Could it be? Could it be that I, Susan Whetzel, have created the official State Cookie of Virginia?
While it may not (currently) be Official, it IS the cookie that represents our fine Commonwealth in the Better Homes & Gardens State Cookie Competition. A couple of weeks ago, I was asked by BH&G and Walmart to create a cookie that I felt exemplified Virginia, using their new line of bakeware, available exclusively at Walmart. It seems they felt I could pull it off. I mean, a whole state? Left up to ME? For Better Homes and Gardens?? The pressure, folks…it was terrifying.
It WAS a challenge though. You may not know this, but, choosing ingredients for a State Cookie is pretty tough. When I think of my home state, I think…Virginia Ham and Tobacco. And while our ham is delicious, making a cookie out of it just didn’t seem right. And tobacco? Yeah, notsomuch. I’m not that chick on Cupcake Wars who crushes up cigarettes and puts them into my food. Gag. So…I set about researching.
First thought? Fruit. Surely, Virginia has an Official Fruit, right?
How did that happen? We have a state SHELL, but no FRUIT? No NUT? What?? Who dropped THAT ball?
So I did even MORE research.
Turns out you are in for a little history lesson. Did you know that nearly 20% of all the US Presidents have been from Virginia? Some GOOD ones, too. Ones that everyone remembers the names of, like Madison, Jefferson, and Washington. And it was our first President, Mr. George Washington, that inspired the basis of my Virginia Cookie.
Everyone knows the story of George killing his father’s favorite cherry tree. “I can not tell a lie.” Yeah, you know it. So I have taken it upon myself to dub the cherry to be the State Fruit. It works. In fact, I may petition it. Certainly they have room for it in Congress or Parliament or wherever they decide official things like fruit and holidays. It’s important, after all. It should be right up there with Healthcare and the national budget.
But back to the cookie.
I also took our State Motto into account. “Virginia is for Lovers.” Really? I know, I know. Let’s not even go there. But what I do know is this – CHOCOLATE is for lovers, too. And chocolate with cherries is a no brainer.
So herein lies my cookie. Chocolate Cherry Puddle Cookies. With few ingredients, because here in Virginia, we aren’t all that complicated. We know what we are, and we make no excuses about it. I threw in some chocolate chips to represent our beautiful mountains, and topped the cookies with sea salt, to represent our seashore. We are officially a state of deliciousness.
Okay, maybe I’m pushing it a bit.
Chocolate Cherry Puddle Cookies, the State Cookie of Virginia
makes one dozen
- 2 cups Confectioner’s Sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 egg whites
- 1/3 cup dried pitted sweet cherries
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- pinch Sea Salt, to top
Preheat oven to 325. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder with a whisk until well combined. Add in the egg whites and vanilla, and stir until uniform.
Add in the chocolate chips and cherries.
Place mounds of dough onto the cookie sheet, leaving ample room between each mound, as cookies “puddle”. Six per pan is ideal. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until cookies have puffed and cracked, with glossy tops.
Remove from oven, and allow to cool on pan. Store in air tight container for up to 2 days.
And now I need your help. Or support, whichever. BH&G is having a voting contest for the 50 State Cookies, and poor Fruitless Virginia needs some love. Virginia IS for lovers, after all. So would you mind a vote or two?
Just so that I don’t look like a big loser?
I’ll be honest, I don’t think I really win anything much – but, the glory is in the support. I DO think I would get a few BH&G products to share with YOU, my readers, so there IS that! (and I LOVED that cookie sheet, by the way – it was so thick and meaty! Impressive!)
Voting starts tomorrow, June 30, at 9am, on the Better Homes & Gardens Live Better Facebook Page. Don’t worry – I’ll remind you!
Thanks, and Happy Wednesday!
*Disclaimer – I was not compensated in any way for this post. I DID receive a free pan to use in the creation process, but all thoughts and reviews are my own. Another note – for photo purposes, I did not use the parchment paper in the pictures. USE the parchment paper in your baking.