L to R: Raspberry Linzer Cookies, Black and White Cookies, Sugar Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies dipped in White Chocolate and Red Sprinkles
Vanilla Butter Cake layered with Raspberry Jam and Vanilla Bean Buttercream, drizzled with a Sweet Tea Caramel Sauce
How is it possible to make cookies and cake for a final project you ask? Well, I have no idea either. It's almost unheard of but there I was, making cookies and cake for my AAS 330 final project.
AAS 330 stands specifically for Asian American Studies: Asian American Theater. For our final essay/project, the goal was to either write an essay about an artistic problem in a play or to have an artistic approach to presenting a play, mainly in set design, directing, lighting, etc. and creating a 3D model. To be honest, I was confused as to what to do.
I began to write my essay and I hit a wall, didn't know which way to go. So, I ended up thinking about what I can do artistically. It hit me like a ton of bricks; do something in the culinary arts! Duhhh. So I ended up emailing my Professor about an idea to turn the five characters of the play Tea, into dessert form. To my amazement, the idea was viable!
I debated if it were a smart thing to do. I mean, with finals the same week as the presentation, would it be smart to bake for one whole day and sacrificing a whole day of studying for my other classes? I did it anyway because when will I ever be able to have an opportunity like this to do what I love for a project? Probably never again.
After a day and a half of baking, this is what I came up with:
Sugar Cookie: Represents Teruko. Such a plain character with no sub-text and was one dimensional like a sugar cookie
Black and White Cookie: Represents Setsuko. A calm character that I felt observed both sides of a conversation, weighed her options and tried to reduce conflict as much as possible.
Chocolate Chip Cookie dipped in White Chocolate and Red Sprinkles: Represents Chizuye. As the most assimilated character, she is the most iconic American Cookie. The white chocolate and red sprinkles represents the Japanese flag and culture. She breaks away from her Japanese culture in the form of a chocolate shell and becomes assimilated into America, revealing the Chocolate Chip Cookie.
Raspberry Linzer Cookie: Represents Himiko. She is seen as a ghost throughout the play which explains the dusting of powdered sugar. The Raspberry Jam in the center represents the "pool of blood" she layed in after she shot herself. I specifically wanted her to be a sandwich cookie to represent how easily the two cookies can be ripped apart representing how easily Himiko's life fell apart due to the lack of stability after being controlled by her husband, murder of her daugther and eventually Himiko's death.
Vanilla Butter Cake layered with Raspberry Jam and Vanilla Bean Buttercream, drizzled with a Sweet Tea Caramel Sauce: Represents Atsuko. At first I believed she was a selfish and rude character that tried to take away from the remembrance of Himiko's life and putting attention on herself. However, reading the play over about two times, that wasn't the case at all. She put on a facade of not caring about Himiko, hiding her emotions unlike the rest of the characters, which is why she's a cake and not a cookie. Being a cake and not a cookie provides a difference in how she expressed her emotions vs. the others. Even though she put on a facade, deep down, she truly cared about Himiko which is why the cake is layered with Raspberry Jam to tie it back to Himiko's cookie. The Sweet Tea Caramel was used to bring back the whole notion that the play is called Tea.
Overall, doing this project was the best thing that I could've done. This was the first time I was able to present something I was truly passionate about and I can't tell you enough how great it felt to present this. Never in a million years would I think I would be able to do this and it's all because of my Professor. Thanks Professor!! This was the best class I have ever taken so far!! :)