Students Bake Over 32,000 Cookies

The smell of cookies filled the air and the spirit of the holidays was felt throughout the building. On Thursday, December 20, the Bakery and Pastry Arts junior students dressed in Santa hats and were busy preparing cookie trays for their annual holiday cookie fundraiser.

This year’s class baked 32,080 cookies; including sugar cookie cutouts, mint shortbread, chocolate crinkles, jam thumbprints, and peanut butter kisses, just to name a few.

Bakery and Pastry Arts instructor, Chef Chris Moore, shared that this is the eighteenth year for this fundraiser and this year he sold out in only eight days! “At this point, we have it down to where we are pretty much manufacturing cookies. It is mass production and since the beginning of this sale, I’ve calculated that we are near the half million cookie mark!”

Every cookie has its place on each tray, and according to Moore, the trays are broken down into a clock, so cookies are placed in the same order, allowing all the trays to look the same. Large trays contain nine to ten dozen cookies while small trays hold five to six dozen.

Junior Bakery and Pastry Arts student from Elyria, Amy Vinson, shared that the experience was a little stressful at times. “It has been really fun, but having the deadline and rushing to get it all done was nerve-wracking.”

Baking this many cookies really comes down to logistics. “Every detail counts and when you start doing the math, ordering food products, scheduling it all out, and determining how many cookies go on each tray; this starts teaching the students how to operate a complex event such as this,” explained Moore.

The junior class, along with 10th grade students who are shadowing the program for this quarter, have been baking the cookies since the end of November. The cookie trays are pre-sold with the sale beginning at the first of November. Due to the popularity of this annual sale, Moore doesn’t need to advertise. Customers email Moore directly to place their order and this year was the earliest he has ever sold out!

Samantha Nelson, Bakery and Pastry Arts junior from Keystone, said that completing a project like this is giving her great experience that she hopes to use in her future. “I want to own my own bakery one day and I know that everything I’m learning now will help me when I reach that goal.”

Moore stated the funds generated help cover the cost of supplies, but the majority of the money is put into the program’s activity account that follows the students into their senior year. The funds are then used toward their chef jackets and annual awards banquet.

“This is a culmination of about three weeks’ worth of work,” Moore said. “The students, and myself, are happy to see it come to a conclusion and the end result is great!”