A kitchen affair; senior finds passion in baking

“I’m cookie impaired,” senior Isabelle Click said. “I don’t know how to bake them, at all.” Coming from someone who bakes nearly once a week, this statement might seem a little odd. For Click, though, her failure in making cookies marked the beginning of her true passion – cupcakes.

Click’s interest in baking and cooking, however, began far before her cookie fiasco. Cooking has been an integral part of Click’s life since a young age. “I started cooking because my mom cooked when I was little, and she would cook dishes from all around the world – since I’m Korean, my mom thought I should get in touch with my Korean side.”

In addition to her mom’s cooking, a certain TV channel influenced Click. “My dad got Comcast when I was a little bit older, and we started watching The Food Network together,” she said. “As much as Paula Deen likes to eat butter, Paula Deen is one of my favorites.”

As Click moved into high school, she was able to profit off of her cooking interests. “My brother, Jessi, helped me to get a job at “Eat at Thai,”” she said. Additionally, she shadowed at The Chocolate Bar and trained at Marietta Diner. When Eat at Thai (now American Deli) folded, Click finally began her baking. “My brother got some other job, so I felt that I needed another one. Then I thought to myself, ‘Hey, I should try to bake!’ My mom didn’t like to bake when I was younger. She preferred savory things, so I saw opportunity there.”

And that’s where the cookie fiasco came in. “I would follow a cookie recipe completely, then my cookies would be watery and gross and sticking together and burnt, so after the third time, I gave up,” she said. “That’s when I knew I should try something else, so I did cupcakes.”

At first, her parents didn’t support her new hobby. “It requires so much money and so much time, so I had to explain to them that it’s something I love to do.” Eventually, Click’s parents understood that she was interested in baking cupcakes for the long haul, so they began buying ingredients and supplies for her. “They got me a KitchenAid mixer,” she said, “and it’s one of my favorite things to use in the whole entire world.”

Though Click began by using recipes off of the Internet, she soon started experimenting to create her own recipes. “I like to experiment a lot – I use a lot of alcohol based flavorings,” she said. “When I experiment with the alcohol, I bake it off. I experiment with all sorts of different flavorings, but alcohol proves to work best.” Some of Click’s personal favorite cupcakes are lemon curd, chocolate raspberry Chambord, and coffee Kahlua.

For now, Click shares her cupcakes with friends, family, and teachers. “I give [cupcakes] to Mr. Hatfield, Ms. Lofstrand and Ms. McKain all the time, and they critique it, and their critique makes me a better baker,” she said. “Mr. Hatfield is really brutal, but he tells me the truth. He’ll tell me if it’s too moist or too dense.”

After high school, Click would like to go to nursing school and continue her baking on the side. “This is something I’m going to do at least part time for the rest of my life,” she said. “Maybe as a nurse, I’ll make a lot of money, and I can use that money to go back to pastry school and be a baker and own my own place one day.”