Celebrity Cookie Showdown

Melissa Stagnaro

This Thursday is the Children’s Center’s second annual Cookies and Cream fundraiser. The event, held at the Norwich Fire Station, will feature a host of family friendly activities, an ample supply of cookies and milk and, as the piece de resistance, the celebrity cookie auction.

Last year, nearly 50 local celebrities “battered up” for the challenge. When the cookie crumbs had settled, it was Norwich Police Chief Joe Angelino who took top honors for both having the tastiest cookies and raising the most money in the silent auction – thereby winning the coveted Golden Cookie award.

Word has it that Chief Angelino has decided to bow out of this year’s competition in order to give some of the other local celebs a chance. But there are plenty of others who are stepping up to the challenge – and their cookie sheets – in an effort to help raise money for the Children’s Center’s scholarship fund.

And, as it happens, this Evening Sun reporter is one of them.

In terms of celebrity, I’d have to say that Martha Brower-Ryan (who orchestrates this whole cookie-fest) was probably scraping the bottom of the barrel when she asked me to toss my cookies into the ring. In fact, the invitation so surprised me that she had to ask me three times before I realized she was after something other than an article heralding the event.

Once I did realize what she was after, I couldn’t say no. We all know I’m a sucker for a good cause. And I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like.

OK, that’s not entirely true. There was one particular batch of oatmeal raisin cookies I’m trying hard to forget.

Not to toot my own horn, or anything, but I do have something of a cookie following. I can name at least one old friend whose main reason for keeping in touch is the fact that I occasionally send him care packages of my signature peanut butter thumbprints. You know, the ones with the Hershey kisses on top.

While those cookies – and my shortbreads – have been my calling card for many a year, I’ve always liked to sample different cookie recipes. Particularly those prepared by someone other than myself. So in a way, I’ve been in training for this competition for most of my life.

(Hmmm…I wonder if it’s possible to write off all those calories consumed trying different types of cookies as market research, kind of like you would for tax purposes. Yeah. Probably not.)

The result, other than a hopefully-not-too-noticeable thickening of the waistline, is that I’ve found the perfect cookie recipe for Thursday night’s competition. I’m not ready to reveal my secret just yet, but I will say that after tasting one of these delectable confections I badgered the baker for close to a month for the recipe.

Yep. They are that good.

And, you’ll have a chance to try them for yourself if, in the words of Bob Barker, the price is right.

My contribution to the celeb cookie showdown will be up on the block at 7 p.m. this Thursday, Jan. 28, at the Norwich Fire Station. I’m not going to lie, I’m up against some stiff competition with a lot more celebrity clout than I bring to the table – like Fire Chief Tracy Chawgo, Mayor Joe Maiurano and even Senator Tom Libous. But I’m hoping with the support of our readers I’ll have a fighting chance.

If you’ve got a soft spot for a good cause, a craving for cookies and a tendency to root for the underdog, I’m your gal.

And did I mention that I’m not too proud to beg?

Please, please, please, bid on my cookies.

And don’t think you’re off the hook if you live out of town, or can’t make Thursday’s fundraiser for some other reason. You can place advance bids by visiting the Children’s Center’s website at www.thechildrencenter.org.

Follow me no Twitter … @evesunmelissa

Find out about my experience at last year’s Cookie & Cream event: Sudden weight gain linked to Children’s Center fundraiser