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Cookie recipe lives up to its name

Oatmeal-Craisin cookies have a deceiving look

Oatmeal-Craisin cookies have a deceiving look

December 02, 2007|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

Upon first glance, Dawn Boppe's holiday cookies look like garden-variety oatmeal-raisin cookies.

That is until you break it in half and discover that it has caramel, white chocolate and orange-flavored cranberries.

"I was just looking for something more," said Boppe (pronounced like "hope"), 35, of Hagerstown. "A few years ago I had done some pretzel rods with caramel, cranberries and white chocolate and just thought it seemed appropriate to put in the cookies."

Boppe, a wife, mother of four and a sous-chef at Fountain Head Country Club north of Hagerstown, doles out cookies to friends and family during the holidays.

The oatmeal-Craisin cookies, called Mom's Gooey-licious Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies, are a result of a holiday cookie recipe that has been tweaked and tweaked and tweaked, year after year.

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This year, she entered Mom's Gooeylicious Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies into The Herald-Mail's Cookie Exchange Contest.

Even though Boppe didn't win, her cookies did have several fans in the newsroom, consequently leading to their abrupt disappearance moments after judging.

Everything rings typical on the ingredient list, until you get to the caramel, Craisins (the brand of the orange-flavored dried cranberries she uses) and white chocolate. She said caramel was the newest addition to the recipe.

As for the process, cutting up the caramel squares is the most labor-intensive part of the process. Boppe uses scissors to cut Brach's caramels into small bits. A light coating of cornstarch keeps the caramel pieces from sticking together.

Should that caramel ooze over the sides while the cookies are cooling, you can easily snip away any extraneous goo from the edges, Boppe said.

The cookies take 11 to 13 minutes to bake. They taste great warm, but Boppe prefers to serve her cookies cold, as a matter of personal preference.

"I don't like the chocolate chip gooing all out," Boppe said.

There was much to goo about on a recent visit to Boppe's kitchen, where The Herald-Mail sat down to talk to Boppe about cookies and cooking over a couple of batches of Gooeyliciouses.

Q: Could you swap in raisins with this recipe?

A: I'm sure you could.

Q: But I bet it wouldn't have the same effect.

A: It wouldn't because I use the orange-flavored dried cranberries. It just gives it an extra flavor burst, I think.

Q: What made you want to try that?

A: I always like to do something different.

Q: So the idea just came to you on a whim?

A: Uh-huh. I'm always looking for different things to go in the things I'm making.

Q: So what are some other things that you like to make?

A: Well, I cook for a living, so just about anything. I make a lot of soups. I do cakes, cake decorating for a hobby.

Q: Do you ever get ideas in your home kitchen and try it out over at Fountain Head?

A: Sure. Absolutely.

Q: What are some things you have tried?

A: I work mostly at lunchtime, so I try to do more home-cooked foods as opposed to the gourmet that they might have, so simple things like a baked chicken potpie, except it's completely homemade - homemade crust and, you know, cooking it from fresh chicken using all-fresh ingredients as opposed to buying it out of the freezer and preparing it.

Q: How'd you get into cooking in the first place?

A: I started helping my mom cook dinner when I was a lot younger.

Q: Do you think that these cookies will make an appearance at Fountain Head?

A: If it goes in the paper, I'll probably have to.

Q: What's your favorite cookie?

A: Oh, my favorite cookie ... my gosh, it would have to be one that I make that has chocolate. It's really chewy, and I crush up candy canes and put it in it, like a chocolate peppermint.

Q: Yeah, you had me at hello with that one. Where'd you get the idea for that one?

A: Just putting two things together that I like.

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