On Wednesday, the Alabama Senate voted unanimously to make the Yellowhammer cookie the official cookie of the state of Alabama.
The Yellowhammer cookie is the creation of Mary Claire Cook, a fourth-grade student at Trinity Presbyterian School in Montgomery, with some help from her grandmother. The students at Trinity were studying state symbols when they learned that Alabama did not have an official state-designated cookie, so they endeavored to create one.
House Bill 421 (HB421) is sponsored by State Representative Reed Ingram (R-Montgomery). The legislation was carried in the Alabama Senate by State Senator Will Barfoot (R-Pike Road).
“This week, you all have had the opportunity to see, and more importantly taste, the yellowhammer cookie,” Barfoot said, holding one up in the air for members to see. This was brought to me by some fourth graders at Trinity Presbyterian School.”
“Twenty-four recipes were submitted,” Barfoot said. “That was narrowed down to five. Seniors from the government class at Trinity were brought in to judge the cookies, and the yellowhammer cookie was selected.”
The cookies contain peanuts, pecans, and oats – all crops grown and well-adapted to Alabama. The pecan is already the official nut of Alabama, and the peanut is the official legume of the state of Alabama.
“George Washington Carver’s work at Tuskegee Institute on peanuts is important to Alabama,” Barfoot said.
Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison (D-Birmingham) said that the contest to select the state cookie should have been more “statewide.”
“I think there should be some guidelines if we are going to do it,” Coleman-Madison said. “There are children who have food allergies to peanuts. I really wish we had some more participation.”
“This is state law that we are passing,” Coleman-Madison continued. “When people come to the state of Alabama, this is the state cookie. We need to have some criteria. We need to have some more involvement.”
Sen. David Sessions (R-Mobile) said, “It has peanuts and pecans. I raise both of them on my farm.”
The legislation passed the Senate 35 to 0.
Cook was viewing from the gallery with her teachers Katherine Bandy and Kylie Osborne.
Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth recognized Cook for her work, and she was applauded by the members of the Senate.
The legislation has already passed the House of Representatives. It now goes to the Governor for her consideration.
Wednesday was day 25 of the 2023 Alabama Regular Legislative Session.
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