“Chocolate chip cookies, monster cookies, snickerdoodle cookies, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, molasses cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, s’mores cookies, double chocolate chip,” said Gideon Butler-Smith, senior in bakery science and co-production manager for the Bakery Science Club.
Every Wednesday from 3-5 p.m. the Bakery Science Club opens the Sweet Solutions Bakery in Shellenberger Hall with many varieties of cookies.
David Krishock, grain science and industry instructor and adviser to the club, said the monster cookie is their No. 1 seller.
A monster cookie is made with peanut butter, oatmeal, chocolate chips and M&Ms.
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“Every week they have got to make the monster cookie,” Krishock said. “That one has had the same formula for the last thirty years, we can’t change it at all.”
The monster cookie has held its own against all the other cookies with the club selling an average of 350 monster cookies per week, just ahead of the club’s chocolate chip cookies. About 300 chocolate chip cookies are sold each week.
Both are considered “staple” items at the sale.
“Every week we make a full batch of monster and chocolate chip,” said Butler-Smith.
Full batches are about 550 cookies a piece. On top of that, a “specialty” flavor is made, which was red velvet cookies this week, making the total over 1,300 cookies baked.
Butler-Smith said the club receives five to ten pre-orders per week, varying from a dozen to 10 dozen cookies per order. The club’s biggest order ever was 75 dozen cookies for the university’s career fair.
More than cookies
The Sweet Solutions Bakery sells more than just cookies.
“Our average day, on an average week, we sell the staple cookies and our staple breads: French, Vienna and bread bowls,” said Butler-Smith. “I’d say our French baguette is the most popular because it’s one of the most versatile,” he added that in the fall, bread bowls are more popular because of the seasonality.
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The “specialty” item for the breads is a variety of sourdough’s that the club features every other week.
“We sell about 30 loaves of the sourdough when we have it, and about 35 loaves of the other varieties on a weekly basis,” Butler-Smith said.
On Tuesdays, they bake
Every Tuesday night the group of roughly 50 members gathers to mix, bake, cool and bag the 1,300 plus cookies. One group branches off to go “chalk” the campus to advertise the sale the following day.
“About half of our members are bakery science majors,” said Butler-Smith. “I think the culture that we’ve created in bakery science is very open and the hands-on component of our club really draws them. My goal is to be welcome and warm to everybody.”
Cherilyn E, junior in hospitality management and bake club treasurer, has been a member of the club for three years.
“I’ve just always liked baking and it’s a really good group of people,” E said.
From cookies to convention
The bake sales raise money for the club’s annual trip to the American Society of Baking Convention in Chicago. This spring, the club has 39 students traveling to the convention, which will cost the club around $19,000, Krishock said.
“I still have the keychain from my first year at the convention,” said Butler-Smith. “That’s how much the experience meant to me.”
The club fundraises year-round, aside from the bake sale, they also bake cookies for the home football games. The Milling Science and Management department has a parking lot across from Bill Snyder Football Stadium. Each home game, clubs within the department rotate working the parking, charging $20 per vehicle.
“We bake about 8,000 cookies every year and give packages of two cookies to each car that parks in our lot at every game,” said Krishock.
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Geneva Jahnke, faculty for the College of Agriculture’s dean’s office, is a repeat customer for Sweet Sensations.
“The club makes a great product,” Jahnke said. “It freezes well so you can nibble on them, and they make great gifts. I even send them to my godchildren for their finals week every year.”
Jhanke said the s’mores cookies are her favorite flavor, but chocolate chip is a close second.
“My favorite is the monster cookie,” Genevieve Blewett, sophomore in secondary education, said. “I’ve been here to shop before and I’m back to look and smell.”