SAN ANTONIO - A former professor of interior design at the University of the Incarnate Word for 35 years has turned her creativity from the classroom to the kitchen, turning out mouthwatering and eye-catching creations.
When Judy Broughton decided to retire from teaching, she replaced schoolbooks with baking full time.
“I still want to be creative and I want to work with really sweet people. Sweet people always buy cookies," Broughton said.
Broughton has been baking since she was a child, and when she decided to try her hand at homemade cookies, she went to work perfecting her batter.
“I didn’t want my cookies to only look good, they needed to taste good, not like the cardboard taste you find in so many,” she said.
It took her three months to perfect her batter, but don’t ask her how she did it.
“I have two secret ingredients, and if I told you I’d have to kill you!,” Broughton said.
She will reveal that she uses only high-end vanilla extract, and her ingredients are all organic.
"I thought, 'I want mine to be really good.' So it has fresh orange rind, organic eggs, it. It's just delicious," she said.
But it’s more than the batter and the icing that took a month to master It’s the intricately detailed artwork that she puts on the cookie canvas.
“My clients come in with an idea of what they want, I draw up a plan and go to work,” she said.
Her art baking studio is filled with jars of colorful sugars. She has entire drawers stocked with different food colorings and decorations. She uses paint brushes, tools for detailing, even an airbrush to give dimension and artistic touches to her edible artwork.
It can take her up to 12 hours to create just one cookie, which is why clients must place an order two weeks to a month before she can fulfill them.
“I really love the detail work. It’s therapeutic for me,” she said.
From a tiny baby and carriage, to a cowboy or butterflies, every cookie is a unique creation. She has perfected a confection that looks too good to eat, but tastes too good to pass up.
“People always say to me, 'They are so beautiful, I don't want to eat your cookies.' And I say, 'Eat the cookies.' I mean, I worked so hard on this recipe that I want people to eat my cookies," she said.
The cost of the cookies ranges from $50 to $75 a dozen, depending on the detail.
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