FAIRLAND, Okla. – A Fairland woman’s talent for creating artistic detailing on her cakes and cookies was recently showcased in a Christmas movie featuring her homemade cookies.
Devin Culver’s homemade Christmas-themed cookies are featured in “The Christmas…Presents” a movie on the Great American Family Channel airing November 27 staring Candice Cameron Bure.
The movie was filmed in Oklahoma.
According to the movie listing, the movie centers around a realtor Maggie Larson and her family. They are spending Christmas with her recently widowed brother, Paul, and his young daughter at their house, the movie listing states from The Great American Family Channel.
Culver’s artfully painted snowmen, Santa Claus, ornaments, mittens, and other Christmas cookies are depicted in the movie being served on trays and carried by servers in a corporate Christmas party scene.
Movies are filmed many months in advance so it was almost impossible to find Christmas-themed cookies in October.
In a series of coincidences, Culver’s former classmate, Joshua Miller, who is a prop master for the Christmas movie, heard about her legendary cookies and reached out and asked Culver to make 11 dozen cookies for the movie scene.
“I was so excited,” Culver said.
As a child growing up in the 1980s Culver said she “absolutely adored” Candice Cameron Bure when she was younger.
“I found her character DJ on the sitcom Full House so relatable on so many life’s subjects,” Culver said. “I thought she was beautiful and cool.”
Culver said she told her family when she was older her plan was to change her name to DJ.
Although Culver did not meet her childhood hero, this opportunity was her own personal Christmas miracle.
“It’s very cool that someone I really admired and respected, who’s also famous, has now eaten my cookies and seen my work,” Culver said. “It’s been an honor to have this experience and opportunity.”
The mother of three has a large cookie and cake following in northeast Oklahoma.
“I love starting a cookie and seeing it come to life,” Culver said. “It’s definitely an art.”
Her wedding cakes are finely detailed sculptured designs. Her cookies have helped celebrate weddings and baby showers, graduations and birthdays.
Not only do they look like works of art – but the taste will take you back to your grandmother’s kitchen.
Or in Culver’s case – her grandmother’s kitchen.
“I learned about baking from my Granny, Janice Burleson,” Culver said. “She was the best baker I knew.”
“I’m very thankful that God blessed me with a granny that saw a talent in me at a young age and taught me to bake,” Culver said. “My fondest memories with her revolve around the kitchen and our taste tests.”
Culver said she doesn’t remember when she first started baking her grandmother’s cookies.
“I don’t know at what age she started teaching me, it was just always a passion we shared together,” Culver said. “She taught me to cook and to make pies, all from scratch.”
“She of course passed down some secrets that make the cookies extra special,” Culver said.
Coming from a family of bakers, Culver picked up making cakes almost two decades ago. Later, she would pickup cookies as well after ordering cookies for her son’s first birthday where she then decided to give it her own try.
“Decorating cookies is a lot harder than it looks,” Culver said.
Culver is not formally trained in cookie decorating but is self-taught by watching videos.
“I started following a lot of cookie makers on Instagram,” Culver said. From there Culver started doing her own research. “I looked up on the internet various cookie and royal icing recipes – then I bought the supplies,” Culver said.
It took Culver nine hours to decorate her first batch of cookies: “I hated it, I cried,” Culver said. “I was so frustrated and angry.”
But Culver refused to let a little cookie get the best of her.
“I kept at it, with a lot of trial and error, until I found just the right taste and textures I was looking for,” Culver said. The excitement of learning new techniques and trying them out kept her going.
Juggling three children, a full-time job and farm life keeps Culver busy.
“My baking depends on our family schedule,” Culver said. “My family always comes first.”
With the heavy demands, Culver said she bakes and decorates late in the evening.
“I don’t get a lot of sleep that’s for sure,” Culver said.