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2014 Decorated Cookie Competition: A Spring Shower of Cookie Flowers
The French Pastry School |
May 7, 2014
Pastry Chicago’s Decorated Cookie Competition in Full Bloom

Chicago, Illinois (May 7, 2014) – Cookie competitors helped bring spring to town on Saturday, May 3, by creating an edible garden of cookie flowers at The French Pastry School of Kennedy-King College at City Colleges of Chicago More than twenty competitor’s at Pastry Chicago’s Seventh Annual Student/Amateur Cookie Competition used Plugrá Butter, King Arthur Flour, American Almond almond products, and Nielsen-Massey Vanillas to create almond shortbread cookies decorated to look like spring flowers and to compete for prizes from KitchenAid and Nielsen-Massey Vanillas. 

Chef Sunny Lee of The French Pastry School did a demonstration for attendees that featured cookie baking and decorating. She showed the spectators several ways to create a beautiful assortment of cut-out sablée cookies as well as techniques for decorating them with royal icing to look like spring flowers. As the demonstration was in full-swing, the chef judges tasted and evaluated all of the different cookies: the most important aspect of this competition was taste, followed by decoration, texture, originality, and punctuality/professionalism.  The judging panel included Nicola Copeland, Program Coordinator at Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP); Heidi Harbaugh, Culinary Arts Instructor at Boone Grove High School; Angelique Kerger, Culinary Arts Instructor for Curie High School; and Alfred Pierre Jacques, Pastry Chef at The Standard Club. After the demonstration and before the winners were announced, each contestant had a chance to introduce themselves and their cookie creations to the group of pastry lovers that were in attendance.

Clare Studwell won First Place with her Almond Shortbread Nests with Almond Violet Ganache.  Karla Sanchez’s Spring Shortbread Almond Cookies with Royal Icing Decoration took home the Second Prize.  JP Machuta, the Third Place winner, created colorful, flower-shaped Almond Shortbread Cut-Out Cookies decorated with Royal Icing. Marija Benson won Fourth Place with her version of almond shortbread cookies that included brown rice flour and orange zest, and they were made of smaller pieces arranged to look like hyacinth flowers.  Fifth Place was awarded to Jhosany Cardenas who designed her almond shortbread cookies to resemble sunflowers.

For recipes from this month’s winners and more information on future Pastry Chicago events, please visit www.pastrychicago.org.