As the chefs competing in Smeeks and Chow Bella's fourth annual Caramelpalooza -- coming 7 p.m. Friday, April 5, at UNION -- get out the candy thermometers, we've got our pens ready to introduce you to the faces behind the caramel.
Avid fans of the Food Network show Cupcake Wars might recognize this local baker from the 2011 Ms. America-themed episode he won with Salvador Garcia. Back then, however, his bakery went by "Urban Cookies and Ollie Cakes." Today you'll have to look them up under a different name: Urban Cookies Bakeshop.
As the name might imply, the Central Phoenix shop turns out a lot more than just cookies. From seasonally-flavored cupcakes and rich, chocolate brownies to bran muffins and costumed-employees (no really, check their Instagram), they've got it all going on. We're already excited for his caramel creation and caught up to talk cupcakes, Citizen Cake and Charlie -- the name Brady and his wife, Shaun, have chosen for their soon-to-be-born second son.
I can't bake without my . . . mixer. Without it, I feel uncoordinated.
I'd pair caramel with a bottle of . . . pinot noir, a lighter red.
I recommend everyone read . . . Citizen Cake by Elizabeth Falkner because . . . she shows how diverse and savory a dessert can be.
If I were a baked good, I'd be a . . . donut. It's the first thing you eat in the morning that really makes you smile.
Baking is like parenting because . . . you can try your best but you won't know if you screwed up until it comes out of the oven.
The perfect home-cooked meal would be . . . herb roasted chicken and veggies.
Caramel should always be . . . not used as a fruit dip.
My guilty pleasure is . . . chips and salsa all day long.
You'd be surprised to find . . . gluten free bread . . . in my fridge
The best thing I ate in the last month was . . . a Tyler Florence adaptation of brocollini and salmon bagna cauda.
The secret to successful baking is . . . follow the recipe first then adapt based on the outcome.
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A documentary about Urban Cookies Bakeshop would be titled . . . "Just Barely."