My Interview with Jenna Huntsberger

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Dagny, age 7, is once again our guest writer on Every Food Fits! During our COVID-19 physical distancing/homeschool adventure, Dagny wanted to interview a cookie expert, and immediately I thought of Jenna Huntsberger, owner of Washington bakery, WhiskedDC. Dagny’s latest column is the result of the 20-minute interview and hours of research and writing. It was dictated to me by Dagny. While Dagny sneaked in some opinion, our fourth-generation journalist checked and rechecked quotes to make sure they were 100% accurate. And a big thank you to almost-9-year-old brother Myer for his keen copyediting skill and strengthening the document. Enjoy!]

By: Dagny Belle Viera!

WhiskedDC began within the yr 2011 (when my brother was born), the yr of the rabbit. Jenna Huntsberger began it as a result of she wished to have a enterprise and promote issues that she preferred and make folks glad. She additionally preferred the concept of constructing a cookie enterprise.

“I like the process of creating something. It’s really satisfying to make a product and see that physical product on a shelf at a grocery store. And then it makes people really happy…people love our cookies, and we get emails and comments at the farmers markets about how much people love them. And so we’re really bringing people a little bit of joy and comfort, and that feels really good.”

When I heard of Huntsberger’s enterprise, I wished one in all her cookies. The very first thing I did was get one in all her cookies. I received the vegan Chocolate Blackout cookie. It truly actually is vegan! Before we speak about vegan cookies, I’m going to speak about baking utensils.

“Scales are awesome,” Huntsberger stated. Scales are used in order that we don’t get the flawed quantity, and they’re additionally actually enjoyable to make use of. Her work scale is greater and heavier than my scale at residence. “We have big scales that weigh up to 75 pounds. Actually, no. I think we got a bigger one that weighs even more than that, but we always use weighing to measure our ingredients because it’s much more accurate than using cups.”

Huntsberger makes use of a lot of utensils and these are a few of what she makes use of: spatulas, bowl scrapers, knives, and whisks. I take advantage of lots of these in my kitchen at residence, however not all of them. I take advantage of a 6-quart mixer at my home, however hers is one other story! Huntsberger has a 140-quart Hobart mixer! She makes tons of cookies; 30,000 cookies per week, to be actual!

Baking within the work kitchen is “completely different” from baking at residence, stated Huntsberger. “At home I make what I want…If I mess up a batch of cookies at home, it’s fine, but if you mess up 100 pounds of cookie dough that we can’t sell, that costs us money…If you overbake a cookie and it goes out to a customer and that customer paid money for it and they’re really upset, that’s a problem…So the stakes are higher when you’re cooking professionally.”

Now again to vegan cookies! If you’re questioning what consuming vegan means, it signifies that you don’t eat animal merchandise like milk or eggs or butter, which is constituted of milk.

I normally put eggs and butter in my cookies, so I requested her how she replaces them. Her vegan cookie dough is made with a chia seed combination as an egg replacer and Earth Balance vegan butter.

I wished to know what’s vital to mastering a cookie, and I requested about her favourite ingredient. Huntsberger stated that a cookie wants the correct amount of salt as a result of “salt will enhance the entire flavor of your product.”

Here are the forms of flour Huntsberger makes use of: pastry flour and patent flour, which is sort of like all-purpose flour however for work kitchens. Huntsberger needs the appropriate gluten content material so she will have the proper of cookie combination she likes. She will get it through the use of just a little bit of every flour. You need much less gluten forming within the cookies to make it lighter and never like bread as a result of bread has extra gluten.

How a lot sugar to make use of depends upon the recipe. “Sugar encourages spread,” Huntsberger stated. I additionally requested about baking time, and that depends upon the scale of the cookies and the temperature of the dough, and the oven at your own home.

At residence, I do style assessments, however at a piece kitchen, you’re not allowed to. Huntsberger stated, “NO!” to consuming just a little little bit of the cookie dough once they’re baking. “At Whisked, part of our food safety program is you cannot eat or drink in the production facility.” Then I requested about how they style check to see if it’s good. She stated that style testing is completed within the workplace to stop cross-contamination, which is the spreading of germs and micro organism.

We talked in regards to the ovens, and it was actually thrilling. She has two ovens, and every oven can maintain 40 sheet pans. At residence, I’ve one oven, and we will bake two sheet pans that every maintain 12 cookies. I can bake 24 cookies without delay when she will bake 960 cookies without delay. Remember how I advised you they might bake 30,000 cookies per week? It’s true, they will!

I used to be stunned when she stated the dishwasher she has solely sanitizes, it doesn’t wash. Someone has to load it. Huntsberger stated that “50% of making food professionally” is washing dishes.

I requested her about her enterprise, and he or she stated, “I would like to grow to three times our size in the next five years. I think that’s enough growth that we’ll be maximizing what we do in our facility, but it’s not too fast that we lose the quality of the product, which is always top of mind for us.”

I requested her what she likes to do aside from bake, and he or she likes to train, hike, learn fiction, and take into consideration her firm.


I feel that her cookies are superb. Do you?

Chocolate chip is Huntsberger’s favourite cookie, and it is also mine. Here is my household’s recipe! Try it out!

Luis & Stacey’s Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 480g all-purpose flour
  • 6g baking soda
  • 8g baking powder
  • 8g coarse salt
  • 148g shortening
  • 148g butter
  • 250g mild brown sugar
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 10ml vanilla extract
  • 280g chocolate chips (roughly)
  • sea salt (for topping)


Makes about 30 cookies. Unless you press the dough into your forged iron to make one large cookie after which a bunch of small ones!


Step 1
Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt right into a bowl.
Step 2
Cream butter and sugars collectively till very mild in shade. Add the eggs. Stir in vanilla. Add dry substances and blend till simply mixed. Add chocolate. Press plastic wrap on floor dough and refrigerate no less than half the day.
Step three
Set on the counter a gallon-size plastic bag or a lined cookie sheet. With an ice cream scoop, dole out particular person scoops of very chilly dough and add to plastic bag or cookie sheet. Do this till all the dough is gone. Freeze. (You can add the cookies from the sheet to the plastic bag later if you wish to scale back the chance that they may stick to one another within the plastic bag.) Once they’re frozen, you’re able to warmth and eat as many as you’d like at a time!
Step four
Heat oven to 350. Line cookie sheet – or use a forged iron pan! – and place frozen balls of dough a few inches aside. Bake for about 16 minutes till cookies are mild brown on high. Remove from oven and let sit in pan for about 10 minutes to agency up earlier than serving. Cookies must be loved heat, however not so scorching that they collapse.

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