There was stiff competition Friday at the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s faculty and staff cookie contest, but Maria Vicente wasn’t too worried.
The admissions staff member entered a tried-and-true oatmeal-raisin cookie recipe she often watched her dad bake while she was growing up.
And she kicked them up a notch: She swapped chocolate chips for raisins, tossed in coconuts and nuts and added M&M noses to the reindeer-shaped creations which she appropriately named “Rudolph Reindeer Delights.”
“I decided to make them Christmasy,” Vicente said. “And I think they turned out fun.”
Vicente was one of five to enter the cookie contest, which was part of a 90-minute, end-of-fall semester holiday celebration for campus employees. The last day of classes is today. Finals are this week and commencement is Saturday.
“It’s a fun send-off to the semester,” said Lisa Spain, an event organizer and deputy director at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center. “And it’s also just a fun day to get the faculty and staff together before commencement and the holidays.”
Several dozen employees attended the event in which they mingled, snapped pictures in a holiday-themed photo booth and most importantly, tested out cookies.
UH-Hilo vice chancellors were the official cookie contest judges. “Sarah Wants S’more” — a graham cracker, marshmallow, chocolate chip cookie — won first place. Vicente’s cookies garnered second.
Keith Edwards, a computer science faculty member, wore a holiday-themed UH-Hilo sweatshirt for the occasion. He said he most enjoyed Vicente’s Rudolph cookies because he found them “very clever.”
“They turned out very cool and I can tell someone really put a lot of thought into those,” Edwards said. “But I liked all the cookies.”
“It’s just nice seeing the faculty and staff and getting to meet and chat with them in a very casual environment,” he added.
Email Kirsten Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.