It started as a fun way for Michelle Gowan to teach her friends how to make cookies.
"I only wanted to teach my girlfriends, thinking they would all come help me when I had a lot of cookies to frost,"she says.
Now a year later, her kitchen is filled almost every weekend with Cookie School students learning to mix, roll, bake, and frost cookies.
"I've had about 28 people drive before 10 in the morning from Montgomery, Alabama, and I've had people from Mississippi and Virginia."
Evelyn Katsekis didn't have to drive far, but she did have to wait a long time to get her seat in the class.
"The class itself is very easy. It's getting in that's the hardest part."
Katsekis, like many other students, wait for months to make it into a class.
"The last one sold out in 12 seconds," says Katsekis.
So what has so many people crazy about Cookie School? Some students say they want to learn the tips and tricks to make perfectly decorated cookies. Other students say it's just a fun way to spend the afternoon with friends and to meet new people.
"I just love to make cookies," says Gowan. "Cookies, for me, are very therapeutic. You sure don't need an adult coloring book if you have a piping bag."
Gowan is a retired educator, but still works at ACE in Macon and teaches a few education classes at Mercer.
"This is just my hobby," she says.
It's a hobby she loves so much, she wants to share it with as many people as possible. She says the cost to attend Cookie School is just enough to cover the supplies and ingredients used for the class. She even auctions off a 13th spot in the class on Facebook every week, and the money raised goes to charities like Loads of Love.
To keep up with the cookie craze, she's now hired a team to help her put together a professional how-to video that will be available around October. Gowan has also created Cookie Graduate School and will soon launch a PhD class where she will teach students how to start their own Cookie School classes.
When she first rolled out The Cookie School, Gowan says she never expected this kind of success, but she loves seeing so many people proud of their new cookie skills and ready to tackle their own cookie creations after they leave her kitchen.
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