Complimentary cookies

A week after the return to school, two students hand out cookies to Jefferson students


Rachel Lewis

On Aug. 29, the day before the start of her cookie distribution, sophomore Ellen Zeng posted a picture of her recent bakes in Jefferson Chefs. She included a description of how anyone could get a cookie from her over the next few days — and people listened. Photos by Ellen Zeng/Facebook.

Chris Yoo, Staff Writer

Free cookies. 

Those are two words that most people are delighted to see next to each other, especially when they are just outside. Who doesn’t like the sweet, floury confection that we call cookies? Knowing this, sophomores Yasmin Kudrati-Plummer and Ellen Zeng decided to bake and distribute some to whoever wanted them at school. 

Kudrati-Plummer stood outside the dome, with containers full of cookies to hand out to students after school. 

“I was trying not to run out [of cookies], but there were a lot of people and some people were taking five or six, so it ended up being hectic but interesting,” Kudrati-Plummer said.

After spending twelve hours baking hundreds of cookies in six batches, mostly Snickerdoodles and chocolate chips, Kudrati-Plummer had to get creative to transport them all to school.

“I took the cookies, stacked them into containers, then put them in this large bag to carry to school. Once I was there, a friend helped me unload some of them in the theater room, and finally I got a wagon. By the end, I was basically just wheeling around a ton of cookies,” Kudrati-Plummer said.

Unlike Kudrati-Plummer, who brought in one large batch and distributed them all over the course of one afternoon on August 30, Zeng spread it out over the course of two days.

“There were so many people who were asking me before class and after class in the hallways. By the end of the second day, I didn’t have any cookies left over,” Zeng said.

Given the pandemic, there were a couple worries concerning COVID, but both students got approval from administrators and were given some guidelines to follow. In addition, they wrapped each individual cookie in plastic wrap to make the entire operation more COVID-friendly.

“I packaged the individual cookies with wrap to make a little ball. Some of the cookies I had were pretty small, especially the shortbread ones, so for those I put two or three into a single package and gave them out,” Zeng said. 

The day before the distribution, Kudrati-Plummer made a post on Facebook, announcing that anyone who wanted free cookies could go outside the dome after school and grab one. Shortly after, Zeng posted in the Facebook group Jefferson Chefs, saying that she would also be providing cookies in the halls and Nobel Commons after school.

“I actually put a post out before I even finished the cookies because I knew people wouldn’t see [the post] unless I put [it] out the day before. Probably because of this, I ran out of cookies really early, which I suppose is both a bad and good thing,” Kudrati-Plummer said.

Part of the reason that Kudrati-Plummer decided to bake and give out cookies was because of a promise that she made last year before Homecoming week.

“I owed everyone because of Homecoming. When I ran [for Homecoming court], I said ‘Hey, if you want a free cookie, I’ll give you one if you vote for me.’ In total, I promised about a hundred people that I would give them a cookie. To be honest, I was planning on making some and bringing them to school since I like baking things, so I ended up making way more than I needed and gave them out to about 300 people, whether they voted for me or not,” Kudrati-Plummer said.

In the end, Kudrati-Plummer and Zeng said that it was a fun and rewarding experience that made them feel closer to other people. 

“It was really nice. There were people texting me after [the distribution], people who I’ve never seen or interacted with before, [that] suddenly knew me and could interact with me. It was really sweet,” Kudrati-Plummer said.