SEBRING — If you want the scoop on some award winning cookies, make sure you make it today to the Highlands County Fair.
This is the first year the Community Arts & Crafts Booth has added a cookie making contest, and 18 people have entered. The twist on these treats, however, is they can add up to seven extra ingredients.
That wrinkle came from Stacy Malone, catering manager at Seven at Sebring Raceway, the hotel on the hairpin.
Patty Lloyd, in charge of the Arts & Crafts booth, said that Malone came up with the idea of letting contestants add up to seven extra ingredients to the standard cookie components of flour, sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder and baking soda.
Lloyd said eight adults, six teenagers and four kids ages 11 and under submitted batches for the judges.
Lloyd said some of the sweet additional ingredients included common add-ons like chocolate, white-chocolate or butterscotch chips; honey; cinnamon; molasses; ginger; coconut flakes; oatmeal; peanut butter; raspberry jam; pecans walnuts; chopped nuts; bananas; marshmallow creme; Craisins (dried cranberries), and nutmeg.
Unusual ingredients, Lloyd said, included bacon bits, pretzels and potato chips.
She said contestants could prepare the cookies as rolled, dropped, pressed, bar, “no bake” or refrigerated.
Judges, who did not know the names of any contestants, went by taste — naturally — but also texture, originality, presentation and how many extra ingredients cooks used.
None of them had more than seven, Lloyd said, so they didn’t lose points.
Those who added one to three ingredients would get 10 points extra. Those with four to six would get 20 points.
Those who added seven would get 25 extra points, Lloyd said.
She regrets to inform visitors that cooks only made roughly one dozen cookies each, enough for the judges, but not for samples.
However the recipe is included alongside each platter, Lloyd said. Those with an adventurous spirit can certainly try this at home.