Conway’s Olivia Bundrick grew up around baking.
“My mom is an avid baker,” she said. “She always made all the cakes and pies for our family holidays growing up.”
Bundrick said during these gatherings, her family served as the host house and any given Christmas, her mom would end up with 10 or so cakes put out for everyone.
“She always says that Christmas is about the desserts,” she said.
While the sweet tooth has been passed down, Bundrick said, she prefers the smaller finger foods like cookies, bars and brownies.
Bundrick is also a math teacher and to fill her summer, decided to put together some of those little treats for others; so far she’s gifted around 10 people with the white chocolate and chocolate cookies, gooey peanut butter bars and more.
“I think I’ve always had a pretty giving spirit and people enjoy food and I enjoy baking,” she said.
Bundrick was working on a batch of chocolate chip cookies and had just finished a Reese’s-filled concoction when the Log Cabin Democrat arrived at her house Wednesday.
“I’ve always just said sharing food is one of my passions and I really like it and people seem to enjoy my food,” she said.
Bundrick said her favorite part about baking is getting to consume the finished product.
“Eating it,” she said, laughing. “Eating it and just seeing what happens. It’s so interesting to me just taking these raw ingredients and just what it creates.”
On occasion, Bundrick said, she has switched up ingredients, and the dessert has come out better than before but, often times, plays it safe.
She said the desire to be creative has been there for a long time and recalled a moment when she was in fifth grade she went out on a limb.
“Sometimes, I’m inspired by something I had somewhere,” Bundrick said.
She said she was referring to a Blondie bar with coconut her school cafeteria served its students … something that she always loved.
Bundrick created a recipe and it was spot on.
“I’m really good at picking flavors out of things,” she said. “It tasted just like those bars we had at school.”
Bundrick said having it turn out like that made her proud of herself.
“I remember taking them to school after I made them and there were students that said they tasted just like what was in the cafeteria,” she said.
Her mother, Bundrick said, always encouraged her to explore and have fun while learning.
“In that process, I ended up writing a lot of confectioneries and I wrote to Blue Bell,” she said.
Representatives from Blue Bell Creameries, Nabisco and more sent responses back to Bundrick, some with coupons, others going as far as to say they would forward her dessert ideas to research and development.
She said she’s been in that creation mode for a while, would like to experiment more and said it feels good to know people like what she’s produced so far.
“It feels good but I’m not boastful about it,” Bundrick said. “If people say they don’t like it I don’t ever really take it to heart because I know that we all have different taste buds.”
Baking, she said, has just always been something she’s done and hopes to one day open a bakery, one with a coffee area and cookbooks to buy.
If that happens, Bundrick said, her and her husband, Jacob, have talked about doing more.
“Something that we both talked about is if this ever happens, it would be so neat to have field trips or to go to school and talk to them about owning a business because there’s so many different math concepts in that and just see how that applies,” she said. “I like always tying stuff to education.”