For Jennifer McDermott, great things come in small packages. Often, the packages come from her own company, Summer Kitchen Bake House, a baking company that distinguishes itself as a purveyor of “singularly scrumptious iced cookies for every occasion” in both Fairfield and Westchester counties.
“I was always providing cookies for bake sales when my kids were younger,” McDermott told me recently. “And people were always telling me that my cookies were as delicious as they were beautiful, and suggesting I start a business.”
A few years ago, that’s exactly what she did. Now, more than 10,000 cookies later, McDermott has elevated her baking skills into an artform.
“I’m like the Pixar of cookies,” McDermott laughed. “Kids and adults both love my cookies because they’re beautiful to look at, and they’re really good.”
A local hostess favorite, McDermott is busy, especially with the approaching holiday season. “Things are ramping up, since Halloween is almost here,” she said. “For Thanksgiving, people love the Turkey cookies I make. And of course, Christmas is big, because I do gingerbread houses, too.”
In addition to taste, McDermott’s attention to artistic detail sets her cookies apart as well. The art historian-turned-baker finds inspiration in unusual places, including in Japanese culture. Having lived with her family for a time in Tokyo, McDermott immersed herself in Japanese art. “One takeaway for me from my time there was that, no matter what they do—flower arranging, lacquer boxes, anything—their first piece is always as good as their last. That’s definitely something I strive for in my baking.”
McDermott runs Summer Kitchen Bake House from Guilford, Conn., where she now lives with her family. She sells in local markets, and fulfills special orders in the greater New York City metro area. But, a word to the cookie-wise: Place your special orders early, because you can't rush great art, edible or otherwise.