Creating cookie cutter smiles


Amanda Armitage

Kara Shall, owner of local Hen and Chick Cakes and Food Network star has been hosting online baking classes, along with delivering contact-free cookie kits. Photo courtesy of Kara Shall.

Eleni Tecos '22, Copy Editor

In light of the current circumstances surrounding the coronavirus, owner of local Hen and Chick Cakes and Food Network star Kara Shall has been hosting online baking classes, along with delivering contact-free cookie kits.

According to Shall, following the cancellation of a few in-person baking classes she had scheduled, she was inspired to create a fun activity for families to do at home.

“I really enjoy sharing my skills with others,” Shall said. “I know many people think they can’t do it or that it looks difficult, but then they try it and realize they can. It brings me joy when one of my cookie students has an ‘aha’ moment and figures out a trick or two.”

Additionally, Shall said one thing that makes her class unique is that it is available to people of all ages, and since the class is online, it gives everyone the opportunity to participate whenever they can make the time to.

“I think (the class) has been a really great way to reach a larger group of people who may not have been able to attend an in-person class at a scheduled time,” Shall said. “The online class videos stay up, so now people can get their kit and do the class at a time that works for them, whenever they like.”

While Shall’s classes are available to novice and experienced bakers alike, veteran class participant Helena Carroll said her previous experiences with Shall’s classes made her that much more inclined to take part in her online classes.

“I have previous exposure to Mrs. Shall’s wonderful cookie classes, after taking three–yes, three–of her ‘Intro to Cookie Decorating’ classes,” Carroll said. “(My daughter) Maisie came to two with me and loved them. When Mrs. Shall first offered online classes, I was so excited– (the class) provides a chance for Maisie and I to do something together that we enjoy, and is a nice distraction right now.”

New class participant Eliana Gross ’22 agreed with this and said she participated in Shall’s class for the first time during quarantine after she and her mom heard about the opportunity, and ordered a kit..

“(I loved the class because Mrs. Shall’s) personality is super cute and funny, (which made the class) really enjoyable to listen to,” Gross said. “During these times, any creative outlet is important and exciting.”

In addition to Shall’s class being entertaining and insightful, it has also created a much-needed distraction at a time when the world needs a “great big hug”, according to Carroll.

“We are a healthcare household,” Carroll said. “I have been living and breathing COVID-19 for a few months, knowing it would impact our family completely. My husband has been away from home for weeks since this began– there is no way to take this issue out of our lives and thoughts. However, by keeping some fun activities, like this class, it brings a sense of fun, of hope, of distraction, of priorities… You have to engage in interesting things and make time for each other, and just know that this too shall pass.”