"When I was little, I always cooked with my mom, Brenda — mostly cookies, cupcakes," Keller said. "My grandparents were bakers and had their own bake shop, so I got recipes from them."
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Keller, a South Hagers-town High School grad, now lives with her family in Hagerstown's North End. Keller cooks for her family several times a week.
"When my mom makes dinner herself, she makes it healthy. But when I'm making dinner, I make what I want," she said. "I like anything with chicken — I love chicken piccata, with a garlicky sauce."
Keller also likes changing recipes to suit her tastes. She reads recipes, but mainly she doesn't follow them. She said she'll experiment. Her white chip orange dream cookies is one of her favorite cookie recipes.
Her specialty is desserts.
"I like some spicy food. But coming from bakers, I like all the sweet stuff," she said. "I've been cooking for the Ag Expo since I was 5. I usually get first place for anything I enter."
This year, Keller won first place in the youth divisions for quick breads, candy and cookies.
— Chris Copley, Lifestyle assistant editor
White chip orange dream cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons grated orange peel
2 cups white morsels
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.
In separate large bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until creamy. Beat in egg and orange peel.
Gradually beat in flour mixture and stir in morsels.
Drop dough by tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes.
— Courtesy of Teri Keller of Hagerstown, winner of the youth division of the cookie contest at the 2012 Washington County Ag Expo and Fair