Chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal and meringue ... oh my!

There were cookies galore during the recent Cookie Baking Contest at Fogle's Piggly Wiggly's Fall Fun Fest, Columbia Road location. Even Santa Claus' sweet tooth would have been satisfied.

Fogle's Piggly Wiggly co-sponsored the third annual event, bringing out bakers from all over The T&D Region. The Times and Democrat received 25 entries, which were whittled down to the top three cookies by a panel of local community leaders. Judges were April Fogle, Faith McCurry, Candice Roberson and S.C. State Football Coach Buddy Pough.

Winning entries consisted of a white chocolate, oatmeal and cranberry cookie by Patricia Lambert; a pecan wedge by Miriam Waddell; and the overall winner, Holiday Hideways by Hal Cooner. Cooner says that he saw the recipe in a magazine more than 30 years ago and has been making it for the holidays ever since.

1st Place

Holiday Hideways

(Submitted by Hal Cooner)

2/3 cup Butter Flavor Crisco

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tbsp. milk

1 tsp. vanilla

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

48 Maraschino cherries, well drained

Dipping chocolate

1 cup white or dark melting chocolate, cut in small pieces

2 tbsp. Butter Flavor Crisco

Finely chopped pecans (optional)

Slivered white chocolate (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream Crisco, sugar, egg, milk and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Beat into creamed mixture. Press dough in very thin layer around well-drained cherries. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for one minute. Remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

For dipping chocolate, melt chocolate of choice and Butter Flavored Crisco on very low heat. Stir until well melted. Transfer chocolate to glass measuring cup. Drop one cookie at a time into chocolate. Use fork to turn. Cover completely with chocolate. Place on wax paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top of white chocolate cookies. Sprinkle white chocolate on top of dark chocolate cookies. Chill in refrigerator to set.

2nd Place

White chocolate, oatmeal and cranberry cookies

(Submitted by Patricia Lambert)

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

2 cups. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

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1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup sweetened dried cranberries

1 cup white chocolate chips (Ghirardelli)

1-1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted

1-1/4 cup uncooked quick-cooking oats

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating well. Add egg and vanilla, beating until blended. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Stir in cranberries, white chocolate chips, pecans and oats. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons, two-inches apart, onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 9 to 11 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets two minutes. Transfer to wire cooling racks to cool completely.

3rd Place

Pecan wedges

(Submitted by Miriam Waddell)

2 sticks of butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tsp. light Karo Syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans

40 graham crackers

Melt butter on low heat and add brown sugar, syrup and vanilla. Bring to boil stirring constantly. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add pecans. Cover baking sheet with foil and place graham crackers on foil. Pour pecan mixture over crackers. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes until bubbly.

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