Food News

Local Baker, Maricsa Trejo, Spooks it Up on Halloween Baking Show

A cruffin, a croissant baked in a muffin pan, from La Casita Bakeshop
A cruffin, a croissant baked in a muffin pan, from La Casita Bakeshop Lauren Drewes Daniels
Go big or go home, right? That was local baker Maricsa Trejo's approach this season of the Food Network's "Halloween Baking Championship."

The seasonal series pits more than a dozen bakers against each other to create the creepiest, yet tastiest, Halloween-themed baked goods. The results are ranked by a panel of three judges: Carla Hall, Stephanie Boswell and Zac Young. And of course, each challenge is timed.

We've always had a sweet crush on La Casita Bakeshop in Richardson. Head baker Trejo is a self-taught baker who worked through the ranks to become one of North Texas' most notable bakers. In 2022 she was a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Baker award.

Her pastries are sold in coffee shops around North Texas. You've likely seen her trademark tall puffy cruffins topped with cinnamon and sugar perched in a glass case. Hopefully, you've tried one too.

Doing a Halloween-themed cooking show likely wasn't too much of a stretch for Trejo because she changes her menu weekly, and even more so as the seasons change. With a look at her Facebook feed, it's clear that fall is her favorite time of year. But, being on the show was personally a stretch.

From a recent post:

"I know I personally don't have a fantastic view of myself and being on TV was my Everest. I was so scared to go home but only to not disappoint all of you. But, being from Texas I had to...GO BIG OR GO HOME! 🤘"

You can catch the series and watch Trejo bake on Hulu, or through the Food Network's app. The TV Guide didn't come this week, so we're not sure when it's running live. 

Stop reading if you don't want to know what happens.

"And go home I did! 😂," Trejo continued on her Facebook page. "Who else would win the first challenge of the episode and then go home anyway? Me, Maricsa Trejo."

It was a bummer because she made it through episode 4 and did fantastically on the first part of the competition, even winning more time to bake. But her idea didn't quite puff out as she'd hoped in the final round.

That's good news for North Texas, though, because it means one of our best bakers is back in town.

Try their Oogie Boogie Tarts filled with hazelnut praline, brown butter chocolate chip cookie butter, dark chocolate ganache, all topped with a green meringue.

La Casita is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Sunday, but you can pre-orders through the website, which is the best way to you ensure you get what you want here. Take Trejo's advice when ordering — go big.

La Casita Bakeshop, 580 W. Arapaho Road, No. 230, Richardson
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.

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