Photography by Tiffani Jones

From a young age, I was taught to plan. Plan time to be with friends, plan time to finish chores, plan for the future, and plan for the plans you couldn’t possibly know or understand. “What do you want to be when you grow up, Jenni?” Family near and far loved asking this throughout my childhood. It might have been because of the adorably awful speech impediment I had, or the simple fact that every child is asked the same. This common question put a lot of pressure on me as I finished school and began my journey into adulthood. What was I going to do with my life? It had to be meaningful, filled with purpose, and no doubt, I had to LOVE it.

Fast forward through the years of endless searching, it found me. In its own way, and in its own time. It was a love-at-first-bite kind of thing, and I’m not alone in that. In this issue of The Lakelander, Katara Confectionery, Nook Bakery, and I (Born & Bread Bakehouse) baked up some of our personal favorite desserts. The ones we look forward to making for those we love. Though our baking specialties are different, our stories are wildly similar. Baking found us.

Kat and Tara (Katara) set out to spend more time together. Each month, they were going to bake something different from the last. In the first month, they started with macarons and never made it past those intricate and beautiful confections. Kandace (Nook) started by making cupcakes, “All the time!” So much that after her parents cut off her ingredient supply line, she was forced to begin selling them in order to afford baking again. I started Born & Bread after trying to recreate the life-changing bread I had in Europe. Just three days after I returned, I was pulling the first loaves out of my home oven. None of us have ever looked back. It’s what we call catching the baking bug.

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Community is what convinced me to make this town home, and community is why I’ve fallen in love with the baking industry. There is a common respect and appreciation for what it takes to be a baker, and that trumps competition.

We hope you enjoy these recipes. They’re approachable and would be a great addition any time, any season, anywhere. If we haven’t met you yet, let’s not waste any more time!

Grateful to bake for you, Lakeland

Find these local bakers on Instagram for more details on where to purchase their baked goods.




[item title=”Chocolate Chip Cookies By Katara Confectionery”]

1-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 -1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on low speed for 8 minutes. Slowly add the flour mixture, and mix just until incorporated. Be careful to not over mix. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in the chocolate chips. Mix until just incorporated.

Can be baked right away, but for best results refrigerate dough for 30 minutes to an hour.

Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the dough mounds 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the bottoms and edges are lightly browned and the tops feel firm when lightly touched, 10-13 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 30 cookies.

[item title=”Coconut Mascarpone Fruit Tartlets By Nook Bakery”]

Coconut Shortbread Crust:

1-1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1-1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter

1/3 cup shredded coconut


1 cup coconut cream

3/4 cup mascarpone at room temperature

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

1/4 cup lemon curd (homemade or store bought)


1/2 cup raspberries

1/2 cup strawberries

1/2 cup blueberries

(optional) mint leaves


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until the mixture becomes grainy like cornmeal. Press the mixture into four small 4-inch tartlet pans or one large 10-inch round tart pan. Prick the base of the dough with a fork to prevent it from forming air bubbles. Place pan in the freezer for 10 minutes, then bake crust for 10 minutes until golden brown.    


In a small mixing bowl, whip the coconut cream on high. Add in the mascarpone and powdered sugar, while continuing on high until it is all combined. Then gently fold in the lemon curd. Cover and place the mixture in the fridge for 20 minutes or until you serve.


Carefully remove crust from the pan. Fill the crust with chilled coconut mascarpone filling. Top the tartlets with a mixture of the berries, and garnish with mint leaves.

[item title=”Grilled Chocolate Sourdough Sandwiches By Born + Bread Bakehouse”]

Unsalted butter

4 slices of sourdough bread

Roughly 2 ounces of chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

Course sea salt

Butter one side of each slice of bread generously. In a skillet big enough to hold them, cook the slices butter side down over medium heat, just until golden on one side.

Cover two of the slices with chocolate. Flip a naked slice on top, butter side up. Cook, turning the sandwiches as necessary, until the chocolate is softened and the sandwiches are browned on both sides.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with a pinch of sea salt.