PJ bakes creates cookies, desserts all to raise funds to fight racism, aid humanitarian efforts

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- By day Pauline (aka PJ) Dziama works as an industrial designer. At night, she hits the kitchen for her side hustle, PJ Bakes.

Baking is her creative outlet after a long day in front of the computer.

The fan favorite is her '"Got Rice?" Crispies'-a cookie rolled in cereal, sprinkled with white chocolate and stuffed with marshmallow. And she's always experimenting with different flavor combinations, like ube jam.

Dziama's mother is Filipino, her paternal grandmother is Ukrainian so a lot of her recipes are Filipino/Ukrainian fusion.

She created what she calls the ideal cookie dough-chewy in the center but the outside is super crispy.

Each week, she develops a menu making both sweet and savory dishes then posts it online for sale.

PJ then donates all the proceeds, handing over 100% of the money to non-profits working on issues of racism or inequities.

She started PJ bakes because she wanted to participate in Bakers Against Racism.

Dubbed the world's largest DIY bake sale, it was formed in June of 2020, inviting bakers of all levels, around the globe, to help raise money for the cause.

PJ answered the call.

She keeps a running list of the non-profits she's supported over the past 2 years: Black Lives Matter, Bake the Vote, Fighting COVID.

Then, when Russia invaded Ukraine, she got a message from her Ukrainian father, "Are you going to bake for us?"

So, she baked for humanitarian aid.

When she heard of a cargo plane loaded with supplies in Northeast Philadelphia that needed money for fuel, she baked for that

Sometimes, she works solo; other times she collaborates with chefs, coffee shops or others in the Philadelphia food industry.

Now the city that seemed so foreign at the start of the pandemic has started to feel like home and PJ says, ""I just don't see any reason to stop."

PJ Bakes | Facebook | Instagram

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