By Hayley Golden ’18
Originally printed in the May Network page 7
They can be seen walking the halls before or after the latest holiday with their cookie duffel bags in hand. Seniors Morgan Hodges and Ellie Messerschmidt have become an iconic duo throughout the school due to their famous sugar cookies. “I had no idea what was going on because I didn’t realize it would be a thing and they were just like, ‘Here, do you want a cookie?’ I barely knew Ellie and I had never met Morgan, but I just thought is was really sweet because they made cookies for everyone in the class and it was adorable,” senior Maddie McKillip said.
Both girls were ecstatic to see the reaction of their peers. “We were excited that everyone reacted so well and looked forward so much to ‘cookie day’,” Hodges said.
Hodges and Messerschmidt started this tradition sophomore year. “The first time we did it was Valentine’s Day our sophomore year and we only made about 50 cookies. Now we make about 250, so that was quite a difference,” Messerschmidt said.
According to Messerschmidt, the initial idea came from Hodges. “It was actually Morgan’s idea. She just came to me one day at Christmas and she had given me a gift, and I was like, ‘What if we gave cookies to the whole class?’ and she thought it was a good idea. We got this great cookie recipe from my grandma and we started making them,” Messerschmidt explained.
The overall process is taxing, but together, the two make an efficient pair. “I make the dough the day before and then Morgan comes over and we bake the cookies together and frost them together. Making the dough takes about an hour, and then making all the cookies the next day takes about five hours. So about six hours total,” Messerschmidt said.
In addition to cookies, Hodges and Messerschmidt add prayers to the bags. “That’s what Morgan does. So when I make the dough, she makes the little card,” Messerschmidt explained. “When she gave me my gift there was a prayer in it, so we decided that we need to bring that aspect into everybody’s lives.”
Hodges explained that faith plays a big part in adding the prayers. “Faith is a big part of both of our lives, and we felt we couldn’t leave that out,” Hodges said.
To choose the prayers, Hodges created a process to choose one that fits. “I read a few and pick the one that stands out but also fits on the card,” Hodges said.
The reaction throughout the grade and even the entire school was tremendous. “It always makes my day better because I just put it in my backpack and I save it for lunch and then I pull it out at lunch and I’m like ‘Oh, I forgot they gave me a cookie this morning. That was so sweet.’ It’s like a second moment of joy, and I can just be happy about the cookie,” McKillip said.
For Messerschmidt, handing out the cookies is the best part of the overall process. “Handing them out, for me, is just really fun getting to see everybody and everybody always smiles and tells me that I made their day, and that’s a huge deal for me,” Messerschmidt said.
Hodges also enjoys handing out the cookies, in addition to having fun while making them. “I like singing along with the music while rolling out the dough and cutting out the cookies, but I also like handing them out and seeing the look on everyone’s face,” Hodges said.
Both girls have gotten more out of this experience than becoming professional bakers. “I’m kind of shy, so handing out cookies was hard for me the first couple times, but then as we did it more and more, it got easier for me to go up to people I didn’t know and ask them if they wanted cookies and stuff, so it was like my way of meeting new people,” Messerschmidt said.
“I have been able to see how valuable a freely given gift can be to someone and that making someone’s day is worth all of the hard work,” Hodges added.
Overall, the smiles that come with this tradition prove to be worth the work. “It makes me smile because I love making people happy, and so I carry that with me through the rest of the day and it helps me see that I helped my class be happy,” Messerschmidt said.