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Astronauts, Girl Scouts and Oreos are in the news

By Dr. William H. Baker

Contributing Writer

For many residents in the tri-state, attention in this new year has been on local weather conditions, political news and national and international events.

Now, a brief break to savor some cookie news that seems to have been designed for Cookie Monster, a key member of the Muppet set on television’s Sesame Street.

All of this in January, long before National Cookie Month in October.

You may have seen or heard the news about the first space-baked cookies. One report indicated that the cookies were the “first food baked in space from raw ingredients.” It also noted that the chocolate chip cookies took two hours to bake in an experimental oven.

If there are children or grandchildren in your family, and you’re preparing cookies for them, think about whether they would be patiently waiting two hours for their treat. Not too likely.

The cookie dough for the astronauts was provided by Double Tree by Hilton (the hotel chain). Hotel officials have offered one of the space-baked cookies to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum for display.

Meanwhile, the Girl Scout cookies this year include “Lemon Ups” as a new entry that is available in select markets. No indication if they are included in offerings in Middlesboro and surrounding areas. If not, there is “Classic Lemonades,” a returning Girl Scout favorite.

Looking ahead, the folks responsible for Oreos announced that in April we will see the introduction of a tiramisu-flavored cookie with two types of crème.

So, borrowing from the Italian language for the name, the company is adding a gourmet twist to its lineup of popular cookies.

Translated, according to a news release from Oreo, the word tiramisu means “pick me up” or “cheer me up.” And, we may welcome that after a tough winter. The cookie is a coffee-flavored Italian dessert.

If you plan to try this new offering, look for it on grocery shelves in April. It is reportedly available only for a limited time.

And, if you’re not adhering too closely to your New Year’s resolutions about food, weight loss, and cutting back on desserts you may want to look for the introduction of Chocolate Marshmallow and Caramel Coconut Oreos.

You can join the Cookie Monster, enjoy the offerings, and sing “C is for Cookies.”

Dr. William H. Baker is a Claiborne County native and former Middlesboro resident. Email: wbaker@limestone.edu