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Cookie free for all in Beaver Creek

Caramie Schnell
cschnell@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado
CVR Cookie Contest DT 11-22-10
ALL |

There’s something downright brilliant about crushing up one cookie and using the crumbs to make another kind of cookie. That’s what two of this year’s Beaver Creek Cookie Competition finalists did. Five bakers, including three local cookie connoisseurs, made the cut and will serve their creations to hungry powderhounds in Beaver Creek Village today at 2 p.m. sharp.

West Vail resident Stephanie Klocke calls her cookies “Powder Day Delights.”

The secret ingredient?



“Crushed Oreos and love,” she said, laughing.

“I had to do something a little beyond your basic chocolate chip cookie,” she continued. “I thought (adding Oreos) would be a fun twist.”



Klocke, who said she’s been baking with her mom for as long as she can remember, planned to spend all day Tuesday baking up 1,000 of her “Delights” so you can try them today in honor of Opening Day at the Beav.

This is the second year Klocke entered the contest. Last year, while her cookie was “as soft and chewy as possible,” it didn’t catch the judges’ attention. This year, she was intent on nailing it. Even so, she was still surprised to get the news.

“I almost dropped my computer on the floor,” she said. “I got an e-mail and I pretty much freaked out. My roommates had no idea what was going on and then I was finally able to tell them I was a finalist.”



Edwards resident and cookie competition finalist Betsy Seeger works for Round Up River Ranch, which provides camp experiences for kids with life-threatening illnesses free of charge. Paul Newman founded the organization, which is why Seeger decided to add crushed up Newman-O’s chocolate cookies into her cookie dough recipe. She calls her creation “Founder’s Favorites.”

“I wanted to find a way to tie it back to the camp,” Seeger said.

After finding out she was a finalist, Seeger asked the folks at Newman’s Own for a favor – free cookies.

“It was probably the weirdest request they’ve ever received,” she said.

But they happily obliged.

“They sent me two cases – or 24 boxes,” she said.

Seeger spent four hours last weekend chopping up 18 packages of those cookies – some 90 cups – which she used to make the dough for her own cookies.

While finalist Allison Helfer didn’t crush up name-brand cookies for her recipe, she does have a not-so-secret-anymore ingredient – coffee. Instead of adding water to her “Crazy Kota’s Killer Chocolate Chip Cookies,” she adds a few tablespoons of coffee.

“At altitude you have to add a little more moisture to a recipe and I thought why not add flavor instead of just water,” said Helfer, who is the pastry chef at Grouse Mountain Grill in Beaver Creek.

And really, who doesn’t love coffee?

The other thing that sets Helfer’s cookies apart is the amount of chocolate chips.

“For the big recipe I make here at the restaurant, I use seven pounds of flour and eight pounds of chocolate chips,” she said. “That’s double the chocolate chips of a normal recipe.”

Helfer plans to head to work early this morning to bake her cookies to ensure they’re as fresh as possible, which will be a definite advantage, she said.

“I have a double-decker convection oven and I can get 10 sheet trays of cookies in at once,” she said.

There was a record number of entries for this year’s competition, said Katie Tille of Beaver Creek Resort Company. The entry process, while certainly tasty, is pretty official. Each cookie is tasted by six different judges and judged based on taste, appearance, texture and reproducible recipe, although taste is the most important, Tille said.

“We have a highly qualified panel of ‘cookie experts/connoisseurs’ that come in and taste away,” she said. “Having so many cookies means that not one judge tastes them all, though they try, but collectively between the judging group each cookie gets six unbiased scores. The five highest scores are the finalists.”

The winning cookie is crowned the “official cookie of Beaver Creek for 2011” and the baker takes home $1,000.

If you want to get a taste of all the cookies, Tille advises getting to Beaver Creek Village at 2 p.m. sharp today as the event is usually a cookie free-for-all.

“Get there on time and get in the lines to taste them all,” she said.

And whatever you do, don’t waste cookies.

“My professional advice to cookie tasters is to split them with your friends,” Tille said. “Five cookies are a lot to eat and it’s always a shame to see people take one or two bites and then throw them away to save room. Be green, share cookies!”

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or cschnell@vaildaily.com.

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Catherine Giancamilli, Brighton

Caramel Explosion

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

3 Tablespoons granulated sugar

1 egg

2 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet)

1/4 pound chocolate caramel bar or soft caramels

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Cream butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla. Gradually add dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Cut chocolate/caramel bar into half-inch-by-half-inch pieces. Scoop about one tablespoon of dough on cookie sheet, add caramel in the center and add another tablespoon of dough on top. Form into ball. Bake for about nine minutes. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet.

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Stephanie Klocke, Vail

Powder Day Delights

1 1/4 cups butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs, large

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 3/4 cups flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

12 Oreos, crushed

1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325˚F. In a large bowl, mix flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In another mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Slowly mix in the dry mixture until well blended. Stir in the crushed Oreos and white chocolate chips. Form one-inch balls with dough. Bake for 6-7 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

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Betsy Seeger, Avon.

The Founder’s Favorite

1 cup butter

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar (take out one tablespoon)

2 eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups flour

1 package Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix (3.4 oz)

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

30 Newman O’s (or other chocolate sandwich cookie)

1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Adjust racks so there is one rack in the center of the oven. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, and salt. In a mixer, cream butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium speed for approximately 5 minutes. Beat pudding mix into sugar and butter mixture until well combined. Mix in eggs one at a time. Mix in vanilla. Gradually add the dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips and Newman O’s with spatula. Refrigerate dough in an airtight container for at least one hour and up to 48 hours. Make dough into desired sized balls, place on cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake for 10 minutes rotating cookie sheet after 5 minutes for even baking. Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes. Move to a wire rack. Melt white chocolate and drizzle over cookie.

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Kelly Weistroffer, Highlands Ranch

Black Diamond Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup semi-sweet morsels

1 cup milk chocolate morsels

Preheat oven to 350˚F. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together. Gradually add egg, vanilla and dry ingredients in the order given and mix well until nicely blended. Gently stir in semi-sweet morsels and milk chocolate morsels into cookie batter. Cover dough and chill for 1 hour. Shape rounded tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool completely.

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Allison Helfer, Avon

Crazy Kota’s Killer Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 pound butter

7 ounces brown sugar

11 ounces sugar

4 eggs

2 tablespoons coffee

1 pound 12 ounces flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 pounds semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350˚F. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together. Gradually add eggs and coffee until well blended. Gradually add flour, salt and baking soda. Finally add in the chocolate chips. Using a heaping spoonful place dough on a cookie sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes.


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