The Federated Church is gearing up to host its 13th annual Cookies n’ More event from 5-7 p.m. Thursday at its building.

A wide variety of cookies, bars and candies will be up for sale, made by church bakers itching to show off their best designs, both in more conventional and creative ways. Refreshments and door prizes will also be available.

The event is unique in that people are allowed to pick and choose however many cookies that they want and place them in their own box. Boxes are available at the church, with small boxes going for $5 and larger ones, $10. If one is looking more on the candy side, he or she can purchase a box of candies for $10, as well.

Event co-chairs Paula Lange and Alison Wagner have seen the event grow from a small fundraiser that Lange came up with to replace an old favorite, Tables with a Twist, to an event that evolved into a mainstay of the pre-Thanksgiving hubbub that permeates the downtown area the Thursday prior.

While the ‘more’ part of Cookies n’ More has evolved over the years, people’s enjoyment of the event hasn’t.

“When we first started Cookies n’ More, it was Cookies n’ Crafts,” Lange said. “That first year, we sold crafts. The crafts really didn’t sell very well. In that second year, we took away the crafts (and added) more cookies.

“People have really made it part of the tradition during that Downtown Stroll, so people have really made this part of their annual event.”

One notable thing about the cookies is that these are not necessarily your average ones. Indeed, while there are old favorites like chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin, some people have gone above and beyond to make new cookies that could be called true artistic creations. For instance, one of the most popular cookies yearly at the event is something called ‘Christmas mice.' It consists of a frosted chocolate cookie garnished with almonds, Hershey’s Kisses and a dried and dipped cherry, complete with a tail on the top.

“Yes, we have our old favorites that people do, but people like to change up what they’re doing,” Wagner said. “Last year, we had the cookies that sat on a teacup. They had a cut-out of them that if you had your cup of tea poured, you could attach the cookie to the top of the cup and it would stand up.”

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There are more than 60 different varieties of cookies, meaning that one would be hard-pressed to be disappointed when shopping at the event.

“We hear comments out in the community that people like the event, which helps,” Lange said. “They want to come and they tell their friends about it and their family members about it.”

Despite the official Christmas Stroll being canceled due to the Downtown Business Association citing skyrocketing insurance prices, Cookies n’ More will continue on, as the event has gained enough renown to stand on its own during the past 13 years.

“We have become well enough known and it’s been a project that has benefited the community, that has been very successful, that even if there wasn’t the Stroll or the tree lighting, it would still be supported by the community,” Wagner said. “We feel that it’s a little bit like Festival of Trees and with (First United) Methodist Church having their soup supper. Those have become known enough within the community that the community would continue to support it.”

The support that they get from the community is exemplified by the spectacle of people lining up through the religious education part of the building in order to see the cookies up close and personal. Getting that same crowd will be the goal this year for organizers, who are hoping for people to continue to make this event a tradition even without the boost received from the Christmas Stroll.

“Even though things change, some of the favorite events are staying constant,” Wagner said. “They’re staying within the community. It’s a constant for them.”

The Federated Church is at 2704 15th St. in Columbus.

Zach Roth is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at zachary.roth@lee.net.

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Zach Roth is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at zachary.roth@lee.net.