Holiday Cookie Contest

Cookies and the holidays just seem to go together! Our contest proved to be very popular with well over 200 entries received. A favorite of young and old alike, cookies appeal to the Cookie Monster in all of us.

It was a difficult decision narrowing down the choices and the ultimate winners. Judges commented that the cookies in first, second and third places “tasted like Christmas.” First place goes to the Peppermint Mocha Cookies submitted by Julia Herschberger. Judges loved the combination of chocolate, coffee and mint making it the clear winner. The Stroopwafels submitted by Rachel Peterson and Gingerbread Macarons from Isabel Talamantes contain the warm winter spices appreciated by all.

Enjoy the eight recipes included in these pages and be sure to go to to check out all submissions. You just may find some new recipes for your Cookie Monsters.


Second Place Submitted by: Rachel Peterson, Corn Belt Energy Corporation
Course Cookies
Servings 2 dozen


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter melted and cooled
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Caramel filling

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  • Combine flour, baking powder and cinnamon and set aside.
  • In medium mixing bowl, beat eggs with electric mixer on high until thick and lemon colored. Gradually beat in sugar. Beat in butter and vanilla. Add flour mixture and mix until combined.
  • Heat an electric mini pizzelle iron (3-inch diameter). Place a slightly rounded teaspoon of batter in center of grid, close lid and bake according to manufacturer’s directions (or to a light brown color, the darker they are, the crispier). Place on a paper towel or cooling rack and complete all cookies.
  • To make caramel filling: Line a loaf pan with foil and lightly spray. Set aside.
  • In heavy saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk and corn syrup. Mix well, cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan, reduce heat to medium, and continue to boil at a steady rate, stirring frequently until it reaches 234 F, or soft ball stage. Remove from heat and remove thermometer. Stir in vanilla.
  • Carefully put a layer of caramel between two cookies. Repeat until each pair of cookies have been sandwiched together.
  • Pour remaining caramel in loaf pan. When firm, cut into squares, wrap and refrigerate. Tip: sometimes I make a double batch of the cookies to use more caramel.
  • Editor’s note: a regular size pizzelle iron was used.


Note: This is my favorite cookie because it brings back memories of time I spent with my grandparents. They were from the Netherlands and my grandmother (Oma) always served these cookies with tea or coffee in the afternoon.