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Prospect woman bakes dinosaurs for Christmas this year

Crystal Damico, of Twice as Sweet Baking, plates Christmas cookies on Friday, Dec. 1. Mikayla Torrence/Butler Eagle

The coronavirus pandemic and the construction of her new house put the crunch on the Christmas cookie business of Crystal Damico, of Prospect, but she’s returning this year like an Elf on a Shelf.

Damico received orders for about 20 dozen cookies this year, and she hopes to garner even more next year to rebuild her side gig.

“I’ve made 50 dozen,” she said of her holiday baking, which began in 2018. “I like giving people their cookies and seeing them enjoy them.”

Damico’s most requested cookie is the peanut butter blossom, which is a peanut butter cookie with a Hershey’s kiss in the middle.

Second are her sugar cookies, which she decorates with colored icing in a pastry bag.

She creates Santa, Christmas trees, Santa hats and Christmas stockings in cookie form, and decorates them accordingly. The time-consuming decoration process cannot be rushed, as the icing must be the perfect consistency.

“I have an order this year for dinosaurs with Christmas hats on them,” she said. “I tested those out the other night and it came out great.”

Once that order came in, Damico was lucky enough to find the perfect cookie cutter online.

A platter of Christmas cookies made by Crystal Damico, of Twice as Sweet Baking, on Friday, Dec. 1. Mikayla Torrence/Butler Eagle

A new variety she is adding to her cookie trays this year is a butter cookie dipped in chocolate. The cookie is light and fluffy and not sickeningly sweet.

“It’s a really simple recipe,” Damico said. “I tried it out on my co-workers and they were like ‘These are delicious!’”

She makes 15 to 20 variety of cookies and artfully places them on a foil tray with a lid.

Damico adds a festive bow and personally delivers the confections to her customers.

“It definitely makes me feel good,” she said.

Damico said the secrets to creating the perfect cookie are patience, mixing the dough according to recipe specifications and an innate love of baking.

“I’ve always liked baking,” she said. “My grandmother and grandfather used to bake cinnamon rolls when we were younger. Maybe that’s what got me started.”

She finds cookie baking relaxing, especially during the hectic holiday season.

“I’m in another world when I do it,” Damico said. “It’s therapeutic.”

She began baking immediately after Thanksgiving, and freezes her cookies until it’s time to plate and deliver them.

“But not the lady locks,” she said. “I don’t freeze them.”

Damico looks forward to Christmas each year, when she gets to follow her passion in the kitchen.

“I love doing things for people,” she said. “It just makes me happy to help people out.”

A platter of Christmas cookies made by Crystal Damico, of Twice as Sweet Baking, on Friday, Dec. 1. Mikayla Torrence/Butler Eagle
Crystal Damico, of Twice as Sweet Baking, shows a platter of Christmas cookies on Friday, Dec. 1. Mikayla Torrence/Butler Eagle
Crystal Damico, of Twice as Sweet Baking, packages Christmas cookies on Friday, Dec. 1. Mikayla Torrence/Butler Eagle

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