spotlight on local artisan baker rhonda hamlin
A passion for baking means the cookie jar is forever full at Rhonda Hamlin’s house. This creative single mother of two children works full-time and has translated her simple joy of baking into a blossoming and delicious artisan biscotti business in the Pacific Northwest.
Hamlin is not a formally trained pastry chef. She just loves to bake. To relax, she would make cookies and cakes and then share the sweet homemade treats with her family and friends. “I’ve always loved to bake. Twelve years ago I found a biscotti recipe in a Victoria cookbook; it was for hazelnut vanilla biscotti. So I began playing around with the recipe to add my own taste and texture,” said Hamlin.
In 2002 Hamlin entered her cranberry white chocolate biscotti in the Western Washington Fair and went home with the blue ribbon. “After the fair, I started selling it to family and friends. It’s now my number one seller.”
Hamlin knew she had cooked up a great idea and started her biscotti business, The Art of Crunch. “The name, The Art of Crunch, came from making my biscotti and realizing with these cookies, texture is everything. It can’t be too hard or too soft. They had to have the right crunch.”
The Art of Crunch offers basic biscotti flavors to include blueberry lemon, vanilla hazelnut and double chocolate. The company also features seasonal offerings
such as springtime’s bright mango coconut or white chocolate frosting with peppermint candy crumbles, perfect for Christmas.
Hamlin recently introduced a new dessert collection called After Dark. Recipes like lavender caramel, salted caramel dipped in dark chocolate, and macadamia nut and dried cherry pair well with wines for after-dinner sipping and snacking.
Hamlin’s biscotti make perfect party favors too. The Art of Crunch does special orders and events by personalizing the cookie label for occasions such as weddings, parties, holidays and business gifts.
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