Cookie Week Day Four: State Cookies

Posted by Brette in Food
Biscochitos

Biscochitos

This is day four in my week long series sharing some of the fun and intriguing info in my book Cookie: A Love Story. Today we’re talking about state cookies!

Your state has a state flower, state bird, state motto, state flag, state song, state poet, state fruit, state vegetable, and even in some states, a state meat pie and a state jelly, so why not a state cookie? Only two states have actually legislated an official state cookie, though:

Massachusetts: Chocolate Chip, adopted in 1997 (despite state Rep. Kay Khan who said “The tollhouse is a crummy alternative to the Fig Newton.”)

New Mexico: Biscochito (an anise flavored shortbread), adopted in 1989

Other states have tried to enact official cookies, but legislation has hit some snafus. It can be hard to agree as to which cookie really represents an entire state, not to mention the fact that taxpayers may believe there are more important issues to legislate. Some of the legislation has been initiated because school children proposed it as part of school projects focusing on government process.

There was a bill in Pennsylvania in 2003 seeking to name the chocolate chip cookie as its state cookie, but some legislators felt the Nazareth sugar cookie (a local specialty) was the right choice.

Michigan had a bill pending in 2004 naming the Michigan Treasure Cookie (a chocolate cookie with chocolate chips and dried cherries – the cherry is the state fruit) as its state cookie. That also did not pass. Maryland tried to pass a bill naming the apple-oatmeal cookie as their state cookie with no success. A 2006 Connecticut state movement to name the oatmeal chocolate drop cookie made with nutmeg (Connecticut is “the Nutmeg State”), conceived by an elementary class, petered out and was not placed before the legislature for a vote. Wyoming had a bill introduced in 2003 to name a state cookie – the chocolate chip cookie. The bill actually included the recipe for the state chocolate chip cookie. It did not pass because legislators could not agree and some felt that adding another state symbol simply diluted Wyoming’s image.

There is a petition in progress to seek to make the chocolate chunk cookie the state cookie of Delaware. So far there has been no legislative action. Would you like to have a state cookie? What would you choose for your state?

Michigan’s Unofficial State Treasure Cookie

Makes about three dozen cookies

– 1 ¾ cups of all purpose flour

– 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

– ½ teaspoon baking powder

– ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt

– 1 cup softened butter or margarine

– 1 cup Pioneer brand granulated sugar

– ½ cup packed Pioneer brand brown sugar

– 1 egg

– 1 teaspoon vanilla

– 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks

– 1 ½ cups Graceland Fruit brand dried cherries

– Additional granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit

Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl; set aside. Beat butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl at medium speed of electric mixer until light and fluffy (about two minutes). Beat in egg and vanilla until well blended.  On low speed of mixer, gradually beat in 1/3 of flour mixture at a time, until all is used.  Scrape sides of bowl between additions of flour mixture.  Stir in chocolate chunks and cherries.  Refrigerate covered dough for at least one hour.

Roll chilled dough into golf-ball-sized balls.  Roll the balls in the additional granulated sugar.  Space three inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Gently press with bottom of glass to flatten.  Return remaining dough to the refrigerator until ready to use.

Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until cookies are set.  Cool cookies about five minutes on cookie sheets; transfer to wire racks.  Cool completely.

Variations:

– Substitute 1 ½ cups of Graceland Fruit brand dried blueberries instead of dried cherries.

– Add ½ cup chopped Michigan walnuts

Did you know there is an entire calendar of official days dedicated to different types of cookies? You can find that and much more in Cookie: A Love Story.

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