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ACA Alum Teaches Holiday Cookie Series; Shares Favorite Cookie Recipes

December 6, 2011

Academy of Culinary Arts alumnae Chef Mary Lou D’Angelo ’85 of Ventnor City, will teach a series of culinary workshops focusing on one of the most celebrated holiday activities: baking cookies.

“It is a challenge to make the perfect cookie, yet so rewarding to eat it,” D’Angelo said.

Of all holiday cookies, she enjoys making Gingerbread people most.

“Each one can be decorated differently, personalized and used as a gift or tree ornament,” D’Angelo said.           

Since graduating from the Academy, D’Angelo has operated a family-owned bakery, honed her cake-decorating skills as a pastry chef at ShopRite supermarket in Somers Point, and taught culinary workshops at her alma mater, the ACA. This month, she is teaching a series of cookie workshops, including:

·      Cookie Cutter Cookies, put some artistry in your holiday cookies and learn how to make Gingerbread Men, Shapes with Sugar, and Painted Cookies in time for the holidays, Tuesday, Dec. 13.

·      Still hungry for cookies? Spoon and Piped Cookies will cover Butter Cookies with Jam, Molasses Cookies and Chocolate Beignets, Wednesday, Dec. 14.

Workshops are $45 and take place 6-9 p.m. at the Academy of Culinary Arts, 5100 Black Horse Pike, in Mays Landing. For more information, call (609) 343-4829, or visit

The ACA, located at Atlantic Cape’s Mays Landing Campus, has been training future chefs and food service professionals since 1981. The Academy is celebrating 30 years of culinary achievement all year with celebratory events. Learn more at For more information about the Academy, call 1-800-645‑CHEF, e-mail or visit

Gingerbread People


4 oz.                          Butter

½ cup                        Sugar

4 oz.                          Molasses

1 oz.                          White Vinegar

3 cups                        All-purpose Flour

1 ½ tsp.                     Baking Soda

4 ½ tsp.                     Cinnamon

4 ½ tsp.                     Ginger

1 ½ tsp.                     Salt

1 ea.                          Eggs


1.     In a pot, combine the butter, sugar, molasses and white vinegar.

2.     Boil ingredients and let cool.

3.     Sift together the dry ingredients and add to cooked mix.

4.     Add the egg and refrigerate the dough.

5.     When dough is cold, roll and cut out men.

6.     Heat oven to 350 degrees and bake 8-10 minutes.

7.     Cool and decorate with royal icing.

*To make cookies into tree ornaments, use a straw to cut holes in their heads before baking.

Chocolate Beignets


1 cup                         Sugar

12 oz.                        Bread Flour

3 ½ oz.                      Cocoa Powder

¼ oz.                         Baking Powder

1 pinch                       Salt

4 ea.                          Eggs

2 oz.                          Oil

7 oz.                          Milk



1.   In a bowl, blend the sugar, bread flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

2.   Blend together the eggs, oil and milk and add to the dry mix.

3.   Blend until smooth.

4.   Refrigerate overnight

5.   Scoop into balls and freeze*

6.   Add oil to a pan, heat to 350 degrees and fry.

*Freezing helps hold the shape of the dough when frying and keeps the center “gooey.”