That unknown number coming up on caller ID just might be destiny calling. That’s at least what happened to Hoboken residents Joelle and Jordan Hernandez, the women behind custom cookie designs and baking content Instagram @double_dough and frequent Hoboken Girl Volunteer Coordinators. The two sisters have taken the world by storm with all that they do and the latest addition to their list of accomplishments is nothing short of amazing. Catch Jordan and Joelle on TV screens very soon as they will be participants on NBC’s show Baking It. Keep reading to learn more about their experience being on TV.
(Photo credit: Jordin Althaus/Peacock)
Hoboken Girl: How long have you lived in Hoboken? What brought you here?
J + J: We have lived in Hoboken for just under five years. We moved here after visiting a friend’s apartment and falling in love with the city. We didn’t know too much about Hoboken besides the great food she raved about and the super-easy commute into NYC for work. But we are so incredibly happy we chose Hoboken.
HG: What do you both do for a living?
J + J: For our full-time jobs, we work for a content marketing publishing company called Mediaplanet Publishing Inc. Joelle is a Senior Business Development Manager, leading a sales team of six Project Managers and Jordan is the Content & Production Manager, heading up the Production side of the US office. Mediaplanet creates advocacy and awareness publications on a variety of topics for major newspapers like USA Today and the LA Times.
HG: How did you develop a passion for baking? What were your first experiences with it?
J + J: We started to bake on a somewhat regular basis in college. It was a fun and inexpensive way to connect with friends near and far. We would bake cookies and mail them out to friends at different schools or make something sweet when we had friends over our dorm. The first Christmas after graduation in 2014, we tried our hand at hand-decorated cookies as fun place cards for our family’s dinner table and they came out surprisingly well. After that, we just kept trying more designs to learn different techniques. A family friend had a housewarming party and another friend was having a bachelorette and they wanted custom cookies, so that pushed us to make different designs and start to grow our collection of cookie cutters—which has grown to more than 400!
Here in Hoboken, we have had the great pleasure of being able to learn from some of the best in town. A few months after moving in, we took a macaron-making class with Tina Rivera of Baking Mama. She, of course, taught us how to make macarons, but spoke so much about the business aspect and her true passion for baking which still inspires us. In 2018, we worked a few shifts at Sugarsuckle, the by-order-only bakery that used to be in town. Owner Jen Choi is another one of our inspirations and she really taught us how to become more efficient in the kitchen, particularly, during the holidays.
HG: How excited were you when you found out that you would be on NBC’s show Baking It?
J + J: Excited beyond words! We waited by the phone all day long and, at around 9:30PM, the phone rang and it was a call from one of the producers with whom we had worked very closely throughout the audition process. He first tried to play super cool, but then blurted out, “We would love for you to come bake with us!” We knew that we were up against incredible bakers and, being that this is more of a hobby for us, truly did not know if we had what it took to be on alongside them. When we heard those words, we screamed and cried with happiness…knowing that we had just a few days until we would be on a plane to LAX.
HG: How did you find out about the show and what prompted you to apply?
J + J: We initially found out about the show through a sponsored Instagram post that came up in Jordan’s story. Jordan sent it to me on Instagram and I just replied to her with “Yeah…I saw that too.” Neither of us did anything with the post initially, but with social media re-targeting, we both kept getting it on our feed over and over again until Jordan finally said, “Let’s just send in a tape!” It was a super quick video, probably about 90 seconds long, that we sent to the casting agency and then forgot about it.
Jordan received a call from a Los Angeles number as we were walking back home from getting our second vaccine shots and it was a casting agent looking to see if we were still interested in moving forward with the process. After that call, we went through a few rounds of auditions with other contestants, and a final round of a two-week series of challenges and videos.
HG: After going through the audition process, how did you feel when finding out you had been selected?
J + J: We were so relieved and excited. After going through the audition process, we wanted to be on the show but did not know how we stacked up against other bakers. We were so happy that we had applied and stayed the course during the audition process. It was a big-time commitment and, on top of working full-time, writing for Hoboken Girl, being on the Board of a non-profit, and running our own non-profit, there were certainly times that we did not think we would be able to do it all, but so happy we did.
HG: The show is hosted by Maya Rudolph and Andy Samberg! What was it like to work with them?
J + J: Unreal. The producers and director kept the hosts of the show a secret until the moment they walked on set. We knew going into the competition that this would be a spin-off of NBC’s Making It, so we gave a little bit of thought as to who the hosts may be but were so focused on baking and just getting there, that we didn’t even allow ourselves to get too excited over any celebrities that may be in the cabin with us. When they walked on set all we could do was scream. It truly felt like we were watching television, but it was real-life. They were very warm and made all of the contestants feel comfortable when chatting with them.
HG: What are you most proud of and most excited for viewers to see?
Jordan: I am most proud of being able to represent our culture and heritage. Family traditions were a big part of the competition and something that was highly encouraged throughout the entire process. I am proud that we were able to stay true to ourselves while embarking on this new journey. I really hope viewers are able to see the genuine connection made by all of the bakers. We truly became and still are a family and I hope that comes across to viewers.
Joelle: I am most proud of making it onto a platform like NBC and Peacock. As a hobby/home baker, who is pretty much all self-taught, every step of the process felt like a win for all home bakers. I want people who are watching at home to know that nothing is too crazy when it comes to your dreams. If you see something you want, go after it because it’s likely possible. I am most excited for viewers to meet the other contestants as well. They are 14 of the most amazing, caring, kind, and compassionate people I have ever met and are all incredibly talented. They are the only other people who have gone through this unique experience and I will be forever grateful to know them. I’m so excited for the nation to be introduced to them.
HG: How was the experience overall? Tell us about the other contestants.
J + J: The other contestants are incredible. They all have such unique personalities and brought so much to the competition. One of the contestants created a WhatsApp group during the show to coordinate logistics and that group has remained active, pretty much every day, since we filmed. We are in constant communication with one another. Whether it’s sharing baking tips, sending funny memes, encouraging each other in whatever life throws our way, starting new businesses, welcoming babies, and more, we are all there for each other.
The overall experience was truly unique. Filming during COVID added multiple layers to the process, but NBC took every single precaution to make sure we all stayed safe and healthy. Every person on set from the production assistants, to the directors, executive producers, culinary team (who were the real stars of the show), dishwashers, set designers, and more, was there to make sure we had the best experience possible. We watch A LOT of baking television, so to see all of the hard work that goes into pulling a competition together is amazing.
HG: What are your favorite local places for dessert?
J + J: Oh my gosh…how could we just pick a few? Antique Bar & Bakery Bread Pudding is to die for. Baking Mama chocolate cookies cannot be matched and Amanda’s Bananas in the summertime. In fact, Amanda almost caught on that we were up to something because we were MIA for two weeks in the summer while filming, which was a deviation from our multiple-times-a-week visits to her truck.
HG: What are the details of the show, so we can all watch it?
J + J: Baking It airs on Peacock on Thursday, December 2nd. The first episode will also be shown on NBC on Friday, December 3rd at 8PM EST.