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November 22, 2011
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Behold Beaver Creek's cookie queens (and kings)

BEAVER CREEK - Beaver Creek loves you so much that they're going to feed you 5,000 warm chocolate chip cookies Wednesday afternoon.

They're someone else's cookies, of course.

It's that special time of year when Beaver Creek mountain opens for skiing, which means you get to sample five different kinds of chocolate chip cookies made by five different local bakers.

All five bake 1,000 cookies, hence the total of 5,000 cookies. We did the math.

Your 2011 Beaver Creek Cookie Queens are:

o Katie Warren, Edwards

o The Dirvonas Family, Edwards

o Clementine, Megan, Teaghan, Emily and Sydney Perkins, Eagle

o Anne Laho, New Castle

o Shannon Bostrom, Georgetown

The Beaver Creek Cookie Queens are the last ones standing from 106 original entries.

And yeah, there is other stuff going on today in Beaver Creek. It's opening day and 11 trails will be open, but at 2 p.m. today all trails lead to chocolate chip cookies.

"It's nice to make people happy," said Katie Warren.

Warren's holiday cookie plates are the stuff of legend. She makes several different kinds of cookies all at once, then puts them together as presents.

Beaver Creek offered everyone a commercial kitchen to bake in, but Warren figured there would be too many variables. So she'll bake 1,000 cookies in her very own oven, pack them up and carry them to Beaver Creek.

She says she'll borrow her husband's Chevy Yukon, which ought to do it.

The Beaver Creek cookies have to be two inches in diameter, or less, so they don't take up that much room. Still, if you're hauling 1,000 cookies it takes at least a Villager.

Finalist Heather Dirvonas is quick to give credit to her "amazing" husband Scott, and her two daughters Lauren, 10, and Amanda, 8. It's Scott's recipe, she said.

This is their second time to try it. They competed in 2009 and finished third.

"We really would like to have bragging rights this year," she said.

Two years ago they made a few rookie mistakes, which they hope to cure today.

Heather and Scott asked Lauren and Amanda if they wanted to go back to New York for Thanksgiving, or stay here and compete again.

The Empire State never had a chance.

"It's fun," Heather said. "Sure, it's a lot to pack in a holiday week, but the kids are only young once and this is something they'll look back on."

Beaver Creek has the wonderful habit of hemming your day in chocolate. Hot chocolate greets skiers in the morning, and chocolate chip cookies in the afternoon.

This is the cookie competition's eighth year.

The winning cookie will become the "Official Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe" of Beaver Creek and the winner also will receive $1,000. Second place gets $500, third place gets $250. Fourth and fifth place winners get two Vilar tickets to about any performance they want.

Beaver Creek serves warm chocolate chip cookies to guests daily at 3 p.m. for the resort's signature program, Cookie Time. The resort bakes and serves around 400,000 cookies each ski season.

Beaver Creek's cookie tradition began as a guest service program during the resort's early years, said Jen Brown, Beaver Creek's communications director.

Initially warm chocolate chip cookies were served on 35 of the resort's peak mornings.

Cookies also were served if guests experienced an unforeseeable inconvenience during their ski day.

John Garnsey got together with the food and beverage department and the Beaver Creek Resort Company, and the program evolved into today's Cookie Time program.

Each ski day at 3 p.m., Cookie Time chefs dressed in chef whites serve warm chocolate chip cookies at the foot of the slopes.

"This signature program has become synonymous with skiing at Beaver Creek and is something our guests look forward every day," Brown said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.


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The VailDaily Updated Nov 23, 2011 07:16PM Published Nov 22, 2011 06:02PM Copyright 2011 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.