Toronto baker Lindsey Gazel has run her namesake business, Lindsey Bakes, for more than a decade – and in that time, she’s made confections shaped like Larry David, Charlie Brown, Michael Jackson, SpongeBob SquarePants, the cast of The Simpsons, a pack of Marlboro reds, and a Blackberry phone complete with keyboard. Brands hire her to reproduce their logo – and fans hire her to reproduce their favorite products – all in the form of a cookie.
Every so often, her mind-melting Instagram page lights up with delightfully surreal cookies modeled after a high-end mechanical watch. Below, she explains her process. In case you’re wondering, the cookies are $ 4 apiece. Shipping to the States can get expensive, she says – though still a bargain compared to the watch itself.
HODINKEE: When did you start making these watch cookies?
Lindsey: The first time I did it was about three years ago. My friend Josh has a really amazing vintage shop in Toronto, and he got me to do the Jacob & Co. – the Cam’Ron watch. I don’t really know what the watch is called. I’m sure it has a special name. The colorful one.
And then I have a lot of customers who own nicer things – oftentimes people will get their significant other a variety of cookies of all their favorite things, and watches come up a lot. I’ve done it so many times.
How does it typically work when somebody wants one?
They send me a picture – that’s about it. Then I just make them up.
Can you walk me through the process?
Sure. So, I roll out the cookie dough, and then I’ll cut it out with a knife. Just the shape. Where the knobs are is always different on the different styles of watches, and the shape of the bands is always different.
Then I bake it off. And then I’ll pipe, which is just putting icing on with a piping bag. I usually do the face first, and then do the band – and then add all the little details. And then I use an edible shimmer powder mixed with peppermint flavoring. I brush that on. The alcohol in it evaporates, but it still has the shimmery gold or the silvery look. Then the cookies dry overnight, and then I package them up.
What kind of cookie are they?
A sugar cookie. They last for like two months, but I know a lot of people that keep them forever.
How big are they?
Probably about five inches tall. They’re big, but I can do them any size. Just cut out the shape by hand.
What do they taste like?
What watch brands have you done?
Rolex, Jacob & Co., Cartier — those are the main ones. There’s an Omega. And then I can’t remember the name of the one with the leather band and the white face. I don’t have any of these watches.
What watch do you have?
It was my dad’s. It’s a Bulova Accutron that his father gave him. I don’t think it’s worth anything. Just sentimental.
What are some other brands you’ve worked with?
Stüssy. Aimé Leon Dore. Chanel. Hermès. Rowing Blazers, I know they have vintage watches on their site as well. Who else? Honestly, everyone. It’s crazy.
And these are not requests by normal people saying, “Can you do me a Chanel piece?” This is actual Chanel saying they want a piece?
Oh, for sure.
But of all those brands, no actual watch brand has asked you.
No, no, never.
I wonder why.
I think maybe their clientele’s a little more sophisticated. They’re not gonna be impressed with a cookie.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.