Beth Hennington, artist and owner of The Vanillan custom cookie business in Madison, did a cookie baking/decorating class with Holmes Community College’s culinary arts students on Thursday, Oct. 5. Hennington made a national name for herself when she won $10,000 and the title of Food Network Christmas Cookie Challenge Champion. Since that time, she has decorated her cookies in the Food Network kitchen with The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond and Chef Eddie Jackson. She has also been the closing speaker and taught classes at Cookie Con. Hennington occasionally offers cookie classes in the Jackson/Metro area and teaches students how to decorate and paint cookies like she did with the Holmes students.
During the lesson, she showed them how to make the dough for the cookies, showing how using different techniques can make the same cookie dough have a totally different texture. Next, she worked with the students on the art of cookie decorating, giving them the opportunity to decorate pawprints and Holmes logo cookies alongside her.
Prior to becoming a nationally-known cookie maker extraordinaire, Hennington owned a mortgage company, but and decided to pursue her passion. Outside of her cookie-making and teaching, she is active in the local community. She’s an Ambassador for Make A Wish Foundation, a board member for the Central Mississippi Down Syndrome Society (CMDSS), a member of The Madison County Republican Women and serves on the leadership team for Reservoir Career Women. Additionally, Hennington has judged beauty pageants and in March judged the MS ProStart Invitational for the Mississippi Hospitality & Restaurant Association, which Holmes’ culinary arts students also participated with.
She and her husband Kenneth reside in Madison where in her free time she enjoys her family and two grandchildren, Aurora and Aiden. She also loves her Mississippi State University Bulldogs and her New Orleans Saints. Hennington loves the Lord her God and understands that everything she is, has and is able to do comes from Him.