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Having Fun: the apple core of Baking Club


Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, dressed in a diaper and wings and waiting to shoot its victims with a heart-shaped arrow. The romantic “dinner for two”s with that special someone, the plethora of “Be Mine” candy hearts and dark chocolates, and that warm fuzzy feeling filling up your insides with mush are just some of the side effects those infected with the love bug can experience.

There’s no denying that love is in the air. But so is the aroma of warm cinnamon, fresh strawberries, and rich chocolate brownie batter.

This Tuesday afternoon, members of the Baking Club celebrated this holiday by making Valentine’s Day-themed cupcakes of their choosing. On the dessert menu this evening were strawberry shortcake cupcakes and chocolate brownie cupcakes with peanut butter cups inside.

Baker fills the cupcake sheets with batter for strawberry shortcake cupcakes (M. Iqbal).
Baker fills the cupcake sheets with batter for strawberry shortcake cupcakes (M. Iqbal).

Once everyone was assigned their recipes, the members divided into two groups and promptly began their work, eager to reach the final step of eating their creations. At each station, ingredients were chopped, batters were mixed, and sprinkles were sprinkled.

Yet not every recipe calls for creamy, finger-licking batters and funfetti sprinkles on the top of that cake. Though the name may suggest otherwise, Baking Club has now evolved to use to the oven for food items other than various baked goods.

Before I started, they really focused a lot on just baked goods,” said club sponsor Valerie Lindquist. “We did Italian food and made appetizers, main course, and dessert. We’re going to do the same with Mexican food too, so it’s more than just baking.”

With the expansion of meal courses came the expansion of food items. Given the wide array of recipes to choose from, Lindquist has the group members vote, on the planning meetings, for what they prefer to create in the kitchen.

“We work as a group to make sure everything is what they want, it’s not just about what I want,” said Lindquist.

“We get to choose what we do instead of being told what to do,” said Grace Dezwarte. “She doesn’t order us around so it gives us more freedom.”

While exercising the basic principles of democratic rule, members of the club can also tap into their innovative side and tinker with creations of their own imaginations. They find themselves peppering some sugar and spice to their plain bread and butter.

“We’re all about exploring and trying new things,” said Lindquist. “Last time we had extra rice krispies left over so we tried rice krispies drizzled with peanut butter and made fluff instead of the marshmallows. Just fun stuff like that.”

Though the excited chatter and friendly laughter were constant in the room, there was a calming element to what they were doing – something that allowed them to decompress from enduring a tiring school day and feel at ease.

“Cooking is just really relaxing,” said senior Annette Navarro.“The environment is really laid-back which is always good for cooking.”


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Mawa Iqbal, Author

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