Kathi’s cookie confections: Comfort and thankfulness baked into each punch in New Hope

By Megan Thorstad

megan.thorstad@ecm-inc.com

On a frail Tuesday morning in early December, New Hope Mayor Kathi Hemken poured herself a prohibited crater of coffee to ready for what could good be a largest Christmas cookie baking operation in a city.

Hemken started her annual cookie bake in 2008, when she was initial inaugurated as New Hope’s mayor. The idea, she said, is to give an collection of Christmas cookies to any city worker to uncover her appreciation for all a work they do.


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(SUN POST PHOTO BY Megan Thorstad)

Mayor Hemken and Johnson package a finished product. Hemken will take a cookies home to be placed into bags and distributed to staff members during a city’s annual holiday party.

In credentials for a large day, Hemken creates a outing to Costco to squeeze a many simple mixture in bulk. She’ll hum by a aisles collecting a required amounts of butter, sugar, flour and baking chips until she has adequate to bake 75 dozen, to produce scarcely 1,000 cookies. Then, she gathers a specific mixture to make any cookie collection like eggs, baking soda, salt, oats and maraschino cherries.

“Then we start baking,” she said. “I adore to bake and we bake a lot. I’ll usually do a collection whenever we have time.”

Hemken starts defeat adult a initial batches of mix in October. She uses a melon round dip to apportionment out a mix and freezes a cookie dough, before baking a cookies in December. This year, Hemken finished 5 kinds of cookies — cranberry white chocolate, peppermint slick sugarine cookies, oatmeal scotchies, chocolate cherry chip and a checkerboard icebox cookie.


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(SUN POST PHOTO BY Megan Thorstad)

In usually 90 minutes, Hemken, with a assistance of protected caterer Patty Johnson, bake 75 dozen cookies.

“I try to do cookie recipes that don’t need too most fussing,” Hemken said. “One year we did frosted sugarine cookies and we was sitting there frosting any one and suspicion ‘I’m not doing this again’,” she said.

And, Hemken said, cookies with frosting don’t work out good since she puts any cookie in a bag to give to city employees.

“If we used frosting, that would usually be a mess,” she smiled.

After a mix is concocted, portioned and frozen, Hemken and protected caterer Patty Johnson of New Hope’s St. Joseph Parish Community, raid a church’s kitchen, backing baking sheets with vellum paper and plopping 24 cookie mix balls on any tray.

Hemken dejected candy canes and Andes mints for a peppermint slick sugarine cookie mix to be rolled in usually before baking. Then a dance between loading station, oven and cooling shelve begins. The peppermint candies warp in a oven’s feverishness to form a slick whirl of red and white over a tops of any sugarine cookie.

Hemken pronounced she used to bake a cookies in her home though she could usually bake dual dozen during a time. Just to bake a cookies in her home would be a day’s operation. When a staff members during St. Joe’s listened about Hemken’s cookie bake, they offering a use of their oven, slicing Hemken’s baking time from 7 hours to 90 minutes.


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(SUN POST PHOTO BY Megan Thorstad)

New Hope Mayor Kathi Hemken mixes and portions 5 kinds of cookie mix before baking a cookies Tuesday, Dec. 5 during St. Joseph’s Parish Community.

The kitchen warmed fast and a sweetened aroma wafted by a church tantalizing passersby. The cookies, with their warm, slimey center, are private from a oven and placed on a cooling rack. After a brief while, custodial staff members and parishioners poked their heads in to catch about a honeyed smell, anticipating to hide a ambience of a damaged casualty.

“Once they’re all finished we put them in a bag and tie a badge around a tip with a ‘thank you’ note,” she said. “Each bag has dual of any kind of cookie.”

Hemken pronounced any city staff member has their favorite cookie and, sometimes, when their children find out who bakes a cookies, they’ll make a ask that Hemken bake a certain kind for subsequent year.

“It’s unequivocally a fun thing,” she said. “Some of a staffers keep them during their desks to break on via a week and others take them home and share some with their families.”

Hemken has zero though thankfulness for any New Hope city employee.

“This is usually a small thing we can do for staff to let them know how most we conclude them,” she said. “The city doesn’t run but a staff. we don’t run a city, we have this fanciful staff that does all that. we am so grateful for all they do.”

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