Culinary Students Create Holiday Projects


Students Felicity Sickler, Zane Janiszewski, Caitlyn Burdick, and Maggy Langendoerfer prepare lemon butter cookies in preparation for the holiday as a part of their Basic Foods class.

Jessica McLaughlin, Public Relations

Creating delicious sweet treats isn’t only a job best suited for Santa’s elves.  At the Western Wayne High School, students in Mrs. Stephanie Zoppi’s Basic Foods class along with her other culinary classes have worked throughout the month of December to create a variety of decadent holiday cookies and treats.

Cappuccino cookies, craisin cookies, gingerbread cookies, and lemon butter cookies are all endeavors they have taken on this holiday season just to name a few. The students say they enjoy learning new recipes and baking techniques from Zoppi.  Many of them chose to take Basic Foods because they have always loved cooking and baking with their families.

“I like baking with my mom and helping her,” Freshman Zane Janiszewski explained.  “In the future, I’ll probably have to bake and cook even more, so I thought this class would be helpful.”

Fellow classmate Maggy Langendoerfer, who also first learned how to bake with her mom, hopes this class will help her make some decisions about her future career path in culinary arts.  So far this year, Maggy has enjoyed cooking projects in basic foods such as making different soups, meatloaf, and a pierogi lasagna.  However, she also has really been enjoying all of the holiday baking lessons she has experienced as well.

“As I progress in this course and future culinary courses at Western Wayne, it will help me in making my final decision as to if I want to be a pastry chef or an executive chef,” she explained.

In the meantime, Maggy, Zane, and their fellow classmates are enjoying their learning experiences with making the different holiday cookies.  Zane enjoyed making the craisin cookies the most.

“My mom makes them,” he said.  “So, I went into it thinking they would turn out good and they did.”

Maggy thought a challenge of baking the craisin cookies involved their texture.

“Scooping them out was difficult because they were really sticky,” she explained.

Instead, Maggy’s favorite were the peppermint cookies.

“I thought they were one of the easier ones to make,” she explained.  “It was good to start off with that one.”

Zane also liked making the peppermint cookies but explained they were a challenge for him because of the different steps of the process.

“We had to dip them in white chocolate among other tasks,” he explained.

Junior Felicity Sickler enjoyed taking on the challenge of creating all of the different cookies and loves the added benefit of being able to bring home some of her sweet creations to share with her family.

“I have five siblings,” Felicity explained.  “They all like to get to have the cookies.”

Along with the added benefit of sharing her work in Basic Foods with her family, Felicity and her fellow classmates are growing in their teamwork skills through their efforts in Zoppi’s class.

“We have to work together to get it done,” Zane explained. “We work on the entire cooking or baking process together for each project from gathering ingredients to washing the dishes in the end.”

Zoppi said she is proud of all of her students’ efforts this holiday baking season and looks forward to creating many more delicious dishes and treats with them this school year.