By ROBIN CAUDELL
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Maggie Hayes, 11, saw the advertisement for the Holiday Cookie Contest sponsored by the Kent-Delord House Museum, and she went for it.
“I kept asking mom until she finally got the application, said Hayes, who lives in Peru.
“We had decided between two recipes, this one (Grandma Buster’s Sour Cream Snowdrops) and Meme’s sister Cora’s nut balls, but I decided not to do them. I decided to do these Sour Cream cookies.”
“Meme” is Peg Gordon. “Grandma Buster” was the late Elizabeth Cross of AuSable Forks, where Buster Cross’s Sour Cream cookies were famous.
“She (Gordon) got the recipe from her mother,” Hayes said. “We have a special recipe box we keep it in with all the old recipes.”
Gordon and Zoya, Hayes’s younger sister, assisted her in the kitchen.
“Maggie has been in love with the recipe because it’s in her great-grandmother’s handwriting,” said Amy Del Grosso, Hayes’s mother.
“Maggie measured all the ingredients,” Del Grosso said. “She did all that stuff. It was kind of entertaining. The first sheet came out. They were super nervous. So, they kept making sheet after sheet. I think they made five or six sheets of cookies. She picked out the 12 she liked best.”
Hayes placed the cookies in a tin to give to Connie Mandeville, museum program coordinator.
“We had to make smaller ones,” Hayes said. “The bigger ones didn’t come out right.”
Though the Holiday Cookie Contest had three divisions — Holiday Cookies, Old Fashioned Cookies and Young Baker’s Division — only Hayes and Alexis Hamilton, who turns 9 on Tuesday, entered the competition.
Hayes won second place and received a $20 gift certificate to Wal-Mart.
“Next time we do it, we will know what to do,” she said.
Hamilton’s Triple Dog Dare snagged a cool $75 for the winning-cookie recipe.
“It has my three favorite candy bars — Butterfinger, Milky Way and Kit Kat,” said Hamilton, who lives in Beekmantown.
She was told about the contest by her mother, Erin Vinicola.
“I was thinking, and it came to me,” Hamilton said. “They said I won. I was so excited when I got that phone call. I love to cook.”
She and her mother first whipped up a batch of plain cookies without the candies.
“We put the candies in, and the name came to me, Triple Dog Dare,” Hamilton said. “I was thinking about something at school, playing Truth or Dare and thinking about my dog, Bella.”
Mandeville hopes to receive more entries next year.
“This is the first year we did it,” she said. “Hopefully, we can partner with the Imaginarium Children’s Museum and do a cooking class. There’s a cooking space upstairs in the (North Country) Co-op’s community kitchen. I hope in the future to have a cooking class there to expand this contest.”
Email Robin Caudell: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out photographer Rob Fountain's video with the two Holiday Cookie contestants with this article.