Charleston, SC (PressExposure) September 03, 2009 -- A new cookie making its debut in historic Charleston, S.C., this holiday season is likely to tempt locals and tourists alike to stick their hand into the cookie jar. Earlier this month, Charleston-based Circa 1886 restaurant challenged local residents to test their culinary skills and answer the question, "If Charleston were a cookie, what would it be?" The answer turned out to be a cookie named the Polite Palmetto with Sweet Tea Glaze, giving a nod to the Holy Cityâs reputation as a friendly destination.
The AAA Four Diamond, Mobil Four Star restaurant will serve the cookie on its menu throughout the month of December.
With entries ranging from cookies with a sweet tea glaze to cookies rolled in crushed benne wafers, both classic Charleston staples, Circa 1886 Executive Chef Marc Collins and Pastry Chef Scott Lovorn narrowed the field down to three recipes. A panel of local Charleston judges, including Nathalie Dupree, chef and cookbook author; Judith Moore, owner of Charleston Cookie Co.; and Tara Lynn, co-anchor for News 2 Today and News 2 Midday, selected the winner.
The winning cookie recipe was submitted by Nona Pontiff of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., a sewing artist and teacher. Shaped like a palmetto tree, the cookie included pecans, rice flour and sesame seeds with a glaze of sugar, lemon juice vodka and black tea leaves.
"When I was coming up the recipe, I was trying to think of elements that would bring in the rich culinary history of Charleston," says Pontiff. "So I incorporated rice in the form of brown rice flour, brown pecans and also sesame that came from Africa to Charleston and the tea glaze, which we have the only tea plantation in the United States here in Charleston."
Pontiff received a complimentary dinner for four at Circa 1886, and her cookie will be featured on the Circa 1886 dessert menu during the month of December.
Check out a video from the contest at [http://www.youtube.com/circa1886]