This week, we’re proud to feature Samantha Merritt of Sugar Spun Run in the Blogger Spotlight. For those new to the column, every Friday, we highlight a member of The Daily Meal’s Culinary Content Network, a limited group of bloggers who write about food and drink.We look to this group of talented food writers for inspiration and participation in The Daily Meal, whether for restaurant recommendations or new recipes to try out for dinner. Our editorial team covers All Things Food and Drink, and we tap the CCN to keep up to speed on what is happening around the country and the world — from fine dining to home cooking.
In addition to blogging at and creating Sugar Spun Run, Samantha Merritt has a degree in psychology, and loves taking care of her two dogs, Penny and Leia.
Samantha’s love for ice cream lead to her focusing on desserts, and every recipe on her blog, which features everything sweet from cookies to cakes, are carefully tested by Samantha to ensure quality.
The Daily Meal: What is the mission of your blog?
Samantha Merritt: To create and share original, quality, made-from-scratch dessert recipes.
How did you get started with your blog?
Back in 2012 I stumbled across a lifestyle blog. My initial reaction was "who cares, why does this girl think anyone wants to read about her life?"...and then I got hooked. After that, I slowly began to realize not only that blogging was a real thing that people did, but that it seemed like a great creative outlet and a good way for me to exercise my writing.
A few months after finding that first blog, I bought my domain name and began writing. Though my blog quickly shifted to a food blog rather than a lifestyle blog, it took me a few years to develop a schedule and become serious about blogging.
What are some foods you can’t live without?
I can’t live without chocolate, ice cream, and chips and salsa.
What are some foods you can’t stand?
I can’t stand olives, mushrooms, and raisins.
What is your proudest blog post?
Probably my Cookie Dough Fudge. It is such a simple recipe, but so many people have written to me to tell me how much they loved it. It was also among one of my first recipes to really go viral, which was exciting!
What is your biggest blog blunder?
More than once I've written up a whole post and then lost it before publishing... save and save frequently when writing!
What is your most memorable comment from a reader?
Any time I get a comment from someone telling me they loved my recipe it makes me so happy to read, and I always remember those comments! However, recently I posted a recipe and wrote about some hard times that my husband and I have been through, and the comments I received from the blogging community were so warm and sweet! Those have probably been the most memorable comments, and I don't know that I could pick out just a single one.
What’s on your cooking playlist?
I don't think this qualifies as a playlist, but I'm usually listening to one of two things: I either shuffle Pandora through my alternative/country/rock stations, or I turn on podcasts. I'm currently making my way through the whole The Accidental Creative podcast archives, and I love listening to it.
What are some food blogs you love?
There are so many bloggers I admire... but among my absolute favorite blogs to read are Lady and Pups and Butter and Brioche. I really appreciate their excellent writing and evocative styles (not to mention the photography!), though they are very different in their styles.
What are some food apps you like?
What is the best thing about blogging?
Being able to journal my cooking successes and having the opportunity (/obligation) to write three times a week.
What is the worst thing about blogging?
Aside from all the dirty dishes, trying not to eat so much dessert! I try to eat well, but it's hard when I'm constantly baking. My willpower is nothing against a plate of fresh brownies.
What recipe are you currently obsessed with?
Currently I'm obsessed with mastering macarons! I want to create my own macaron recipes, but it's (obviously) critical to master the basics first, so it will be awhile before you see macarons on Sugar Spun Run.
What would even your most loyal followers be surprised to learn about you?
I'm not sure, perhaps that I have an affinity for rodents... my wedding cake toppers were a pair of clay squirrels and I've owned gerbils and rats in the past.
Five of your all-time favorite posts?