A cookie for all

January 01, 2024
An assortment of sugar cookies

An assortment of sugar cookies prepared by Burlington High School students is shown Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023.

Here’s how a pre-winter break tradition came to be at BHS.

‘Twas the day before winter break, and all through the halls, students wheeled carts of cookies to be eaten by all.

Students enrolled in Lynette Helling’s culinary classes this trimester fanned out to each of Burlington High School’s student exits, where they met their departing classmates with tray upon tray of sugar cookies.

In total, there were at least 1,500 cookies, more than enough to ensure each and every student and staff member was able to leave for the nearly two-week-long break with at least one Christmas cookie, each of which was frosted by hand.

“I am so tired, but I’m happy that everyone else is happy and they’re grabbing cookies,” senior Zyana Bradford said Dec. 21 as other students grabbed cookies from the cart she was manning.

Bradford had spent her culinary classes in the one-and-a-half weeks prior frosting cookies.

“We used a bunch of different tips, but we have two different kinds of frosting,” she said. “We have royal and buttercream. We made everything ourselves.”

The students began the mass production of sugar cookies by selecting one of several proposed recipes.

“We had a little contest to see who had the best sugar cookie recipe,” Bradford said.

Once the recipe was chosen, it was time to make the dough. So. Much. Dough.

One class would make a batch of dough and another class would roll it out and cut it into shapes like gingerbread men, stockings and trees. Then that dough went into the freezer until it was time to bake the cookies. After that, it was back in the freezer until they were frosted.

“We used powdered sugar for the frosting with the glaze,” sophomore Stephanie Moore said. “For some we used piping, and with the glaze one, we dipped them in the frosting and let it drip so we made it hard on top.”

This is the second year that BHS’s culinary students have made it their mission to provide each of their peers, teachers, and school support staff with a cookie.

“It started last year with one of our students. He graduated,” BHS Principal Monica Myers said.

That student was Phil Phillips.

“He himself frosted over 500 cookies,” Mrs. Myers said.

Phillips had been in one of the culinary classes that at the time was taught by instructional coach Michael Carper.

“They were talking last year during class and a student said, ‘I think it would be really cool if every kid left on the last day before break with a cookie,’ and so the culinary department ran with it,” Mrs. Myers said.

Mr. Carper suggested the idea to Ms. Helling, who took over BHS’s culinary classes at the start of the school year. She was happy to take it on.

“It’s nice that they’re doing it for other people,” Ms. Helling said. “It’s for the whole school, so it’s not just for us, and they haven’t complained at all about not being able to eat the cookies right away or anything like that.”

The students also recognized the value that comes from doing something nice for others.

“I think it’s sweet,” freshman Neveah Beans said Dec. 12 as she worked to roll out and cut the dough.

“I like helping people,” Moore said. “And I’m in student council, so I like doing stuff like this.”

The cookie extravaganza also holds educational value.

“The culinary students then get to practice the different types of icing techniques and decorating techniques, so it serves two purposes,” Mrs. Myers said.

The students who received cookies expressed their gratitude.

“It’s awesome,” junior Zion Sickles said. “Very inclusive, very fair.”