Allrecipes Cook to Follow: Smart Cookie
She's one smart (and funny) cookie
Meet Smart Cookie. A comedian-turned-blogger and food stylist, Elise Mayfield is one of the 55 million cooks who visit Allrecipes.com every month. Read on to find out more about her, her hilarious food videos, and her favorite recipes.
Also known as:
Elise Mayfield, 34, of Birmingham, Alabama
I'm a blogger, cook, and food stylist in Meredith's Birmingham test kitchen. After college, my winding path took me first to The Second City in Chicago, where I studied and performed improv and sketch comedy. (It was awesome!) Next came MasterChef, and now back to my hometown, Birmingham.
My masterchef moment:
During grad school in Chicago, I heard one day that MasterChef was holding auditions. I had less than 24 hours to prepare and, of course, I was hosting a theater-company meeting that morning. I whipped up a dish (chicken hand pies with Brussels sprouts slaw). Then I packed my dish in an insulated lunch bag lined with socks stuffed with heated rice and hand warmers, and headed out. I found myself in Los Angeles a couple of months later for the final audition. I got on! The next six weeks were a whirlwind, and I ended up as lucky number 13.
For my video blog, Smart Cookie, I develop most of the recipes that we then shoot with the help of a whole host of people in the video department. They give me permission to just be myself and share my love of baking with everyone who watches the web series. Check out Elise's fun videos at youtube.com/allrecipes.
Dish I make that others love:
I make a pretty mean chocolate chip cookie. (There's supposedly only one copy of the recipe, kept in a certain test-kitchen drawer and brought out for emergency morale boosts.) My Peach Cobbler with Buttermilk Ice Cream gets raves, too, and unlike with the cookie, I can unmask this recipe.
Kitchen tool I can't live without:
The bench scraper! You can use it to transfer veggies from the cutting board to the pan, cut shortbread cookies from a log of dough, or clean your countertop after rolling out dough. It's so handy!
Few people know:
I was in the Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers, a pro-wrestling-style competition, complete with characters and storylines. I was "Florida Devereaux," a washed-up '90s sitcom star with a revolving cast of ex-husbands and frenemies.
Rare talent no one will pay me for:
I have a total mom purse. Need a snack? Got it. Need multicolored pens? Got it. Need stickers? Got it for sure.
If I could have any superpower:
It'd be the ability to magically clean and put away dishes.
The closest thing I have to a superpower:
My paper planner.
Elise's Favorite Recipe
Why I love this recipe:
At the height of peach season every summer, my grandmother (that's her below, with me in a tutu) would make peach cobbler. You could smell it baking as soon as you opened Mawmaw's door. We would cap off our Sunday family meal with a big bowl of steaming cobbler with sugar-crisp crust, topped with just-beginning-to-melt ice cream.
When I started baking as an adult, it was one of the first dishes I learned to make. I was shocked at how easy it was! Fresh peaches, the marvel of self-rising flour, sprinkles of sugar, and voilà: a delicious summer treat. Last year, I brought it to our family reunion. I kept it pretty traditional, but wanted to add my own twist. So I lugged an ice cream maker there and churned up buttermilk ice cream. I think some of my family was a little skeptical of the buttermilk, but considering the lack of leftovers, I think it was a hit!
More: Check out our collection of peach cobbler recipes.