On a sunny summer’s day, Erin Bolger arrives with a little paper bag full of goodies- the highlight of which is her first book, The Happy Baker- A Dater’s Guide to Emotional Baking. Slick, gorgeous-looking and chock full of drool-worthy recipes, The Happy Baker is any home baker’s excuse to crack out the mixing bowls and flour! Erin likes to bake when she’s happy, bummed or just in need of a delicious cookie (many can relate), and while the book reads like a mini-marathon of her dating missteps and mishaps, it’s also a really lovely cookbook chock full of recipes passed down to her from her mum and grandmother.
Erin’s full-time job as a make-up artist helps feed her creative drive, but one fine day, she decided, “I just have to do this. The feeling was so strong, I couldn’t ignore it anymore,” says Erin. She invested her own hard-earned bucks into self-publishing this beautiful tome- but before you tune out and think, ‘OH! One of those books!” – just hold on a New York cheesecake.
The Happy Baker was initially picked up by major Canadian publishing houses- but it was Erin who decided to go solo on this project. “The publishers wanted to change too many things,” she recalls, “and I knew exactly what I wanted.” And now, the little book that could is available in Chapters/Indigo- that’s almost unheard for a self-published first attempt.
Erin’s self confidence helped the baking make-up artist land prime promotional air and print time for her book. She has made many a TV personality look bright and fresh for the camera- so she knew who to call to get spots on Canada AM, Breakfast TV, E Talk and so on.
This feisty red-head from rural Ontario is by her own admission, “a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.” She uses a pink handled hammer to subdue nuts, pretzels and chocolate slabs to size, she buys the best ingredients she can and no matter how hard she tries, her icing, according to Erin, will never be as good as her mom’s!
The Proof’s in the Pudding
Her gutsy recipes include the ubiquitous, “My Mom Didn’t Like You Anyway Cupcake” (dark and delicious chocolate cupcakes with smooth butter cream icing), “It’s Not Me, It’s You Sea Salted Caramels” and the wonderful (for those former days of singledom), “Who Needs a Man on Valentine’s Day Biscotti.” And when you feel “emotional,” Erin suggests her Go-To Cookie- it’s got a bit of everything that makes it all right. The book reads like part dear diary, part dating confessional and part chocoholic’s delight. It’s irreverent, doesn’t take baking too seriously and most of all, it’s as accessible as taking a bite out a double chocolate brownie. “I don’t like my baking to be too complicated,” explains Erin, “dating is hard enough. Baking shouldn’t have to be.”
While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!