Chris Shaw Chats with Chef Courtney Demarest

A really tight focus. Pastry Chef Courtney Demarest knows all about it. She founded the Brighter Days Cookie Company, purveyor of beautifully decorated sugar cookies, and only sugar cookies.  Like these…

Chris Shaw (CS): How did you come up with this great niche project?

Chef Courtney Demarest (CD): Brighter Days Cookie Co. was inspired by my constant love for baking. I learned how to bake when I was young through watching and helping my Mom and my Grandma. Within the past couple of years, my Mom and I started making sugar cookies with royal icing for special occasions, such as Christmas.   I had people tell me, “Wow these cookies look so professional,… you could sell these”. To be honest, before hearing that I never even had a thought of possibly doing so. It was not until the pandemic truly hit our lives that I was inspired to take my cookies one step further and begin my business. I wanted Brighter Days Cookie Co. to put the light back into the eyes of the community. My mission is to brighten people’s days and to do so through delicious handcrafted sugar cookies.

CS: Why cookies?  Why not cupcakes or pies?

CD: I decided on sugar cookies because this is my passion. I wanted to put my time into these cookies and create the most beautiful creations possible for every occasion. Working with royal icing on sugar cookies is definitely a challenge, learning all of the little tips and tricks of the icing was crucial to my creations. I have always loved a good challenge, believe it only strengthens one’s artistic ability. Cupcakes and pies are great and full of flavors, so why not create those flavors within sugar cookies as well. I strive to create sugar cookies with a unique flavor that stands out from just your average sugar cookie. At Brighter Days Cookie Co. you should expect an explosion of flavor, whether it be a sweet taste of strawberry, a refreshing mouthful of lemon, or a savory taste of butter vanilla. 

CS: When you make cookies for yourself, what do you make?

CD: Typically, when I make cookies for my friends’ family and myself, I of course love to make sugar cookies first and foremost, but I also love dabbling in different cookie creation recipes! As a baker of many things, we all do have our favorites! One of my go-to cookies, for all of my peanut butter lovers out there are peanut butter blossoms. If I am looking for something light and refreshing my go-to cookies are shortbread and thumbprint cookies filled with your favorite jam topped with a butter vanilla icing drizzle. I’m not done just yet though; you can never go wrong with a freshly made chocolate chip cookie that just melts in your mouth.  

CS: What’s the best way for folks to sample your wares?

CD: Other than the business website I do have a couple of other platforms where you can see my cookies and keep up to date with the latest creations. Brighter Days Cookie Co. is on Facebook and Instagram.

CS: What tips can you give home bakers?

CD: My biggest tips for home bakers is to keep pushing through and practice as much as you can to continue to better yourself. Being a small home baker has its challenges, but I always try to make those challenges into strengths for my business. Creating high-quality home-made sugar cookies with great ingredients and flavors is in my opinion what sets home bakers apart from others. I love to know that my product is pure and from the heart, as well as handcrafted for every individual and unique occasion out there.

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