From the Archives: 1st Annual Gwen Phibbs Cookie Bake Off!

cookiesCookies, by all rights, ought to be a permanent fixture in everyone’s life, and by extension, on all college campuses. In terms of versatility and aesthetics, it’s quite possible that no other baked treat quite reaches the same level of convenience, practicality, and simple beauty of the humble cookie.

These cookies ought to be home baked, mind you. While there’s a comforting convenience in purchasing a package of Oreos or Chips Ahoy, nothing really can compare to the full experience of mixing the dough from raw ingredients and baking your own batches of perfectly not circular globs of cookie, one baking sheet at a time.

Gwen Phibbs, wife of former university president Phillip Phibbs, was well aware of this, and during her time with the University was kind enough to assemble a list of cookie recipes to be sold by the University Women’s League to raise money for scholarships. Stored in a box that contained other, considerably less delicious documents released by the Office of the President (It’s sadly difficult to find ways to prepare and eat back issues of faculty newsletters) the cookie recipes had remained hidden for more than 20 years, waiting to be uncovered.

Naturally, when they were, like an edible time capsule, the spoils of the plundered box were destined to be prepared once again.

While the original scheme began as a simple bake-off between the archives staff, events quickly ballooned to much larger proportions, and with a few emails sent down the line, soon nearly every one of the two-dozen odd recipes was assigned to a baker. In the end, close to 600 individual cookies were prepared, and summarily decimated during the event.

However, the real surprise was yet to arrive.

None other than former university President Phillip Phibbs and his wife, Gwen, the originator of the cookie recipes herself, arrived to judge the cookies of their worth. After choosing their own winners, the rest of the cookie bakers and eaters alike voted for a people’s choice, declaring two cookies that stood apart from the rest.

First place in the people’s choice vote were the Butterballs, baked by Laura Edgar, and followed closely by the Lemon Dream Bars, baked by Jane Carlin.

The favorite, as picked by both the Phibbs’, were the Energy Cookies, baked by Lori Ricigliano.

Congratulations to our winners!

And thank you to everyone who participated as bakers and tasters!

  • Oatmeal Cookies – Elizabeth Knight
  • Chocolate Drops  – Hilary Robbeloth
  • Lemon Frosted Dream Bars  – Jane Carlin
  • Giant Ginger Cookies -  Brad Tomhave
  • Chewy Nut Squares  – Peggy Burge
  • Peanut Butter Cookies  – Katie Henningsen
  • M & M Calico Cookies  – Alyce DeMarais
  • Wheat Germ Brownies  – Elizabeth Knight
  • Molasses Platter Cookies  – Maya Steinborn
  • Lemonade Drops  – Peggy Firman
  • Energy Cookies  – Lori Ricigliano
  • Sesame Cookies  – Chris Vernon
  • Butter Balls  – Laura Edgar
  • Square Chocolate Chip Cookies  – Kathleen Campbell
  • Cornflake Crisps  – Zeb Howell
  • Mississippi Mud  – Alyce DeMarais
  • Soft Sugar Cookies  – Jamie Spaine
  • Lemon Chocolate Chip Cookies  – Hannah Ellison
  • Ginger Boys and Girls  – Karen Finney

By Zebediah Howell

This entry was posted in From the Archives. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>