Crowning the cookie queen in Beaver Creek |

Crowning the cookie queen in Beaver Creek

Caramie Schnell
Beaver Creek CO, Colorado
HL Cookie Contestant Kornfield DT 11-24-08

BEAVER CREEK ” The fruits of 10 hours of mixing and baking “1,000 cookies, to be exact ” will likely disappear in 25 minutes today. Ten hours is the amount of time Wini Gentholts, 24, guesses she spent baking 1,000 of her chocolate chip cookies for Beaver Creek’s annual cookie competition, taking place in Beaver Creek on Wednesday at 2 p.m.

Gentholts isn’t the only one who was covered in flour this week ” Sarah Kornfield, Sarah Cochran, Michele Pirozzi and Maurene Beamer were also chosen as finalists for the contest. And after the crowd mows through 5,000 cookies today ” cookies run out in less than 30 minutes, resort officials said ” one of the five will be crowned the cookie queen. The winner’s recipe will be made fresh daily by Beaver Creek chefs and served to hungry passersby in Beaver Creek Village each afternoon this season. The winner will also score $1,000 Visa gift card.

A record number of cookies were submitted this year, the fifth year of the event, though resort officials declined to give an exact number. They don’t want to discourage people who might compete next year, said Katie Tille of the Beaver Creek Resort Company.

Cookies with unique ingredients ” zucchini flakes, dried fruit, different kinds of chocolate, coffee and more ” were submitted.

“I have found that the more traditional cookie recipes tend to do better. You can’t beat a good, solid homemade chocolate chip cookie,” Tille said. “This year we saw a number of recipes that used vanilla or butterscotch pudding in the recipe; these are the recipes that put an interesting and well-received twist on a traditional recipe.”

Gentholts, an Eagle-Vail resident, is one of the pudding pushers ” butterscotch pudding, to be specific.

“It gives them that a little extra sweetness,” she said.

Gentholts isn’t the only pudding fan in the contestant crowd, either. Aurora resident Maurene Beamer uses French vanilla instant pudding in her cookies.

“It makes for a very moist cookie with a very smooth texture,” she said.

The 29-year-old entered the contest after a friend that lives in Avon talked her into it. She’ll be driving up from Denver on Wednesday with a carload of cookies, she said.

Edwards resident Sarah Kornfield, another finalist, was a little more coy when it came to revealing her secret ingredient.

“Love,” she said. Eventually she revealed that its the butter-flavored Crisco that keeps her cookies nice and soft.

As a child, Kornfield baked cookies at least once a week. When she was in fifth grade she thought her cookies were good, she said, but they didn’t compare to some “out of this world” cookies her friend’s mother made.

“I always wanted to know why hers were better than mine,” Kornfield said. “She finally told me she didn’t know if it was the butter-flavored Crisco or the old cookie sheets she used.”

Shortly after Kornfield began dating her current boyfriend, she started bragging about the chocolate chip cookies she made. It took six months before she lugged all the ingredients over to his place and made a batch for the first time. Turned out she’d spoken a little too soon.

“They were awful,” said Kornfield, now the executive sous chef at Mirador in Cordillera. “They were little hockey pucks.”

Kornfield didn’t take the high altitude into account, and used the same recipe she used to bake in Idaho, she said.

“I’ve had to adjust it a lot, but they’re pretty consistent now,” she said.

Fifteen-year-old Sarah Cochran had a little trouble adjusting her cookie recipe to the high altitude as well, she said. The Battle Mountain High School sophomore moved to East Vail from upstate New York with her family three months ago.

“That was one of my big obstacles,” she said.

Cochran ” the youngest finalist the competition has ever had ” experimented with a few different cookie recipes, but finally decided to enter one that uses finely-ground instant coffee and Kahlua liqueur, two ingredients her Aunt Margaret suggested, she said.

“The night before the cookies were due I didn’t know which recipe to enter,” Cochran said. “My parents said to enter the one that didn’t have coffee in it, but I really liked that one.”

Cochran went with her intuition, she said, and entered the caffeinated cookies.

“Always go with your gut,” she said.

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or

What: Beaver Creek Cookie Competition

Where: Beaver Creek Plaza, next to the ice rink.

When: Wednesday at 2 p.m. Don’t be late, cookies go fast!

Cost: Free.

More information: The winner will be announced at 3 p.m. on the grand staircase in the Village. Call 970-845-9090 or visit

– Sarah Kornfield, Edwards

– Sarah Cochran, Vail

– Michele Pirozzi, Edwards

– Wini Gentholts, Avon

– Maurene Beamer, Aurora

Courtesty of Wini Gentholts

2 3/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar

1 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

1 package butterscotch pudding

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a medium bowl mix flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. In larger bowl cream butter until it is light and fluffy. Cream in sugar until mixture is smooth and creamy. Cream in Butterscotch Pudding. Add eggs one at a time, making sure each one is combined before moving on. Add vanilla. Blend in flour mixture a cup at a time. Add chocolate chips.

Spoon golf ball size portions onto an air-bake cookie sheet for best results. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until the outside of cookie begins to brown.

Remove a little earlier and let sit on tray to cool a few minutes for a softer cookie. Move from cookie sheet to wire cooling rack until cool then store in a Zip-Lock or Tupperware for the softest save. Enjoy next to a fire with a nice cup of milk.

Courtesy of Sarah Kornfield

1 cup butter flavored Crisco

2/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp water

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Cream the first five ingredients together. Mix in the remainder until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Bake in a 375-degree oven for 10 to 13 minutes.

Courtesy of Sarah Cochran

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 stick butter, softened

1 stick margarine, softened

2 eggs

1 Tablespoon vanilla

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons Kahlua

1 teaspoon finely ground instant coffee

2 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 395-degrees. Cream together sugar and butter. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Add baking soda, salt, Kahlua and coffee grounds. Mix together. Add flour. Stir in chocolate chips. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes.

Courtesy of Maurene Beamer

2/3 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup butter-flavored Crisco

3/4 cup white granulated sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 3-ounce package French vanilla instant pudding

1 12-ounce package Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar with hand mixer. Add vanilla and eggs, continue to mix until creamy. Blend all dry ingredients except chocolate chips in separate bowl. Add cream mixture to blended dry ingredients and mix until dough forms. Add chocolate chips. Bake on air bake cookie sheet at 335 degrees for 9 to 13 minutes.

Yeild: 4.5 dozen cookies.

Courtesy of Michele Pirozzi

1 pound unsalted butter

2 eggs

3/4 cup organic granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar, packed

2 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup flour

1 cup whole oats

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup flaked coconut

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup bitter-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Cream sugar with butter until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla. In separate bowl, mix dry ingredients and then add in three additions to butter/sugar mixture. Mix in chips and bake at 375-degrees for 10 minutes.

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