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Pies, cookies, cakes, bread and more – an Ashland native makes and bakes it all, but she doesn’t just make any ‘ol cookies.
Dianne Miller, a full-time landscape artist, children’s author and part-time baker, makes a chocolate cookie she calls the “cocoa crinkle sandwich cookie,” which is actually two cookies on top of one another with a layer of chocolate fudge frosting in between.
Miller has had the recipe for the cookie for years and years. She started playing around with it several years ago when the baking trend of replacing butter with oils became popular.
“You keep up with what’s going on [in the cooking world] and it keeps things interesting,” she said. “I see what I can learn from each trend.”
Her daughters Emily, 24, and Alice, 19, loved her treats and wanted to eventually share them with their own kids. So Emily and Alice asked her to combine all of her recipes and type them up.
One day while Miller took a break from typing up the cocoa crinkle sandwich cookie and a dozen other of her own recipes, she noticed an article in the newspaper for Pilsbury’s Bake-Off competition for desserts and sweets.
Miller, who had never entered a competition before, decided to throw her name into the doughboy’s hat.
She was one of the 60 semifinalists chosen from thousands of entries submitted to the bake-off. The 30 bakers who get the most votes for their recipes on the bake-off website, will continue the competition in Las Vegas.
“It would be a huge success to go,” Miller said.
Though cooking is simply a hobby for Miller, she said she’s loved it ever since she was little. Every chance she gets, she whips something up for the family. Miller’s all-time favorite thing to bake is bread.
“It’s a caring and supporting thing to make,” Miller said. “It’s the great nurturing of man-kind.”
Miller has had a lot of success and fun in her kitchen, but it’s not fun and games all the time. Cooking is about experimenting, Miller said, as she explained one of her worst cooking disasters in her culinary history, which came when she decided to make lemon soup.
“I don’t know why I thought that was a good idea,” she said.
But it’s “the fun creative aspect” of cooking that Miller said she likes the most.
Voting on Miller’s chocolaty delights continues until June 27. You can vote online here.