The sugar cookie is a party staple. From first birthdays to any holiday soiree, there’s usually a sugar cookie for the occasion. It’s hard to believe that today’s decked-out sugar cookie had a humble beginning as a biscuit. Thankfully, 300 years ago German settlers elevated the sugar cookie into a sweet treat, and since that time bakers have been perfecting the recipe and their decorating techniques.
Perhaps no one in the metro is more attuned to the artistry in creating a sugar cookie than Mary Clark of Boulevard Bakery. For almost three decades, from a storefront tucked away on Independence Avenue in Kansas City, she’s been turning out thousands of sugar cookies that serve as canvases for her icing craftsmanship. From Chiefs football helmets to engagement rings, this baker is obsessed with sugar cookies.
“It’s something unique and also something that you have to be very creative at,” Clark says. “I think it takes a special artistic person to decorate and create. We try to make all the cookies flawless, but they each have a character of their own.”
Everything about the Boulevard sugar cookie is handmade. The bakery even designs its own cookie cutters. “That way there is no stopping of our creativity,” Clark says. She shares that the hardest cookies in her repertoire are circus cookies and doing logos that customers request. When asked if she has a favorite design, the baker responded like a loving parent, saying “They’re all my favorite.”
Clark divulges the thing she is most proud of is that her cookies taste as good as they look.
“The formulas that we use are very old, and we use the finest ingredients,” she says. “We also make the icings used to decorated the cookies from scratch, and we don’t use a royal icing.”
Clark might just have given away Boulevard’s secret. Royal icing made from confectionary sugar, egg whites and water has more in common with cardboard than the delectable icing on a Boulevard cookie. The baker doesn’t seem worried about any competitors, though. She knows her sugar cookies have a loyal and enthusiastic fan base.
“As long the cookies taste good and look good, Boulevard Bakery will still be around for years to come.”