Chamber finds Newcastle’s best cookie recipes

February 28, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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NEW — 12:40 p.m. Feb. 28, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy Elee and Kevin McCarthy’s ‘Peanut Butter Chocolate Comfort Cookies’ are displayed at the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce’s Feb. 21 after-hours social event.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Elee and Kevin McCarthy’s ‘Peanut Butter Chocolate Comfort Cookies’ are displayed at the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce’s Feb. 21 after-hours social event.

The Newcastle Chamber of Commerce set out to find the city’s best cookie recipe, and in the end, the organization emerged with three.

The chamber announced the winners of the contest at its Feb. 21 after-hours social event at HomeStreet Bank.

The brother-and-sister team of Kevin and Elee McCarthy were recognized for their “Peanut Butter Chocolate Comfort Cookies,” which substituted Hershey’s Drops for regular chocolate chips, making for quite the chocolaty concoction.

“I love chocolate,” Elee McCarthy said. “Kevin doesn’t really like sweets, but he likes to help me bake.”

Karen Mittlestadt’s “Gluten-free Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie” received high praise from Linda Stemler, the HomeStreet Bank branch manager who selected the winners.

“The gluten-free cookies really struck my heart because they didn’t have a lot of extraneous stuff in them,” she said.

Almond flour and the healthy nature of the cookie are what set the recipe apart from the rest, Mittlestadt said.

“My husband really likes the recipe, I like the recipe and everybody who is not gluten-free really liked it too,” she said.

Both the McCarthys and Mittlestadt secured one-night stays at the Old Hen Bed and Breakfast near North Bend as prizes for their top notch recipes.

Mittlestadt, who is the mother of 1-year-old twin girls, said she cannot wait to use the prize.

“My husband and I haven’t had a night out since they’ve been born, so this is great,” she said. “We’ll just have to find a babysitter for the night, but I think we can do that to get a night away.”

In the children’s category, Michael and Emma Mason’s “Mason Kids Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe” won the top prize, earning a $50 savings account from HomeStreet Bank for their efforts.

All of the winners were Newcastle residents.

Stemler choose the top cookies only by reading the recipes, which was not easy, she admitted.

“It was challenging,” she said. “I just looked at what the ingredients were and how difficult it might be to make the cookie.”

The event was one of the chamber’s new monthly offerings, an after-hours social gathering where people can network and learn more about what the businesses in Newcastle have to offer. Normally the event is only open to chamber members, but Stemler invited the entire community to attend.

The Newcastle Chamber of Commerce selected three cookie recipes that stood out as the best in the city, below is Newcastle resident Karen Mittelstadt’s gluten-free winner.

Karen Mittelstadt’s Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie


  • 2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour (Honeyville brand works best)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup grape seed oil (or canola)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of agave or honey
  • 1 cup of dark chocolate chips


Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Stir together wet ingredients in a smaller bowl.

Mix wet ingredients into dry.

Form 1/2 inch balls and press onto parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 350 F for 7-10 minutes (don’t let them get too brown).

Cool and serve.


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3 Responses to “Chamber finds Newcastle’s best cookie recipes”

  1. HomeStreet Bank hosts After Hours Social | Newcastle Chamber of CommerceNewcastle Chamber of Commerce on March 1st, 2013 8:28 am

    […] Newcastle News covered the event and interviewed the winners. […]

  2. Mary VonRanker on March 2nd, 2013 4:58 pm

    It was a “Sweet” evening! I particularly appreciated having local kid talent showing up to demonstrate their baking talents. Having an extra bonus of outrageous chocolates, donated from our very own Sweet Decadence, was like frosting on the cake. This of course was coupled with connecting with interesting local businesses, a number of which I had never had the privilege to meet. Thanks HomeStreet for sponsoring such a delightful evening!
    and when’s the next contest ;-)

  3. Bel McCoy on March 4th, 2013 7:54 am

    Congratulations, Karen!!! Must try soon as I can get to the grocery for the almond flour!!

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