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The Herald-Mail's Ninth Annual Cookie Exchange

December 08, 2000

The Herald-Mail's Ninth Annual Cookie Exchange



By KEVIN CLAPP / Staff Writer


Click here for the recipes!Who can judge a con-test? Tasting as they go?

Who can sample cookies till their palates say no?

The cookie men. ... The cookie men can.

Who can whittle 30 treats to 10 best-in-show?

The cookie men. ... The cookie men can.

You baked, we nibbled. The Herald-Mail's Cookie Exchange 2000 was a resounding success with more than 30 recipes submitted for taste-testing. As a result, for three days in November, my desk was among the most popular at 100 Summit Ave.

But then we handed over the reins of the Cookie Exchange to three panelists who tasted cookie after cookie until 10 remained. Herald-Mail columnist Tim Rowland and circulation promotion/single copy manager Rod Sova were joined by Michael Toth, culinary arts instructor at Washington County Technical High School, to nibble, savor and chew their way to a top cookie.

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It was a tough job, but one they dug into with relish. And though only 10 recipes appear in our section today, each of the judges made one thing clear: There is no such thing as a bad cookie.

"You don't have any losers in here," Sova said. "If I were at home it'd be, 'These are the best cookies ever.' "

Some recipes were disqualified for being submitted after the Monday, Nov. 27, deadline.

After much munching Tuesday, Nov. 28, our judges settled on a winner of the $50 grand prize: Waynesboro, Pa., resident Bonnie Baine.

Baine's White Chocolate Cranberry Drops were a hit because of their unique taste. It's a recipe that just popped into her head, she said.

"Even after I've had 10 cookies plus three to six more, that's one of the ones I finished," Rowland said.

Added Toth: "I think you could eat a bunch of these and not really feel stuffed or a glutton or a pig."

Placing second in the contest was Hagerstown resident Jackie Poor's recipe for Millennium Mocha Rocky Road Oatmeal Cookies. Clear Spring resident Kathy Thomas' Oatmeal Harvest Frost Bites came in third.

The judges said even recipes using ingredients they don't usually care for tasted good.

After an afternoon of cookie tasting, Sova put the experience in perspective: "All of these recipes were top of the line," he said. "The (top) three we picked were all just kind of special, something unique you're not used to tasting."

Thanks to all readers who took time to submit recipes this year.

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