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Benoekie returns, promises to be bigger than before

The giant Benoekie 2.0 will be on display at the Benoni Beer and Gin Festival for the official Guinness Book of Records attempt.

On a warm December morning, Yolandi Palmer, an avid baker from Westdene, rose with the desire to create a gigantic sugar cookie to be sold in aid of charity.

In the weeks that followed, she scoured through her recipe books, doubling up on measurements, calculating volumes of ingredients and wondering how her domestic oven was going to cope with baking portions of a biscuit which would ultimately measure 2.7 x 1.5m.

Following four days of prep and assembly, the giant ‘Benoekie’ (Benoni Koekie) was unveiled at Grasslands Driving Range, Janiel, on February 17, with portions sold in aid of charity.

Huis Thandi, Huis Charis Youth Centre and Clean Projects benefitted from the R7 000 raised on the day.

“When I called the Benoni City Times late last year, I just wanted to create a scrumptious sugar biscuit covered in decadent royal icing as a vehicle to raise money for those in need,” said the bubbly owner of Rain Baking.

“Given the large-scale undertaking, I started investigating the possibility of entering the cookie into the Guinness Book of Records but decided that the initial project would be a beta test to see how best to tackle the mammoth task. To date, no record attempt has been made with this variation of biscuit.”

Dusting the flour from her apron and shining her measure spoons, Yolandi is again playing her calculator like an organ, all in preparation for Benoekie 2.0.

“Yes you heard correctly, I will be creating my official entry for the Guinness Book of Records attempt and the giant Benoekie 2.0 will be on display at the Benoni Beer and Gin Festival, at the Benoni Northerns Sports Club on June 1,” she said with a gleaming smile.

“My entry form has been submitted and I am awaiting feedback from the committee. I am so excited and I hope with the community’s support every crumb of the cookie will be sold.

Yolandi Palmer sneaks a taste of her creation.

“My husband Craig is a practising psychologist and he has become increasingly concerned with the rising numbers of individuals struggling with mental and emotional distress. We decided that funds raised through sales will benefit the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), Stand Against Suicide and Khaya da Luz Children’s Home.

 Life Goes On foundation for burn victims will also be there on the day spreading awareness about its operations.

“George’s Bread & Co has graciously sponsored all the ingredients needed to create the even bigger cookie and have offered their facility for preparation and baking.”

Clasping her hands together, Yolandi lets out a bubbly giggle.

“It is unimaginable that my child-like idea has snowballed into a larger-than-life project,” she said.

“God has brought me to this point and I hope that with every churn of the mixer, a positive impact will be made in the lives of others.

“If a single taste of the Benoekie brings a smile to the face of someone who has been battling silent dark thoughts, then I have done what the Spirit has guided me to do.”

With all the boxes checked and Yolandi eagerly counting the days to June, she is appealing to anyone willing to volunteer their time on May 31 and June 1 to assist with the assembly and sale of the Benoekie.

Although all her ingredients are waiting to be mixed and rolled she is in need of icing sugar which will give the biscuit its glistening glaze.

For more information contact Yolandi on 076 500 4393.

ALSO READ: FOLLOW-UP: That’s the way the cookie crumbles for charity!

ALSO READ: WATCH: Giant Benoekie is ready for assembly


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