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Holiday baking never looked so easy with cookie walk

By Ginna Young

Don’t feel like going through the hassle of baking dozens and dozens of cookies for Christmas parties, or exchanges? Then the Lake Holcombe family and consumer education class has you covered.

During a cookie walk Friday, Dec. 13, people can purchase goodies by the pound, with the sale taking place from 4 p.m. until gone. Attendants are given an empty Styrofoam carton to till with the sweets, but people can also bring in their own containers, which are weighed and the starting weight is subtracted once hill.

“They take them home, put them in the freezer and save them until Christmas,” said consumer class instructor Amanda Wysocki, adding that last year during the annual craft fair, the goods sold out almost completely in two hours. “People are seeing this as a great opportunity, if they don’t want to bake at home.”

For quite a number of years, the cookie walk has become a way for the consumer ed class to have a service learning project, where students do the bulk of learning to make cookies.

“I would guess we do a 1/3 to maybe a half of the cookies that are sold,” said Wysocki. “We practice measuring skills and things like that, learning about characteristics of cookies. . .this is a way to really create an awesome final project that demonstrates their (students’) abilities.”

Spending about 10 class days on the cookies for the walk, the 13 students currently enrolled in the class, break into groups and make candies, such as caramels, pretzel rods, spritz and cutout cookies.

“It’s a lot of time,” said Wysocki. “It’s fun to do, the kids seem to enjoy it. They like hands-on. Many students learn better hands-on, so this is a cool opportunity.”

Some of the recipes are tried and true, while others are suggested by students that seem fun or different. Wysocki says the hope is for every recipe for sale to be successful and not only tasty, but visually appealing, as well, while adhering to safety standards set down by the school.

Traditionally, the cookie walk took place during a craft fair at the school, but this year, the craft fair did not happen. So, the cookie walk will partially stand on its own, with boys/girls basketball games happening later that evening.

Donations of cookies are needed to make the event a success, with Wysocki requesting unique offerings, such as anything with peppermint or “fancy” things that look pretty on holiday trays. She’s also excited to see kringles in the line-up and hopes to sell out that night of all the goodies.

Donations of cookies/candy can be dropped off at the school Thursday, Dec. 12, or the day of the sale, and should be packaged, labeled as to what they are and in a well-sealed, disposable container.

In the past, proceeds from the sale have gone back to the school, helping fund the science room remodeling, art room changes and needs in the music program.

“They (students) get to kind of reap the benefits,” said Wysocki.

This year, the earned funds will go toward the Lake Holcombe Food Pantry expansion project, as many families utilize the pantry. The current distribution space is the size of a small office or closet.

“Obviously, they’re in need,” said Wysocki. “And we know some of our students utilize that as their food source, too, so in a way, this is still going back to our students and our community.”