The spirit of the holidays and the smell of cookies filled the halls of JVS on Wednesday, December 18, as the junior Bakery and Pastry Arts students happily prepared preordered cookie trays for their annual holiday cookie fundraiser.
This year’s class baked 35,250 cookies; including Sicilian white cookies, shortbread, jam thumbprints, spritz, chocolate walnut and coconut snowballs, just to name a few.
Bakery and Pastry Arts instructor, Chef Chris Moore, shared all the lessons the students are learning with this project. “It is about organization, paying attention to details, quality of craftsmanship, and learning through repetition, how to increase your speed without sacrificing quality.”
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 Midview, Skyler Basch, thought the day of preparing all the cookie trays would be more stressful. “I actually thought we would be bumping into each other, trying to get this all done, but it is actually was pretty straight forward and went really well.”
Basch giggled when talking about the actual baking of the thirty thousand plus cookies. “That got stressful, because there was so much to do. But Chef is really good at keeping us calm and pointing us in the right direction.”
This year, 172 large trays and 186 small trays were ordered. The cookie trays are pre-sold with the sale beginning in early November. Due to the popularity of this annual sale, Moore doesn’t need to advertise. Customers email Moore directly to place their order and he usually sells out before the Thanksgiving holiday break.
Moore shared that this day of preparing the cookie trays is the culmination of so much dedication and hard work. “It is a very busy and nonstop day for us. The first cookie is placed on the first tray by 8:15am, and if everything goes as planned, the last cookie is placed on the last tray no later than 12:00 noon.”
“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 always great!”
According to Moore, 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.