Realtor turned first-time baker wins oatmeal cookie contest

Tuesday, April 30th, is “National Oatmeal Cookie Day.” As a way to celebrate and have a little fun in the office, the realtors at Coldwell Banker Select in Sapulpa decided to hold a baking contest to see who could serve up the best oatmeal cookies.

Bernie Fugate was the one who alerted the Sapulpa Times to the competition and invited us to cover it. She was participating, but she didn’t think her cookies would stand a chance.

“I don’t bake,” she confessed. “I’ve never made these before. I got home and looked at the recipe and saw it made four dozen; well, I panicked because I only had 50 minutes to make them, so I made them smaller. They’re probably thicker than they should be.”


The judges for the contest—Sapulpa Mayor Craig Henderson, County Commissioner Leon Warner, and First United Bank Vice President Kirk Bartgis—sat down and eagerly awaited the plates of cookies to be served for their enjoyment and judicial prudence.

There were a total of five contestants for the contest, and the judges relayed what they look for in a good cookie, oatmeal or otherwise:

“It depends on the mood I’m in,” Mayor Henderson said. “If it’s a grab-and-go kind of thing in the middle of the day, I’ll go for a more crunchy cookie. If it’s an evening time, I like a softer cookie.”

Bartgis concurred with the Mayor. “A soft cookie is the kind you want to sit down and savor. Take your time with it,” he said.

Warner said he also preferred a softer cookie and paid more attention to the moisture content.

The competition included everything from standard oatmeal and raisin to no-bake oatmeal cookies and peanut butter oatmeal cookies. The cookies were identified by letters so nobody would know who made them until after the competition.

The judges had nothing negative to say about any of them, and in fact, there was a tie for the winner and they had to try the top two again to break the tie. Unanimously, it was Fugate’s customized cranberry raisin and pecan oatmeal cookie that took first place, and nobody was more surprised than Bernie Fugate.

Left to right: Craig Henderson, Bernie Fugate, Kirk Bartgis, Leon Warner. Bernie Fugate won the inaugural Coldwell Banker oatmeal cookie contest, held in honor or National Oatmeal Cookie Day on April 30th. (Choquette photos)

“What? Really? Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it!” she exclaimed. “Well, I guess I need to bake more cookies!” She gratefully accepted her award—a gift card to Olive Garden—and posed for a picture with the judges, while everyone else rushed over to try her new award-winning oatmeal cookies.

Retired Home Economics teacher Mary Ann Patterson praised Fugate’s custom cookies. “These are delicious!” she said. Fugate remarked that it was quite an honor coming from someone who used to teach people to cook for a living.

Bernie Fugate’s modified oatmeal cookie recipe included cranberry raisins and chopped pecans.

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