The baking class raised funds for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a non-profit dedicated to raising funds for pediatric cancer research through bake sales. Alyssa was named Miss USA in June 2011 and since then has been working as a spokeswoman for cancer education and research. In her free time, Alyssa also has a great love of cooking and baking. In fact, you may have seen her competing on Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off earlier this year.
Yesterday, she combined her passion for food and her charitable work by teaming up with Gretchen Holt-Witt, who was inspired by her son Liam’s battle with cancer to create Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, and ICE Chef Instructor Melanie Underwood to lead a special holiday class filled with cookies, friends, and good times. Alyssa even brought her mom with her to class! It was a great chance to share baking tips and exchange secrets to making perfect cookies. For example, Chef Melanie shared her secret to flavorful cookies — homemade vanilla extract. She leaves 10 split vanilla beans in a bottle of vodka for six months. She said, “The taste is just amazing.”
The class prepared a selection of Dark Rich Mocha Glazed Brownies, Lemon Bars, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Toasted Coconut Cookies, Snickerdoodles, Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Cream Cheese Cookies and Tried and True Sparkly Ginger Snaps. After having prepared and decorated a huge collection of cookies, the students took them home in Gladware that had been generously donated by Glad, a sponsor of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. ICE is donating 100 percent of proceeds from the class to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. In addition, Chef Melanie prepared over 200 cookies for the patients and families at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, hand-delivered, by Miss USA herself!