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In my family, baking was rite of passage.

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In my family, baking was rite of passage.

Not just anyone could enter the kitchen. Tradition dictated that no sane adult would let you cook or bake in the kitchen until you were at least a teenager. My mother and her 4 sisters, our family’s master chefs, strictly enforced the law of the land. They busily worked away in the kitchen while my siblings, cousins and I played outside on lazy Marksville, Louisiana Sunday afternoons.

I was so excited when I finally had the chance to participate – it felt like a great honor had been bestowed. My mom and her sisters gathered together and I eagerly watched what unfolded. The matriarchs created an assembly line. One person made the dough. Another created the pie filling. Someone else filled the pies...

I was bursting with eagerness – but in my first role I was disappointed that I wasn’t allowed to do anything pertaining to actual baking. Given I had the best penmanship, I was tasked with rewriting a massive pile of recipe cards.

My mom and her sisters made every type of sweet imaginable - sweet potato pies, blackberry cobblers, oatmeal raisin cookies, German chocolate cakes…

All of the cards had become soiled from the tremendous amount of baking my family did. Funny enough, that is how I learned how to first bake. I memorized many of the recipes by heart.

My mother gradually trusted me to bake for the family. She taught me many tricks of the trade. Soon, I was creating cakes, pies and cookies of my own. Therefore each handmade Kessler Cookie is like a trip down memory lane – inspired by tastes from my mother’s kitchen.

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