Taste of Love
Jacob’s Ladder opened the doors to Taste of Love, an on-campus bakery, in August 2018. Taste of Love is an on-campus job training opportunity teaching independence and life skills, while exposing our students to the art of baking. Beginning as a vision by one of Jacob’s Ladder’s own teachers, the bakery has become a unique program for our students and families.
Taste of Love allows our students to learn real-life kitchen and food skills. This year the curriculum has centered around safety of food, knives, and appliances (including the oven and stovetop), using appliances and hand tools, reading recipes, identifying and measuring ingredients, and culminating in instruction on how to clean the kitchen. It has also been a great way to integrate other areas of focus into the school day, including peer interaction, reading and math academic goals, and generalization of language skills.
Over the past few months, students have been active participants in Taste of Love, which now has over 20 different recipes on the menu, including,
- No Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Coconut Macaroons
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- Chocolate Cake Pops
- Pumpkin Pie Blondies
- Sugar Cookies
- Buttercream Icing
- Gingerbread Houses
- Maple Coconut Granola
- Red Velvet Cupcakes (made with beets)
- Carrot & Zucchini Muffins
- Sweet Potato Pie
- Strawberry Jam
- Thumbprint Cookies
- Strawberry Oat Breakfast Bars
- Blueberry Muffins
- Apple Pie
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
All of the delicious baked goods have been carefully crafted by our group school environments who participate weekly in the bakery. To top it all off, all bakery goods are made with plant-based ingredients and are dairy, egg, and nut free.
Taste of Love had its first bake sale in the Fall/Winter of 2018 where students baked, packaged, and sold items to the staff and community for the holiday season. Bakery items included packaged boxes of chocolate chip cookies, coconut macaroons, chocolate cake pops, lemon poppy seed muffins, and pumpkin pie blondies. The Holiday Bake Sale sold 87 boxes and raised $1,000, which is being invested back into the program.
Group school students spent weeks preparing for the event. Each group was responsible for a specific bakery item and were involved in the process from start to finish. Students in LE2 had the coconut macaroons and did all the measuring and mixing of ingredients, scooping the dough onto the cookie sheets, and baking.
Beyond the bake sale, there have been several other opportunities to showcase our students and their success in the bakery. This Spring, LE3 students made muffins for the Dining with Dads event in March and Hope School baked and sold cookies at their science fair.
What’s in store for the Taste of Love Bakery?
Next up for Taste of Love is a week-long program as part of the Intensive Summer Experience (ISE) offering. Students who are enrolled in the bakery for ISE will continue to hone their kitchen skills, participate in the full baking process, strive for increased independence, and spend quality social time with peers in a relaxed summer experience.
Looking forward, Taste of Love strives to be an immersive experience for our students, staff and families. Bake sales twice a year will continue to fund the program, build out weekly classes and curriculum, and purchase uniforms and equipment. All this hard work is laying the foundation to make the vision of Taste of Love a reality; a full-time commercial counter bakery open to the community that offers job training and paid positions for current and former students.
Taste of Love is now accepting orders for the next bake sale, in honor of Mother’s Day! Below are the mouth-watering baked goods included in the spring bake sale.
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie (One 9-inch Gluten Free pie made from chickpeas, with floral icing decoration)
- Hand painted sugar cookies (One-half dozen heart-shaped decorated sugar cookies)
- Cake pop bouquet (One-half dozen chocolate cake pops with floral decoration)
Pre-orders are being accepted now until May 3rd, and all orders will be ready for pick-up on Friday, May 10th. Order forms can be downloaded below and submitted with payment to the Front Office.