Crunch Time: A Cookie Challenge for a Cause

Cookies_Compilation_3x2

When your supervisor tells you she wants to plan a cookie event, you don’t ask questions. Well, unless those questions are: Are you serious? When do we get started? Can I partake in the eating of cookies?? Anyway, my point is, you jump right in on the planning.

What is this cookie event you speak of? Crunch Time: The Great King Arthur Flour Cookie Challenge was a cookie competition, where the public was invited to taste five cookies and vote on their favorite. This event, held at our Baker’s Store in Norwich, VT, was free to the public and open to all ages. During the day of the event 10% of retail sales were donated to David’s House.

First steps included collecting volunteer bakers, gathering supplies, and crafting decorations.

Bakers for this delicious event were King Arthur Flour employee-owners from various departments in the company. We had representation from retail, bakery production, finance, test kitchen, marketing/PR and HR. The joy of baking is clearly widespread!

Natasha making buntingHere I am working hard, making paper bunting.

Seventeen different cookies, all incredible in their own way, were the main attraction on Sunday, January 19. Let’s meet the contestants:

animal crackers

First up, the Animal Cookies, made by product and recipe developer Charlotte Bothe. She actually helped develop this recipe, which can be found on our website (Animal Cookies). Charlotte has worked at King Arthur Flour for 2 years, and can be often found in the test kitchen.

frosted, cinnamon, mapleNext we have Cinnamon Maple Cookies by Chonga Brandt. Chonga joined The Baker’s Store retail staff this past year. Chonga’s cookie is bottom middle (above).

dark merlotLook at these Dark Chocolate Merlot Cookies! These cookies were made by one of our pastry bakers, Kristen Fenn. Kristen has been with King Arthur Flour for 6 years. If you stop by The Baker’s Store you can watch her work her magic in the bakery.

all cookiesMoving along to Grandma Walker’s Frosted Chocolate Cookies—made by Lindsay Issac, café supervisor at the Baker-Berry Café at Dartmouth Collete, across the river in Hanover, NH. Lindsay joined the hustle and bustle of Baker-Berry Café this past year. Can you find her cookie in the photo above? (Hint: it’s a frosted cookie.)

maple shortbreadWe’d be remiss to have a competition without Maple Shortbread Sandwich Cookies (we ARE located in Vermont, after all). Melanie Wanders made these cookies. Melanie works in the Baking Education Center and has been with King Arthur Flour for 2 years.

inside out germanNext on the list: Inside-Out German Chocolate Cake Cookies, made by Lee Clark. Lee has worked in The Baker’s Store for the past 4 years, and also assists in the Baking Education Center classes.

chewy gingerChewy Ginger Molasses Cookies are up next, made by Laura Morgan. Laura is the lead accounting generalist. She has been with King Arthur Flour for 3 years.

double crunchiesThese Double Crunchies were made by Lisa Murphy. Lisa has been working in the production bakery on the pastry team for 7 years. Wave to her through the window during your visit to The Baker’s Store.

Next up are Chocolate Pixies made by Mary Tinkham. Mary works in customer service (you may have spoken to her on the phone). She has been with King Arthur Flour for 13 years (time spent perfecting this recipe?).

9 and 10Buttery Snickerdoodles (here showed off by Charlotte Bothe) were made by Ceal GiConte. Ceal is the payroll manager at King Arthur Flour, and has been with the company for 7 years.

Moving on to Burgundy Chocolate Chunk Cookies (hungry yet?). These were made by Angela Smith. Angela joined King Arthur Flour this past year as the receptionist. She is always ready with a smile for visitors and employees alike. Angela’s cookie is dead-center, in the picture below.

Cookies_Compilation_3x2Next we have Italian Kiss Cookies, by Sonya Danford. Sonya is part of the retail staff at The Baker’s Store. She has been with King Arthur Flour for 2 years. Can you find Sonya’s cookie? It has a hazelnut in the middle.

oatmeal cookiesOatmeal Raisin – a classic – made by Julie Christopher. Julie is the marketing program manager, and coordinates King Arthur’s Traveling Baking Demos, among other things. She has also been known to submit cookie recipes to our print newsletter, The Baking Sheet. Julie has been with King Arthur Flour for 8 years.

Cookie Lover’s Cookies – these have to be tasty, right? Tonya Gibbs made these cookies. Tonya has worked in The Baker’s Store for the past 5 years. She can often be found whipping up goodies in the demo kitchen. Her cookie is at the very bottom, in the picture below.

all cookiesDark Chocolate Peppermint Dips – reminiscent of peppermint patty candy (very top cookie in the picture above) were made by Maggie Perry. Maggie joined King Arthur Flour just over a year ago and works in bakery production.

lemon cookiesLast, but definitely not least, Lemon Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Julia Reed made this chocolate chip cookie with a twist. Julia is the public relations coordinator at King Arthur Flour; she joined us this past year. Julia also took the amazing photos for this blog!

And of course there was a winner: Nutella Sea Salt Stuffies (you had me at Nutella), made by Christina Lorrey. Christina joined King Arthur Flour this year as the benefits manager in HR.

winner cookie and picNEWGooey Nutella on the inside, with a delicious sea salt topping, Christina’s cookies were the crowd favorite. With just five ingredients (Nutella, flour, egg, espresso powder, and sea salt), this is an easy recipe to make – and eat!

February is Bake for Family Fun Month – get in on the action by getting the whole family involved in making this winning recipe. Kids will love helping you roll the balls of dough, or sprinkle the sea salt on top.

You can find the winning Nutella Sea Salt Stuffies recipe on our website. When you bake these up yourself, you’ll see why Christina took the blue ribbon – delish!

Crunch Time was a lot of fun – hope to see you there next year! The bakers are already dreaming of victory in 2015.

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comments

    1. "Dawn DeMeo"

      The dough is made and in the fridge. Sadly I must wait till tomorrow to finish them, since my little girl really wants to help and it’s past her bedtime. Sigh…the things we do for love! ;)

  1. Sarah

    These cookies look oh so lovely, what a wonderful event! But… Charlotte Bothe? You just got photo-bombed by Cookie Monster. It has made my day!

    Reply
  2. Jeanne Duffner

    I plan to try the winning cookies out on my ladies’ club, I bet they’ll go over well! Thanks for the recipe! But I want recipes for the Dark Chocolate Merlot, the Maple Shortbread Sandwich cookies, the Inside Out German Chocolate Cake cookies, the Chewy Ginger Molasses, the Chocolate Pixies, and the Italian Kiss cookies. Is there any possibility that you might publish those also? It’s not nice to post photos and names of cookies that look marvelous without recipes, where a dyed-in-the-wool cookie baker and chocoholic can see them! Please?

    Reply
    1. Natasha Wood , post author

      You can’t go wrong with any of the winning cookie recipes–they are sure to be a hit. The Maple Shortbread Sandwich Cookies and the Dark Chocolate Peppermint Dips were runners-up (see links above). The Animal Cookie recipe is also on our website. Those are the only recipes available online. Have fun! -NW

  3. April Piazza

    Is there any chance we can get the recipe for the Inside Out German Chocolate Cookies? My husband is a freak for German Chocolate anything! I would love to try it – plus, I hate to even say this so early, BUT, it does look like a contender for my Christmas Cookie Platter (ugghh – we still have a few cookies leftover from Christmas 2013!)

    Reply
    1. Natasha Wood , post author

      April, it’s never to early to plan for your cookie platter! We don’t have the recipe for the Inside Out German Chocolate Cookies, however, you could use the idea as inspiration to create your own version of the cookie. And you have plenty of time to perfect it :) -NW

  4. BPeterson

    I just love Nutella and when I saw the Nutella Sea Salt Stuffies I made them immediately. OMG can’t say enough about them . They are fabulous and can’t wait to make more and share with my sons. Thank you ,Christina Lorrey

    Reply
    1. Natasha Wood , post author

      Christina has become famous around the King Arthur Flour campus for sharing this cookie recipe. So glad you enjoyed them. -NW

  5. lger

    If I only lived in Vermont, I’d be working for you in a heartbeat. You sound like a wonderful company! And the cookies …… oh yum!

    Reply
    1. Natasha Wood , post author

      King Arthur Flour is definitely a great company to work for, you could always “retire” here :) -NW

  6. Barb

    Oh My Goodness! I think you just may have the best jobs on earth – who doesn’t love a cookie contest?

    Thank you so much for sharing the love of baking with us. The cookies look so delicious – I’m going to have to give them a try!

    Reply
    1. Natasha Wood , post author

      Who doesn’t love a cookie contest? That’s the attitude that got this whole event rolling! -NW

    1. Natasha Wood , post author

      All of the cookies were quite yummy, every cookie received votes in the contest. At this time, we only have the top three cookie recipes online. -NW

    1. Natasha Wood , post author

      Unfortunately not, however, you could use the cookies in this blog as inspiration to create a cookie that is gluten, dairy and egg free. Good luck! -NW

  7. Shawn "Pops" Martin

    The salted Nutella Stuffies! Wow! So easy to make. Absolutely delicious. I will be making LOTS more of these. Everyone raved about them. Thank you Christina for sharing your recipe.

    Reply
    1. Natasha Wood , post author

      Shawn, don’t you love baking that is easy and delicious?! Glad you enjoyed the cookies. -NW

  8. Hope

    Woot Woot I am one happy happy girl. Seeing the recipe for the maple cookies has me swooning, not only as a lover of all things maple but being able to make instead of buying the costly ones at Walgreens. They have their own brand called Delish and sell 4 palm sized cookies to a package, the cost is $4.00 can you imagine. The ratings for the cookies is about the best you can get but who can afford the cost for so few. Surly I am not the only one who can eat more than one palm sized cookie, hmmm maybe so. Not a fan of Nutella at all, so the maple would have been a winner for me. Thanks for sharing the great event and wonderful new cookie recipes.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel

      Hope, I guarantee these cookies will give Walgreen’s brand a run for their money. They’re not palm-sized – but that’s simply because I didn’t make them palm-sized. You can make them any size you like – and “like” is the key word, because you’ll not only like, you’ll love these. Enjoy – PJH

  9. Alice

    I make a sea salt peanut butter version of your winning Nutella cookie. I can’t believe I’ve never thought to use Nutella! (I LOVE Nutella!) I am SO excited to make them! Thank you!!!

    Reply
    1. Natasha Wood , post author

      Alice, sea salt peanut butter sounds delightful too! Let us know how the Nutella cookies come out. -NW

  10. Wendy

    Where could I find the recipes for ALL the cookies? There are some really yummy looking possibilities here. Thanks for your help. What a fun event!

    Reply
    1. Natasha Wood , post author

      The only recipes available online are the Nutella Sea Salt Stuffies, Dark Chocolate Peppermint Dips, Maple Shortbread Sandwich Cookies, and Animal Cookies (all links are above), the rest are for inspiration! -NW

  11. Bob Crosby

    Bad public relations move to hold a cookie contest, post mouth-watering photos, and then not provide the recipes to each one. Bad. Bad. I’m shocked you guys didn’t know better. It so unfair to your customers.

    Reply
    1. Natasha Wood , post author

      Bob, we’re sorry to disappoint you by not providing recipes for all the cookies. As with any favorite personal recipe, some of these simply weren’t specific enough to share without a lot of work – work that at this point we don’t have the time and resources to provide. Thus, we decided to print only the top three; and even those three took several days to ‘get ready for prime time’ on our site. Our goal was to share the fun of Crunch Time – and I hope we at least did that. -NW

  12. Robert Crosby

    How cruel to hold a cookie contest and not post all the recipes. It certainly was a bad public relations move. Very bad to anger your customers that way. You tempt us with mouth-watering photos and then have the nerve to suggest we try to make our own, i.e. wasting time and costly ingredients.

    Reply
  13. FrannVA

    I would love to have a copy of all the cookie recipes made. As a suggestion, it would be awesome if KAF got all the recipes together and offered them in a PDF for a fee (say $5.00 or $10.00) that we could purchase and the money can go to David’s House. Just another way to keep raising funds for a good cause and thus allow the public to have the fantastic recipes. Just a suggestion.

    Reply
    1. Natasha Wood , post author

      FrannVA, that is a good idea. Thank you for the suggestion–definitely something to consider. -NW

  14. Chiara

    Loved reading about your employees. I have been a Baking Circle/Community member and KAF consumer (online and at grocery stores) since 2001. So when my DD went to Dartmouth, I had an excuse to visit and shop at KAF. (I wish you were open on Sundays!) DD has become quite a KAF fan since you opened the Cafe’ at Baker-Berry! Love KAF!!

    Reply
    1. Natasha Wood , post author

      Chiara, so glad you got a chance to visit. Our Baker’s Store in Norwich is open on Sundays, we are open from 7:30am-6pm everyday now. -NW

  15. jtee4short

    Crunch Time! Vermonters have all the fun. Definitely going to try a couple of these recipes and the variations suggested by some of the previous comments too!

    Reply
  16. Dawn

    So glad to be able to make Christina’s Nutella yums, wow – they are gonna make me some friends!
    But, sure am bummed that Lee Clark’s Inside Out recipe isn’t within my reach. :(

    Reply
  17. tena

    Here’s one more vote for publishing more (or better yet – ALL) of the cookies in the contest. We thoroughly enjoyed the event, but were disappointed by the unavailability of recipes at the time. Yes, I can figure out my own versions, but I wonder what I’m missing….

    Reply

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