Retired Oklahoma City teacher takes first prize in cookie contest

The winner of the second-annual 12 Days of Cookies Contest is Jackie McCaughtry, of Oklahoma City, for her Granny's Cherry Winks Recipe.
by Dave Cathey Published: December 25, 2013

The winner of the second-annual 12 Days of Cookies Contest is Jackie McCaughtry, of Oklahoma City, for her Granny's Cherry Winks Recipe.

While McCaughtry is taking home a year's supply of milk from sponsor Hiland Dairy, it's the recipe box she inherited from her grandmother, Gladys Fitler, that saved the day.

McCaughtry, 64, is a retired drama teacher, who taught 34 years between Jefferson and U.S. Grant. She said she believes those three decades teaching were the key to gaining 338 votes out of about 2,100 votes for first place.

That, and Granny's recipe box.

McCaughtry said she entered the contest last year, but finished fourth so she went to her grandmother for advice.

“I wanted to try a new recipe and figured what better place than Granny's recipe box,” McCaughtry said. “I never made anything out of that box that was bad.”

She said she had extra incentive to win for her father. She said last year, he tried all her cookies as she was working on the recipe, and once she sent it in, he checked the status of it daily. Unfortunately, he died in February at the age of 89.

“This one was for dad,” McCaughtry said. “And Granny.”

by Dave Cathey
Food Editor
The Oklahoman's food editor, Dave Cathey, keeps his eye on culinary arts and serves up news and reviews from Oklahoma’s booming food scene.
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Granny's Cherry Winks

2 ¼ cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup shortening or ½ cup butter & ¼ cup shortening

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup finely chopped pecans

1 cup finely chopped dates

1/3 cup chopped maraschino cherries.

2½ cups cornflakes, finely crushed

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt and set aside.

Combine the shortening, sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla and use a mixer to cream the ingredients.

Blend in dry ingredients plus pecans and dates.

Measure 1 tablespoon of batter for each cookie.

Roll in cornflakes and place on greased baking sheet. Flatten top slightly and top with half a cherry.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Do not stack or store until totally cooled.

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