Holiday Cookie Contest Winners

We all know Santa Claus loves cookies! And as it appears, so do our readers. Back in August we asked them to send in their favorite holiday cookie recipes. One thing was very evident – our readers like cookies! We had more than 110 recipes submitted from bakers across the state. There was something for everyone, whether you prefer chocolate, peanut butter, nuts, dried cranberries or jam. And, narrowing down the recipes was a very difficult task!

When all was said and done, 10 recipes were prepared, tasted and judged by an impartial panel of four. The top eight can be found on these pages and all of the other submitted recipes can be found online at

First Place went to Kathy Quick from Jo-Carroll Energy for her delicate and creative Candy Cane Snowballs. These bite-sized delicacies were well-balanced and the judges loved the white candy coating and bits of peppermint on top. They tasted like Christmas.

Quick is the recipient of the popular hardback edition of The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion: The Essential Cookie Cookbook and an apron. She wrote, “We like these because they are the epitome of the holiday season with their red and white peppermint candies on top. They are rich and easy to make and keep well. They are just the sweet little bite needed after a holiday meal,” and the judges agree!

Jo-Carroll Energy member Bonnie Johnson received Second Place for her surprising Orange Drop Cookies. Judges loved the fresh orange flavor and were pleasingly surprised that the orange didn’t overpower. Johnson is the recipient of a paperback copy of Taste of Home Cookies: 623 Irresistible Delights and a set of silicone spatulas. “My family and co-workers love this cookie for its light flavor and it is so simple to make,” she wrote.

Third Place went to Kathy Lashin of Rock Energy Cooperative for her Butter Horns, a buttery and lightly sweet cookie with a hint of sugar, cinnamon and chopped walnuts wrapped inside. These delicate cookies were flaky and the filling of cinnamon and walnuts struck the right balance for the judges. Lashin will receive a paperback copy of Taste of Home Cookies, Bars and More: 201 Scrumptious Ideas for Snacks and Dessert. Lashin commented that this recipe was a family favorite from her Aunt Honey.

Those cookies receiving Honorable Mentions can be found on the following pages. They were, in no particular order: Rita’s Raspberry Thumbprints, Noreen Frye, Menard Electric; White Velvet Cookies, Mary Jane Brown, SouthEastern Illinois Electric; Buffalo Chip Cookies, Donna Gruenenfelder, Clinton County Electric; Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies, Diane Jansen, Clinton County Electric; and Fred’s Famous Pecan Crispies, Fred Alstat, Egyptian Electric.