To the Editor:
In response to the December 10 feature “How to Make the Perfect Gingerbread Cookie,” I would argue that the perfect cookie is less a product of organic ingredients than the artfulness of the form itself. We pride ourselves on the details at the bakery Delight, particularly the cinnamon imperials, salted caramel icing, and super secret ingredient: cookie cutters that make the gingerbread pop on the plate. We encourage all to take this part of home baking just as seriously as the quality or proportion of the ingredients.
Renee Justice, Owner, Delight
102 Main Street, Augusta, ME
At 3 am Christmas morning, the back door to the bakery was ajar.
Devon gasped, “Intruder!” and Renee rolled her eyes at his melodramatic tone.
But it was true, someone had jimmied the lock and rifled through the supply room. Flour was strewn on the floor like it had been tossed around in a pillow fight. Cans of baking soda and boxes of baking powder were scattered and crushed. The molasses had exploded, sticky drips hanging off the pantry shelves and ceiling.
“I want to see if the front of the shop is okay,” Renee said to Devon, and stepped around the pans and parchment paper toward the swinging door. Cracking it open and flipping on the light, the display, refrigerator case, tables and chairs sat untouched from the day before.
“What kind of burglar rifles through the baking supplies but doesn’t touch the cookies in the front case — or the cash register?” murmured Devon, unwrapping an oatmeal raisin cookie from the counter and taking a bite for breakfast.
Renee popped risen bread dough into the oven for holiday pre-orders. Then together they spent the next two hours cleaning the pantry. Other than a horrendous mess, it seemed nothing was actually missing. They found half a footprint in the flour on the floor and preserved it for the cops. It pointed towards the unopened cabinet holding the piping kits, cupcake papers, and the cookie supplies.
Renee opened the door and looked over the shelves for a full 60 seconds before realizing: all the gingerbread cookie cutters were gone, along with the holiday cookie decorations.
She asked Devon to come take a look. “A cookie cutter thief,” he said with drama in his voice. “How very…” he widened his eyes and smiled,”predictable.”
They fell on the floor in a bundle of laughter. And never called the police.
Event Listings, The Week of January 3
Free Baking Class at Delight
Renee and Devon Justice share their baking secrets at a free class on January 5 at 3 p.m.
Besides leading a tutorial for their Perfect Cookie, the Justices promise a goodie bag for the first 20 customers. Take all the mystery out of baking and bring it all home with you. Start the New Year with a fresh plate (or two) of cookies.
All are welcome. Join us at 102 Main Street, Augusta.
Kristina Saccone crafts flash fiction and creative nonfiction in the hours between logging off from work and wrangling her young son. Her work has appeared in Dwelling Literary and The Minison Project, and she has a piece forthcoming in Unearthed. You can find her on Twitter at @kristinasaccone or haunting small independent bookstores in the Washington, DC, area.