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Salty Dawgs combine sweetness with salt

December 31, 2006|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Sweet snack? Salty snack? Have it both ways with Bonnie Baine's Salty Dawgs.

Salty Dawgs have evolved from an oatmeal cookie recipe Baine found 30 years ago to a milk chocolate dipped, cashew-filled cookie with salt drizzled across the top.

"They remind me of chocolate-covered pretzels, the flavor anyway," said Baine, 59, of Waynesboro.

Baine, a fan of sweet snacks, makes the dish for her husband, Melvin "Eddie" Baine, a trucker who likes salty snacks. She said she cooks as often as she can. It helps that her three children and 10 grandchildren appreciate her affinity for making cookies.

Baine previously won The Herald-Mail's annual cookie contest two years in a row. Her White Chocolate Cranberry Drops won in 2000; her Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies were the 2001 winners.

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Baine's Salty Dawgs were among the 17 finalists in this year's contest, but they didn't make the top 10.

Judges voted Kelly Rulle's Sensational Fruit and Nut Bars top cookie out of the 69 entries this year.

The Herald-Mail caught up with Baine to make a batch of Salty Dawgs and talk cookies in her kitchen.

Q: So, what is your favorite cookie?

A: Chocolate chip.

Q: Really, chocolate chip? As many cookies as you've made, I didn't expect you to say chocolate chip.

A: Well, not just the basic. It has to have something in it. I really like desserts more. Apple crisp. Ice cream. I suppose everybody likes ice cream.

Q: What is, hands down, your favorite thing to eat?

A: I don't really have a favorite. I get bored eating the same stuff. That's why I have all of these cookbooks. I like fried chicken.

When we go to restaurants, my husband always orders the same thing. Shrimp. Seafood platter. I say, "You know what, why don't you order something different?" Oh, no, he couldn't do that. I'm fixing him lobster for Christmas.

Q: You fix a lot of seafood, then?

A: Well, I fix seafood, shrimp. The other day I found this recipe for seafood pie. It was good. It had crab, shrimp, pimento. I will definitely be fixing that again.

Q: Is there a food that you absolutely detest?

A: When we were married, he loved black-eyed peas. I didn't touch them for years, but now I love them.

Q: When you were a little girl, did your mother ever say, "You're going to sit down and eat the rest of your 'blank'?"

A: No. I did most of the cooking. We didn't have much variety, just fried potatoes and fish sticks. So if you wanted something different, you'd have to fix it. I suppose I started cooking when I was 15. There was Wheatina. Man, was it yucky.

And frozen peas. I used to throw them down the commode.

Q: Wheatina? I can't say I've ever heard of Wheatina.

A: It's an older cereal. It's like cream of wheat except it's brown. I suppose it would taste a lot better if you put a whole bunch of sugar in it.

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