So if you’ve been following along with the story of the cookie contest, this is the last installment. The stunning conclusion. The end of the saga. As you’ll recall, I had tried out a few different recipes. Then I made a whole huge heap of cookies. Now, it was the contest itself.
We pick up our story on the morning of the contest. The cookies were all made and packed up, the accoutrements were all ready to go. It was a lot less to carry than last time. I’m glad the cookies were small. The venue was nearby, so with items in hand, we walked over.
The contest was the 2015 Brooklyn Cookie Takedown. It was held at Royal Palms, a relatively new shuffleboard place in Brooklyn. Yes, shuffleboard. It’s hip now. The place is nice and bright. It never felt crowded, even with lots of people. The event was from 12-2pm. We got there to setup at 11:30. I decided to setup at a table off to the side, because I didn’t want to be right at the beginning. We made small cookies, and I wanted people to realize that the small cookies were a good idea, so I wanted them to have a bunch before they got to mine.
My wife and I setup and took some pictures. Fun detail: when we got to the table to setup, besides the table number, a tray for holding the cookies, and some plastic gloves to keep it sanitary, there was also some swag. We got a cookie scoop and a spatula. Cookie competition swag! (They had sponsors for the event.) I manned the table while my wife checked out the competition and picked up some of their cookies. I made friends with the other contestants sitting near us. And then I went and looked at the competition. The competition looked good. There were some serious contenders.
Then the people came in. We went through about 225 of the 275 cookies. Some of those were for the other competitors, some were people having more than one (they really liked them), some were the host making plates for the staff who worked there (they were all very happy), and some were for the judges. But I’ll guess there were close to 200 people.
People came in waves. They were very happy to see and get the cookies. They were appreciative that mine were small. They were excited by the mint. A few people took more than one at once, and some people who were sharing a plate of cookies with a friend ended up taking one for each of them instead of one total.
The judges were very nice. There were three. Two came around at the beginning, and one came around later. They asked lots of interesting questions about what they were, how they were made, etc. They really liked them. Lots of the public and the other bakers really liked them, too. There were really positive comments from everyone.
It was a positive vibe in general. All the other bakers were really cool and nice and friendly. All the public were really nice too. It was a really great atmosphere. And the host, well, he was just ridiculous and funny and great.
It went by really fast. Since people came in waves and the place was big and airy, it never felt like a lot of people. But there were a lot. We went through a lot of cookies. I walked around to the other competitors towards the end, after things had quieted down. I brought cookies around and traded more with all the other bakers. It was fun, and it was nice to meet everyone.
So how it worked was as follows: all the people who came (around 200 or so) voted for their favorite cookie. And based on that, there were three winners, the people’s choice. The judges also judged (that’s what they do), and there were three other winners based on that. There were a couple of honorable mentions for the judges, and there was a tie on the third place people’s choice. The prizes were lots of different kitcheny things donated by sponsors.
I didn’t get to taste all of the competition’s cookies while I was there. I don’t really have a sweet tooth, and my stomach is only so big, so there was only so much I could get to. But I tasted a few and they were generally really good. I brought the rest home.
So how did I do? After all that preparation and work, and this long saga I brought you along on? Unfortunately, I didn’t win anything. 😦 In the back of my mind I was hoping I might, but I didn’t necessarily expect to. There was a lot of tough competition. I got very good feedback from the public, from the other bakers, and from the judges. I’m happy with what I did, what we did. (I couldn’t have done it without my dear wife. So thank you again, hon!)
It was a good experience, and I would happily do it again. It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun. It’s totally worth it. Some of it is subjective, so I don’t take it too personally that I didn’t win. I do think that I made good cookies, but so did some other people. And I think I have room to improve. So if I enter again next year, I’ll really have to work at it.
Oh, and as far as the name: I ended up going with chocolate peppermint sandwich cookies. It’s not fancy or cute, but it’s descriptive. Since I was going to have to explain what they were anyway, it was just easier not to give them another name. An interesting side note: one of the possible names that came out of our brainstorming session was “Marcie”. It was my wife’s idea. Marcie is Peppermint Patty’s friend in the Peanuts comic strip. It’s a cute name. She jokingly mentioned it to someone, and somehow that name stuck. So if you look on the list of the competitors, it’s called “Marcy Mint Sandwich”.
Thanks for following along. Next time we’ll be back to our regular recipes. (You know, as regular as they get.) In the meantime, I’d love to hear: have you ever entered a baking competition? How did it go? Share your glory in the comments below!