Since 2019, the Pastry Project has been helping people break into the restaurant industry by offering free 14-week baking courses to folks who don't have easy access to the industry's infamously inaccessible professional paths—paths that often include exhausting, low-paying on-the-job training and pricey culinary schools.
With the help of founders Emily Kim and Heather Hodge, students have learned how to bake everything from simple, delicious chocolate chip cookies to more complex creations such as croissants (laminated dough can be ridiculously fussy).
The Pastry Project has sold the student sweets out of its Pioneer Square pop-up window via monthly Goody Box subscriptions. This month, however, Kim and Hodge have introduced one more very tasty way to support The Pastry Project's efforts. They've launched The Take-and-Bakery, an online shop with a line of bake-at-home treats—for now, cookie dough—and it's all available for nationwide shipping.
To commemorate the occasion, Kim and Hodge have partnered with Lauren Ko, the meticulous pie artist behind the popular Instagram account @lokokitchen.
"Lauren was one of our very first supporters," says Kim. "Back in the beginning she hosted a pie class and donated proceeds to our pilot program. Her pies are so fun and quirky and joyful, we thought it would be so much fun to figure out how to make one into a cookie."
Together, the three created a pretty pastel cookie inspired by a tart in Ko's cookbook, Pieometry. The Loko Cookie is a pink and teal lemon cookie dotted with vivid chunks of raspberry chocolate. Finalizing the recipe took longer than you may think.
“It took a while, months," says Kim. "We wanted to get the colors of [Ko's] tart right, and we use natural colorings, so we had to do so many tests to make sure it baked into the exact color of the tart. The dough is pink and blue, but her tart is pink and teal—the citrus reacts [with the color] in the dough and turns it into the teal of the tart when it bakes."
For now, it's cookies, but Kim says The Take-and-Bakery will eventually carry more.
"Eventually we'll branch out to biscuits and scones. We’re focusing on cookies this year and then probably late next year we’ll start releasing other dough products."