Nine high schools were represented at Moraine Valley Community College for the annual High School Pastry Decorating Competition in late October.
Teams of students from Eisenhower, Shepard, Richards, Reavis, Oak Lawn, Andrew, Argo, Stagg and Sandburg high schools participated in the competition in the Culinary Arts kitchen on the college campus. Every fall, Moraine Valley hosts this event for district schools to test their skills and see the facilities at the college.
In the past, students have decorated cakes or cupcakes, but Jeanne Kraus, Moraine Valley instructor of culinary arts, suggested cookies instead. Doing so allowed the high school teachers and students to learn how to work with royal icing, which is cleaner than buttercream, Kraus explained.
Kraus and her students made and provided three shaped cookies per team – bat, pumpkin and circle – using Kraus’s recipe, which some of the high schools used to practice for the competition. The students worked in Moraine Valley’s kitchen without help from their teachers; however, Moraine Valley students were on hand to assist, if needed. Three experts in the pastry field judged, giving first place to Eisenhower High School, second place to Andrew High School and third place to Stagg High School.
“It was amazing, their creativity. Some groups didn’t even decorate the pumpkin shape as a traditional pumpkin,” Kraus noted. “Everyone enjoyed working with cookies. My students had fun as well. It seems like every year we do a Halloween theme, so next year we’re going to change things up. I hope it’ll be even better next year.”
The event was co-sponsored by the Moraine Area Career System and the college.
For news media inquiries, contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley communications specialist and sports information coordinator, at (708) 974-5742 or Vizzam@morainevalley.edu.