CENTRALIA, Wash. — Centralia baker Ashlee Shirer says every one of her cookies is just like a little canvas. He many social media followers say she definitely knows how to turn every single one into a delicious work of art.
She's been making sweet treats since she was fifteen. Now, as owner of Sweet Dough Cookie Company, Shirer has tens of thousands of followers checking out every batch she bakes.
"A lot of home decor inspires my cookies so I go onto Pinterest", she says. "I look at signs that say 'Home Sweet Home' and put it on a cookie. Or if I see a cute chair I can turn it into a cookie."
She's not kidding! Shirer can turn just about anything into a cookie, from beer bottles to Taco Bell tacos. But her orders mostly celebrate weddings birthdays and holidays.
"Color palettes are really important to me," she says, "because I want to make sure everything pairs well."
Shirer's skills caught the eyes of Food Network producers, who put her on 2020's Christmas Cookie Challenge. She won the $10,000 prize and hopes to repeat her win on the Nov. 11, 2021 episode when she returns to compete in all-winners edition.
"Looking back on the 2020 challenge, it was probably the most stressful thing that I've ever done," Shirer says. "I was running around that kitchen with my head chopped off.
"It's an overwhelming experience but it was a good experience. After I came home I told my husband I never want to be on TV again," she laughs.
Sweet Dough Cookie Company's sweet treats - GALLERY
That's why you're more likely going to find Shirer in her happy place, her new bakery on Centralia's Main Street where she will be selling cookies on Fridays and teaching classes every other Saturday. Booked two months out, Shirer says her bakery is the best way to buy her cookies.
"I just feel like I'm living the dream," she says. " I really am ."
And what dream could be sweeter than one filled with beautiful cookies?
The Sweet Dough Cookie Company is open Fridays and is located at 602 W Main St. in Centralia.