Cookie of the Month: February 2020

by Todd Jackson

 Dec 09, 2019 at 8:39 PM

Ultimate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Todd Jackson is the Executive Chef at The Country Club at Wakefield Plantation 


2 ¼ cups All-Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

½ teaspoon Kosher Salt

¾ cup Butter, softened

¾ cup Granulated Sugar

¾ cup Packed Brown Sugar

½ cup Smooth Peanut Butter

2 Large Eggs

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1 cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips

½ cup Peanut Butter Chips

1 cup Peanut Butter Cups, rough chopped



Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl of a mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add peanut butter and mix. Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, then add vanilla. Add flour mixture in batches until fully incorporated.

Using a rubber spatula, fold in chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and chopped peanut butter cups.

Scoop out dough with a medium cookie scoop onto a prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

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Cookie of the Month: January 2020

by Sal Baldino

 Dec 09, 2019 at 8:21 PM


Recipe by Sal Baldino of Brook Valley Country Club provided as a tribute to his wife as they are celebrating fifty years of marriage.


1 cup Butter                                                    

1 ¾ cup Sugar                                               

6 Eggs                                                              

2 teaspoon Vanilla                                                    

1 teaspoon Anise flavor                                          

1 teaspoon Anise Seed                                            

6 cups Flour                                                    

3 teaspoons Baking Powder

Pinch of Salt                                      

½ cup Chopped Nuts    



Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Add all wet ingredients and mix well. Add dry ingredients. 

Form dough into a long log; bake until golden brown at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool, then slice. 

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Taking Single-Use Plastics Head On

by Jamie Waggoner

 Sep 27, 2019 at 5:30 PM

The facts are daunting. Of the 78 million metric tons of plastic packaging produced globally each year, a mere 14 percent is recycled. Our efforts to keep plastic out of landfills are simply falling short. But, among the first private clubs to step up to the challenge, McConnell Golf has committed to pitch in and has already made significant gains in reducing the impact of what gets pitched out. 

Corporate Director of Culinary Operations, Howard Murphy and Corporate Executive Chef, James Patterson had long been discussing environmental factors regarding plastic waste and concluded that it was time to jump in with two feet.

As they quickly learned, this was not an easy nor cost-effective task. “We wanted one company capable of servicing all of our properties and finding a quality product took many trials,” says Patterson.

In selecting Greenware®, the mission finally became a reality and all McConnell Golf properties now offer compostable to-go cups for cold and hot beverages including lids and straws.

While the network of clubs has buying power, the more eco-friendly products cost a whopping 30% more than mainstream plastic. Yet at a decomposition rate of three to six months versus 200 to 1000 years, it’s a commitment that the company feels imperative. 

“A couple of years ago, bamboo products were very expensive, as science has continued to develop with biopolymer materials it has now made them attainable,” said Murphy, “We expect that trend to continue.”

Jumping into anything requires quick learning. As Murphy reports, “We've actually switched from paper straws to plant-based in reaction to member feedback.” 

With these changes, McConnell Golf as a company will keep over two million pieces of plastic out of landfills by using biodegradable alternatives. It’s an effort and cost the company is willing to bear to make the world a better place.

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October Cookie of the Month

by Kenric Hunt

 Aug 30, 2019 at 8:51 PM

Ginger Snap Cookies

By Kenric Hunt, Executive Chef, Brook Valley Country Club

As Chefs, we are often asked what our favorites are… for me, there’s too many to count. This cookie has no special meaning to it, I’m just a sucker for a great ginger snap!


1 cup Packed Brown Sugar

¾ cup Vegetable Oil

¼ cup Molasses

1 Egg

2 cups All-Purpose Flour

2 teaspoons Baking Soda

¼ teaspoon Salt

½ teaspoon Ground Cloves

1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

3 teaspoons Fresh Ginger

1/3 cup White Sugar for Decoration


Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, oil, molasses and egg. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon and ginger; stir into the molasses mixture. Roll dough into 1 ¼ inch balls. Roll each ball in white sugar before placing 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in preheated oven, or until center is firm. Cool on wire racks.

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September Cookie of the Month

by Chef Iris

 Aug 30, 2019 at 8:42 PM

White Chocolate and Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

By Chef Iris & Monica, The Reserve Golf Club

Chef Iris loves cranberries and Monica, our long-time Server loves white chocolate. So, when asked to come up with a cookie, they immediately agreed it should combine their favorites. After several tries, this is the cookie they settled on, containing both sweet and tart notes perfect for fall and winter seasons.


1 cup Fresh Cranberries

¾ cup White Chocolate Chips

2 cups Unsalted Butter, softened

½ cup Light Brown Sugar

½ cup Granulated Sugar

1 Egg

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

½ teaspoon Salt

½ teaspoon Baking Powder

3 ¾ cups All-Purpose Flour


Add cranberries to a food processor with 2 Tablespoon of flour; pulse to a coarse chop. Cream butter, and both sugars in mixer until light and creamy. Add vanilla extract and egg and mix well. Combine remaining flour, salt and baking powder; add to mixer 1 cup at a time until well blended. Fold in chopped cranberries and white chocolate and mix well. Using a small scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets, pressing each cookie down slightly. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden.

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Refreshing Partnerships

by Kasey Olive

 Jul 04, 2019 at 5:59 AM

McConnell Golf joins forces with local brewery and California vineyard

McConnell Golf strives to bring its members new and exciting experiences throughout all sectors of the club. Its latest bounty stems from partnerships with Highland Brewing Company and Juslyn Vineyards.

It’s a warm, sunny day. After a round of golf, you head to the clubhouse and reach for an ice-cold beer from your beloved bartender. They might as well have a halo. And that first sip of brew? Ah, pure joy.

At a few different times in recent history McConnell Golf sought to put its name “on tap,” but only this year found its perfect pairing in Highland Brewing Company.

Highland was founded in Asheville, NC, by Oscar Wong in 1994. Pioneers of their trade, you may be familiar with Gaelic Ale, which was Asheville’s very first craft beer. Their rich history aligns well with another Asheville mainstay, the historic Country Club of Asheville, which is where the partnership took shape.

McConnell Golf’s very own Pin High Pilsner has quickly become Head Brewer Jamie Rowe’s go-to after a day on the course. At 5.5% ABV, it features traditional German hops like Hallertau Blanc, Saphir, and Perle. Its nuanced floral aroma and flavor balance the clean pilsner malt body. Cold fermented with lager yeast for a crisp, dry finish, this beer is simply a hole in one.

Suitably, the first tap was installed at CC of Asheville in May; however the brew is making its way eastward and will be available at all McConnell Golf properties to enjoy this summer.

For those inclined to reach for wine after a long day a work, head to the club for a meal and look for McConnell Golf’s exclusive vintage. Hailing from the wine capital of America, Napa Valley’s Juslyn Vineyards has again delivered a delectable Cabernet Sauvignon and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc. 

Wine enthusiasts have found thriving communities at McConnell properties and with themed events and clubs such as Grape Nuts, the interest in wine continues to flourish.

A recent Wine and Tapas event at Sedgefield Country Club featured the new wines. I spoke with Director of Dining Services Maya Panayotova on why the Juslyn wines have become so popular.

“People love wines they can relate to a place, experience or memory and that is our everyday goal at Sedgefield – to create memories for our members and their families and friends,” she explained.

At the event, members sampled the new wines with expertly paired tapas featuring: arugula, artichoke, asparagus flatbread with a ricotta base, chives and basil, finished with lemon oil; crispy duck wontons; shredded braised short ribs with pan seared gnocchi and a tomato ragout; and an assortment of cheeses.

Next time you’re at the club, try something new – and ask your server for pairing suggestions!

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August Cookie of the Month

by Bob Dowgiallo

 Jun 28, 2019 at 8:32 PM

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

By Bob Dowgiallo, Wakefield Plantation

As a young boy growing up in Maryland, I spent many summer days with my Grandpa on the Wye River crabbing for Maryland Blue Crabs. After a long day on the river, we would journey back home with our bushels of crabs to find a plate of warm, freshly baked Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies that my grandma had made for us. Not only are these cookies nostalgic, they are delicious. I hope you enjoy!


½ cup Packed Brown Sugar

1 cup Butter, Softened

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 Egg

2 cups Quick Cooking Oats

1 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

¼ teaspoon Salt

1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips


Preheat oven to 350°. In a large mixing bowl with paddle attachment, stir brown sugar and softened butter until blended. Incorporate vanilla and egg until light and fluffy. Add oats, flour, baking soda and salt. Combine ingredients, then fold in chocolate chips. Spoon onto greased and parchment lined cookie sheet about 2” apart. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheet to cool.

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