cook said with a laugh. "They think I'm crazy."

Mrs. Cook, founder and sole chef of Cookie Creations bakery and delivery service, runs the business out of her Arnold home.

The reason her friends think she's strange is her gingerbread spoons and bowls. Her home is filled with gingerbread creations. Gingerbread hearts wait to be used as Christmas tree decorations. Gingerbread men sit on the dining room table. The inside of her quaint, split-level home smells like gingerbread.

She can make a gingerbread bowl 10 inches in diameter. Her 6-inch gingerbread bowl is perfect for ice cream, the ultimate dessert. A 10-inch bowl with six gingerbread men costs $32.

Mrs. Cook said she got the gingerbread recipe last year from a friend. She made the gingerbread bowls and spoons for family and friends last Christmas.

The gifts were a big hit. Word spread, and orders started coming in for her concoctions. Now, she caters Christmas parties for local companies such as Brown's Honda City in Glen Burnie and Thermal Services Inc. in Finksburg.

People from as far away as Indiana and Texas have called, asking Mrs. Cook whether she wants to open franchises.

"It just took off," she said. "I'm flying pretty high right now."

Mrs. Cook said she chose gingerbread because of its popularity during the Christmas holidays.

"Plus, it's easy to work with," she said. "It keeps real well, and it smells real good."

A bowl takes 20 minutes to knead, punch and mold. Then, it must be refrigerated for three hours. Finally, it is baked for one hour at 350 degrees and allowed to cool for an hour, said Mrs. Cook. She can make 36 of the 6-inch bowls in one day, but only one of the larger bowls.

The process takes even longer when Mrs. Cook has to take time out to tend to her three children, ages 10 months to 4 years.

Mrs. Cook's family does get a reward for its patience. "My husband and kids get to eat my mistakes," Mrs. Cook said. "They're happy with that."

She said she hopes to move out of her home and into a storefront by next Christmas. She also said she would like to perfect gingerbread houses, which she is working on.

But Mrs. Cook said she does not anticipate any days off from baking.

"I'm always looking for more business," she said. "Usually, my day off is when my husband comes home and takes the kids and I get to bake all day."

For more information, call Dana Cook at 757-8811.

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