We Energies is releasing its annual Cookie Book and are featuring a special recipe from the Mequon Nature Preserve.
Thanks to the group's thriving Bee Club, they submitted a Honey Cookie recipe for the book.
"This book has 31 recipes featuring our state's finest ingredients," Cathy Schulze with We Energies said. "From cherries to cranberries to honey. Pumpkins to cheese, even beer. We have a little something for everyone in here."
"Honey is so great," Kristin Gies with the Mequon Nature Preserve said.
Gies is excited to be a part of the annual tradition. It's something her family has collected since the 50's. But for her to be a part of it with something she's passionate about makes it all much sweeter.
"Of all the great products that come out of Wisconsin, I'm honored to be representing a piece of honey," Gies said. "I couldn't believe they picked our cookie. When you get 100 pounds of honey from one little hive, why not put it in a cookie too?"
Gies hopes this reminds people how important bees are to residents. She says they directly and indirectly affect almost everything we consume.
"Bees are so crucial for our natural world," Gies said. "What would our grocery stores look like if we didn't have bees? I think honey is an important staple."
Wisconsin ranks 12th nationally in honey production. The state produced 3.3 million pounds in 2017. Of that, 10 percent was produced right on the Mequon Nature Preserve. The Bee Club has 50 non-professional members who produced 1,800 pounds from about 60 hives. The other 3,400 plus hives are kept by a professional bee keeper who produced about 330,000 pounds of honey this year.
Gies says the local honey can also have tremendous health benefits. So eating these cookies may make you healthier according to her.
"I mean, think about it," Gies said. "It's healthy. You're warding off the flu when you're eating a cookie. It has the natural antibiotics, natural antihistamines that are in the flora out there. Some of that cooks out but not all of it. But honey in general is such a better product to put in your body as opposed to granulated or synthetic sugar. This is an outstanding opportunity to eat something healthy."
We Energies will be distributing some 20,000 Cookie Books at the Sausage Haus at Miller Park on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. However, for those who don't wish to wait in those long lines, you can download the Cookie Book on their website.