VERSAILLES, Ky. (FOX 56) – Certain scents have a way of making us feel nostalgic and letting out our inner child. Like freshly baked cookies laid out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.

One local baker is preparing for the holiday season by setting her oven and her spirits to 350 degrees.

Versailles native Lauren Jacobs has you covered this Christmas should you be craving a cookie fresh out of the oven. Her love for baking helped launch a full-blown business and now she is kicking things into high gear, putting her cookies to the test, in a primetime contest.

Jacobs’ love for baking isn’t a new phenomenon, it goes way back.

“I would sit on the counter with my mom, and we would bake, and I would learn to love it,” Jacobs said.

Fast forward to today, her childhood passion is now a part of her identity. To many, she is known as “The Cheerful Baker”, a nickname inspired by her preacher, who also is her brother.

“There is a verse that says a joyful heart makes a cheerful face, and that is me,” Jacobs explained. “I am very happy, but I am happy because of my relationship with Christ.”

For Jacobs, her time spent social distancing during the pandemic served as the perfect excuse to perfect her skills in the kitchen.

“When I do design, I always think, ‘what would a kid think about this?’ I want a kid to grab that cookie ’cause to a little kid, a cookie is magic,” described Jacobs.

It is not all sunshine and rainbows however, baking also serves as Jacobs’ escape.

“Our oldest son has very severe dyslexia,” Jacobs said. “When you are going through something like that, it is depressing because you feel so sorry for your kid who is struggling and so I needed an outlet, and that outlet became cookie decorating.”

Soon, Jacobs will take her talents to the national stage when she competes in The Christmas Cookie Challenge on Food Network this December.

Jacobs says she is still in shock she made it on the show.

“I thought it was a hoax,” Jacobs said while laughing.

Her youngest son was also surprised.

“It’s very cool,” said Joshua Jacobs. “I never thought she would be on the Food Network; I never thought her cookies would go very far.”

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Jacobs’ husband Stacy on the other hand, was not surprised when his wife got the call.

“I was glad for her to go after her dreams and succeed and do what she wants to do,” Stacy Jacobs said.

He says he’s there to support her, every sweet step of the way.

“You know one thing that is great about her cookies, they don’t just look great, but they taste great,” Stacy said.

Jacobs will compete in ‘The Christmas Cookie Challenge’ on December 11 on Food Network, in the meantime, you can check out her work on social media. Instagram, Facebook, TikTok.

Jacobs also hosts cookie decorating classes which you can purchase here.