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Food Network Star Leads Baking Club at Jackson Hole Classical Academy

Life is what you bake it. What started as a hobby for Julie Hession turned into a career–one that took her all the way to the Food Network. A three-time cookbook author with a successful baking blog and a second-grade parent at JHCA, Julie has won televised baking competitions judged by Bobby Flay, Sara Moulton, Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi, and Guy Fieri. Through her Las Vegas-based bakery and café called “Julie Anne’s,” she produced a line of granola that was sold in over 400 stores nationwide. When not starring on TV, Julie creates custom cakes, decorated cookies, and huge charcuterie boards for parties. Currently, she is leading a six-week baking club for students at Jackson Hole Classical Academy!
In the new after-school club, students learn the basics of baking and working with different ingredients. So far, they have decorated sugar cookies with royal icing and learned about yeast to make dough for soft pretzels. According to Julie, “baking is a science that teaches the importance of following directions and being precise with measurements and techniques while also flexing your ‘creative muscle.’”

Julie’s hopes that through the Baking Club, our students leave the program with an enhanced love of baking and that they feel it was a creative, rewarding, and delicious experience! She says, “I hope to increase their comfort level in the kitchen and provide them with tools and recipes that they can use at home with their families.”

Interested in pursuing baking as a career? Julie suggests thinking about what area of baking or cooking appeals to you. She says, “you no longer only have the option of being a chef or caterer. You could work with large brands such as Hershey's or King Arthur Flour to create recipes. You could be a food stylist for a magazine or a TV show, or even a food photographer. You can write cookbooks, create a product line, or even teach!” Her main tip? Get into the kitchen, work on your craft, and allow yourself to make mistakes so that you can improve your skills and confidence.

How can you incorporate baking at home with your kids? Julie recommends getting in the kitchen and baking for the holidays. For instance, she loves to do an annual homemade gingerbread house with her daughter. If you’re looking for less of a “project,” she suggests creating pies, dinner rolls, holiday cookie trays for your neighbors (or teachers!), and cinnamon rolls for breakfast. While you’re at it, grab one of Julie’s cookbooks, 175 Best Mini Pie Recipes, 100 Best Decorated Cookies, or Beautiful Bundts and get baking!

Julie’s Classic Royal Icing Recipe
Royal icing is a cookie decorator’s best friend, allowing us to create colorful, multidimensional creations full of personality and individual style. Because it dries hard, royal icing is also perfect for packaging, shipping and delivering decorated cookie joy! 
 
Makes about 6 cups 
 
2 lbs confectioners’ sugar, sifted   
6 tbsp meringue powder      
14 tbsp warm water   
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat sugar and meringue powder on low speed until well combined.
  2. In a measuring cup (preferably one with a spout), stir together water and lemon juice.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add water mixture, mixing until combined. At this point, the icing will be fairly runny. (Don’t worry!)
  4. Increase mixer speed to medium and mix for 4 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.
  5. Increase mixer speed to high and beat for 3 to 5 minutes or until icing is stiff and glossy and the whisk attachment can stand up in the icing without sinking. 
Tips
  • If you don’t have a stand mixer, a handheld electric mixer will work fine—it might just take a few extra minutes for the icing to reach the proper consistency.
  • I love a very lemony tasting icing, as I think that the tart flavor contrasts well with the sweet confectioners’ sugar and cookies. I often replace some of the warm water in this recipe with lemon juice, depending on how tart/sweet I want them to taste!
  • Thin icing as needed with water or lemon juice to facilitate outlining and flooding cookies.
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2500 S. Park Loop Rd.
Jackson, WY 83001

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Jackson, WY 83002
 
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(307) 690-8396
 
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