2013-01-09 / Correspondents' Notes

Berkoski ‘Thumbs’ Her Way To The Top in Thumbprint Cookie Contest

Debra Martin Berkoski of Conestoga, Lancaster County, won the Thumbprint Cookie Contest with her cherry thumbprint cookies at the 2013 Pennsylvania Farm Show on Sunday, Jan. 6.

Baking has been a long standing tradition for Berkoski and her family, who started competing when she was 8 years old. Berkoski’s mother placed fourth in the contest and her brother won the event last year.

Christina Maser Pantry, a PA Preferred® company from Lancaster County was the sponsor of the second annual Thumbprint Cookie Contest.

The cookies were judged on overall appearance, flavor, consistency, and inside characteristics of texture and lightness.

The top five winners received ribbons, with the top three taking home cash prizes of $150, $100 and $50.

Top five thumbprint cookie winners:

First - Debra Martin Berkoski, Lancaster Co.

Second - Kathy Harman, Adams Co.

Third - Linda Lucy, Fayette Co.

Fourth - Dorothy Martin, Lancaster Co.

Fifth - Brenda Harper, Centre Co. Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

1 cup shortening

½ cup brown sugar

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons water

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

¼ teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

2 cups chopped pecans

4 oz homemade cherry jam

Beat shortening and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the egg yolks. Beat well. Add the water, vanilla and salt. Beating well, gradually add flour, beating on low. Beat egg whites in a small bowl. Place nuts in a small dish.

Make 1 inch balls, roll in egg whites, and in the nuts. Place on cookie sheet. Using back of a spoon, form small holes. Bake and remove from the oven. Fill the thumbprint with the jam. Heat oven to 350 and bake cookies 5 to 7 minutes

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