Gardner baker Annelese Bartlett founds gourmet Berry Patch Cookie Co

GARDNER—Meet your friendly neighborhood cookie lady.

Annelese Bartlett has been making gourmet cookies from home for about a year, but she never planned on becoming a baker.

In fact, she almost found herself competing for a rather dubious title after her friends and family encouraged her to display her lack of culinary talent to a nationwide television audience by submitting her name to the producers of the Food Network’s “Worst Cook in America” show .

“I got a call from the casting people asking to formally interview me and meet with their casting directors,” she said. “I had a sit-down interview, but it never panned out, mainly because I got a job and had gotten pregnant, so I couldn’t have gone anyway. But it was really funny because it just shows how bad my cooking is.”

Annelese Bartlett of Gardner has found a recipe for success with her gourmet cookies

She’s a baker but not a chef

But, as Bartlett pointed out, cooking and baking are very different. While preparing a meal can often mean being creative with a variety of savory flavors, the art of baking requires paying strict attention to step-by-step instructions, she said.

“With baking, it’s like someone is holding your hand through the whole process, which was much more doable for me,” she said. “My brain needs a guide.”

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