Which is sweeter, snow or chocolate chip cookies? | VailDaily.com

Which is sweeter, snow or chocolate chip cookies?

Daily Staff Report

==========================It’s a bake-offWhat: World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie ContestWhen: 2 p.m. today Where: Beaver Creek PlazaInformation: 845-9090========================By Cassie PenceArts and Entertainment EditorBEAVER CREEK – Some wax skis to prep for The Beav’s opening day. Others grease cookie sheets.Yep, it’s a bake-off. Five dedicated bakers are skipping skiing to compete in the friendly, but heated World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Contest today during Beaver Creek’s opening day celebrations. Many entered, but only five made the cut, and they’ve been sifting and stirring since early this morning in order to deliver 1,000 cookies each by 2 p.m. Hungry skiers will vote and determine which cookie is the world’s best.JoAnn Chaney of Beaver Creek began baking Monday. She needed the extra time because her sous chefs – although dynamite taste-testers – are a bit inexperienced. Chaney is a stay-at-home mom to 6-month-old Jake and 4-year-old Cade, who loves helping in the kitchen.”He came up with the idea to add the orange in the cookie because it’s his favorite fruit,” Chaney said. Chaney, who bakes a batch of cookies every couple of days, is whipping up her famous Orange Double Chocolate Dipped in Chocolate cookies for the contest. They’re soft and moist, Chaney said, perfect for chocolate lovers.Like the unexpected citrus kiss in Chaney’s cookies, Peggy Morgan’s Beaver Bites call for vanilla pudding, oatmeal and corn flakes. The recipe is a prized entry from Morgan’s family cookbook, handed down by the Dot Budke grandmother and great grandmother.”We have been eating these cookies for almost 20 years,” Morgan said. “They have a different consistency. They’re mushy in the middle and crispy on the outside.”To pass the time while baking, Morgan rocks out to country western. She’s enlisted her husband, Vaughn, to help in the spirit department, and he’s crafted posters and hats to carry out the Beaver Bites theme. The couple and their dog, Molly, have live in Beaver Creek since 2004.Jason Stingl, 25, moved to Colorado a short two months ago, and he admits, he’s baked cookies many more times than he’s skied. But Stingl hopes to at least tie the score this season.The secret ingredient in Stingl’s Chocolate Dusted Chocolate Chip Cookie is pure Mexican vanilla. He and his family discovered it 15 years ago on a short trip across the border.”When measuring your standard vanilla extract from the grocery store, you can see straight through to the spoon,” Stingl said “With pure vanilla, you can barely see to the bottom. It has a strong flavor and a rich flavor.”Stingl also dusts the tops of his cookie with semi-sweet chocolate, adding to the presentation, he said, and the overall taste.”Chocolate is why we all love the cookie, right” he said.Donna Drugan of Trempealeau, Wis., has created delectable goodies in the kitchen for more than 40 years. Her children and grandchildren are very happy people. She’s entering her Chips ‘n’ Dough cookie.”I put a lot of chips in it,” she said. “And I use butter. I’m from Wisconsin, you’ve got to use butter.”If experience matters in this contest, Debbie Slabaugh of Dallas, Texas, has one tablespoon up on the competition. She was a finalist two years ago with the same recipe.”It’s just a plain old chocolate chip cookie, but instead of butter or margarine I use butter-flavored Crisco because I like the cookie to be fluffier and chewier,” Slabaugh said. “And I don’t cook them quite as long as some people.”Slabaugh said she feels likes she’s won already. The free trip allows her and her husband to visit their son Ryan for Thanksgiving. Ryan lives in Summit County and works as editor of the Summit Daily News.”We’ve already skied a couple days, and we plan to ski Thanksgiving day,” she said.Yes, the World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Contest does pose the deep, philosophical question: Which is sweeter, snow or chocolate chip cookies?Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 748-2938, or cpence@vaildaily.com.Vail Daily, Vail Colorado CO

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