Tag: best cookie recipe

2024 Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Special Contests

2024 Minnesota State Fair Special Contests To Feature New Fresh Salsa, Nutty Cookie & Mighty Muffin Recipe Contests

Minneapolis-St Paul, MN – July 12, 2024 – With over 75 baking and cooking categories at the Minnesota State Fair this year, home cooks and bakers will have many ways to win in the kitchen. The annual and much beloved tradition of competing for blue ribbons returns. Home cooks can compete for more than $1,000 in prizes in Blue Ribbon Group special contests and awards.

For the first time in over 20 years, there’s a Fresh Salsa contest thanks to Bushel Boy Farms, a Nutty Cookie contest from the Blue Ribbon Group, and a Mighty Muffin contest from 3 Cricketeers. The general/classic baking categories (divided into “classes”), range from 28 types of bread and 21 types of cookies, to 12 different kinds of cakes, and 3 pie flavors, plus international and gluten-free baking divisions. Let the games, er… Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Special Contests BEGIN!

Register by Tue July 30, 2024, 4:30pm; All Special Contests & All Baking Categories Take Place Sat Aug 17, 2024

Rally time is now! Look for these new special contests, each with $100 to $200 for first place, plus runner-up prizes and special awards. Registration is now open. It closes Tue , 2024, 4:30pm CT. All contests happen Sat August 17, 2024, drop off 9:30am to 1pm, Creative Activities Building. Winners announced Thu August 22, 2024. Having trouble finding what you need to participate? Drop us a line here.

Bushel Boy Farms “Fresh Salsa Recipe Rally”

2024 Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Special Contests
Make a fresh-tasting, crowd-pleasing salsa with premium, locally grown Bushel Boy Farms tomatoes as the star ingredient. Bushel Boy’s tomatoes are grown right here in Owatonna, Minnesota at their high-tech greenhouses and picked at perfect ripeness. Combine them with other ingredients for a masterful and award-winning homemade salsa (refrigerated, not processed/canned). Present with your favorite chips for dipping. $350 in prizes await the top 3 winners, plus bonus prizes for canned salsas (Class 1245 & 1246). Find recipe inspiration @BushelBoyFarms on Instagram & Facebook.

Join Bushel Boy Farms to celebrate opening day of the fair, Thu, August 22, 2024. They will take over the Cambria Kitchen to showcase fresh tomato creations and salsa contest winners, plus offer complimentary samples and other giveaways throughout the day.

Blue Ribbon Group “Nutty Cookie Contest”

2024 Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Special Contests

Come compete in the “Nutty Cookie Contest” from the Blue Ribbon Group. We want a creative variety of nut-centric winning cookies. Make your tasty treats with your favorite nuts, from peanuts and pistachios to almonds and cashews. Any nut goes and any type tracks. They can be classic or creative: think biscotti, nut clusters, butter pecan shortbread, monster cookies, and more. Wow the judges with your outstanding cookie, how it looks and what they experience biting into it. A unique mix of cookies will win. Prizes are $200, $100 and $50 for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, respectively. Find inspiration @BlueRibbonFoodies on Instagram & Facebook.

Join us Sun, August 25 at the fair for our Nutty Tarts & Treats event (Cambria Kitchen, Creative Activities Building). In the meantime, find a fantastic sample recipe to make here.

Mighty Muffin Recipe Contest

2024 Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Special Contests

Make your 3 Cricketeers Mighty Muffin entry with 3C’s Pure Cricket Powder (1/4 cup or more) and additional ingredients known to give you power and energy, such as nuts, seeds, oatmeal, peanut butter, and chocolate. Awards: $100 (1st Place), $75 (2nd Place), $50 (3rd Place). Find their online store at 3 Cricketeers. Use code StateFair2024 for free shipping on your first order. Share your creative process by posting on Facebook or Instagram. Tag #3cricketeers

Join 3 Cricketeers on Sat August 24 for a day of demos and free tastings (Cambria Kitchen, Creative Activities Building)

Special thanks to our prize partner and and all-around amazing baking company:

Key Contest Dates to Remember

  • Competitors Register by Tue July 30, 2024, 4:30pm
  • Drop Off Day Sat Aug 17, 20, 9:30am to 1pm
  • View Winner Displays & Recipe Demos Aug 22 to Sep 2 in Creative Activities Building

First Time Participant or Need a Refresher?

All registration goes through the Minnesota State Fair competition department. Registration is free! Once you’re signed up, there is no obligation if you later can’t participate. Go to the Competitions/Creative Activities/Baked Products section at MNStateFair.org to sign up (under the Participants tab).

Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Special Contests: Quick-start tips:

  1. Find all baking rules, regs, open classes, and cool special contests here and be sure to download the Creative Activities/Baked Goods Premium Book Section. Jump to pages 12-14 for the special contests, page by page.
  2. Sign up for the Competition Department email list here and be sure to choose “Creative Activities” as your email list.
  3. Create your online account here (then be sure your registration clears and is confirmed by email).
  4. For step-by-step guidance: go here (for a written tutorial) or here (for a video) For FAQ (frequently asked questions) go here.

Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Special Contests: Resources are aplenty, but if you still have questions, never hesitate to ask. The state fair competition office can be reached 651-288-4417 or competition@mnstatefair.org. We are available too, at statefairteam@blueribbongroup.net.

New Blue Ribbon Group Contests @ State Fair of Texas

Enter Our New Blue Ribbon Group Contests at the 2022 State Fair of Texas

Cash Prizes of $200, $100, $50 Offered in New Cooking & Baking Contests 

Dallas-Fort Worth, September  13, 2022 – Calling all Texas home cooks and hobby bakers! You’re invited to compete in our new Blue Ribbon Group Contests @ State Fair of Texas. Up for grabs is $350 in prizes in each of four contests/categories, plus bonus prizes and additional ways to win. Do you make great game day foods that are total crowd pleasers? How about some homemade low-sugar sweet-treats? If you do, then these new contests are for you!

Tom Thumb “Blue Ribbon Recipe Round Up” (Game Day Themed Recipes/3 Categories) 10/2/2022

The first Texas Blue Ribbon Group contest is the Tom Thumb  “Blue Ribbon Recipe Round-Up” on Sunday, October 2. With a “Game Day Delights” theme, the Blue Ribbon Recipe Round-Up calls for crowd-pleasing appetizers, main dishes, and desserts. The event is essentially three contests in one. We want to see your best-tasting recipes that are perfect for parties! Each category/type has $350 in gift card prizes, including $200 for 1st Place, $100 for 2nd Place, and $50 for 3rd Place. Plus, bonus prizes will celebrate overall baking category winners (among the fair’s total contest line-up) and offer additional ways to win, even if you don’t compete at the fair.

Splenda Magic Baker™ “Low-To-No Sugar Showdown” (Creative Cookies) 10/5/2022

The second Texas Blue Ribbon Group contest is Wednesday, October 5, for the Splenda Magic Baker “Low-To-No Sugar Showdown.” This contest includes a free product giveaway – while supplies last – and calls for CREATIVE COOKIES that are low in sugar or sugar- free! Use any Splenda product, such as Splenda Magic Baker, a new zero-calorie, zero-sugar, plant-based sweetener that tastes and measures just like sugar. The product  is now available from Amazon, Walmart and other grocery stores.

Winner Selections

State Fair of Texas official judges (a varied panel of food professionals, local celebrities, and foodies) will decide each contest’s winners based on evaluating entries with this judging criteria:

  • Unique, innovative, creative recipe (35%)
  • Taste, flavor, aroma (30%)
  • Appearance, color, presentation (25%)
  • Texture, internal appearance (10%)

Extra Ways to Win

Be sure to follow Blue Ribbon Foodies on Instagram and/or Facebook or join our mailing list here for a chance to win one of our $25 gift card giveaways. Whether or not you are competing at the State Fair of Texas, we invite you to take part. We will offer random prizes and perks to our community members and followers throughout the 2022 state fair season, which for us, ends October 22, 2022.

Participation Tips/Guidelines – Blue Ribbon Group Contests @ State Fair of Texas

 All state fair recipe/cooking contest registration and judging goes through the State Fair of Texas Creative Arts Department.

  • Get all the competition details here (Jump to pages 19 & 26, for the Tom Thumb and Splenda Magic Baker contests)
  • Only Texas residents can win at the State Fair of Texas. Advance registration is recommended but not required.
  • When you are ready to register, follow this link (TX Registration Shortcut)

 

Special thanks to our 2022 Texas Contest Partners

 

Splenda Low-To-No-Sugar-Showdown

New Splenda “Low-To-No Sugar Showdown” Recipe Contest Celebrates Sugar-Free Blue Ribbon Baking at State Fairs

$350 in Cash Awards for Top Winners in Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Texas, Arkansas; Bonus Prizes for Sugar-Free Bakers Nationally-

If you love cakes, cookies, pies, and other sweet treats but prefer them sugar-free or diabetes-friendly, check out the new Splenda “Low-To-No Sugar Showdown.” The state fair recipe contest series takes place this summer and fall at 5 prominent fairs.

  • Ohio State Fair  Runs 7/27/22 – 8/7/22   Judging 7/24/22 in Rhodes Center Building
  • Wisconsin State Fair   Runs 8/4/22 – 8/14/22   Judging 8/7/22 in Grand Champion Hall
  • Minnesota State Fair  Runs 8/25/22 – 9/5/22   Judging 8/20/22 in Creative Activities Building
  • State Fair of Texas  Runs 9/30/22 – 10/23/22   Judging 10/5/22 in Creative Arts Building
  • Arkansas State Fair  Runs 10/14/22 – 10/23/22   Judging 10/19/22 in Arts & Craft Center

Note: Most fairs require advance registration, which bakers do directly with each fair’s competition office. If you can’t compete at any of these fairs, you can still participate. See below.

The Low-Down on the “Low-To-No Sugar Showdown” (Product Giveaway!)

  • At each event, home-baking fairgoers receive a free 16 ounce bag of Splenda’s new plant-based, zero-calorie sweetener, Magic Baker (one per person, while supplies last).
  • All winning entries will feature Splenda Magic Baker or some other Splenda product.
  • Cookies, cakes, and diabetes-friendly desserts are among the varied themes at each showdown.
  • $350 in cash awards are up for grabs at each of the fairs.
  • 3 winners will receive cash prizes at each fair: 1st Place is $200, 2nd is $100, 3rd is $50.
  • Judges choose winners for being unique and creative, with great taste, flavor and aroma, as well as presentation and texture.
  • Look for a winning recipe collection on Blue Ribbon Group website and Blue Ribbon Foodies social media channels.

For contest details and complete competition guidelines, contact the fair’s entry office or the Blue Ribbon Group (here).

Bonus Prizes for Sugar-Free Baking Nationally

If you compete with a sugar-free/no added sugar recipe at ANY state fair (one of the above or other) and use Splenda, we invite you to share it with us for a chance to win a $25 gift card. To qualify, post before October 23, 2022 on social media — Facebook or Instagram, using #splenda, #lowtonosugar, #blueribbonfoodies, #blueribbonbaking, #statefair among your hashtags – and submit your sugar-free blue-ribbon-worthy baked good here. We will choose winning recipes (1 for each of 5 U.S. regions, if applicable) and feature them on our website and Blue Ribbon Foodies social media channels. Each baker with a winning recipe receives a $25 gift card.

Jumbo Peanut Butter Butterfinger Cookies

These Jumbo Peanut Butter Butterfinger Cookies are a terrific twist on a traditional peanut butter cookie. You put chopped Butterfinger candy bars into the cookie itself and sprinkle them over a chocolate topping. Every bite is rich and chewy and absolutely delicious. I’ve had more than one person tell me these are the best cookies in the universe.

Plated Peanut Butter Butterfinger Cookies

This recipe is the epitome of a creative cookie that can win a special recipe contest. In fact, these did and recipe credit goes to Mackenzie Nelson, an Arkansas State Fair blue ribbon baker.

Tips & Tidbits

  • This recipe makes a monster-sized batch, as in 58 medium sized cookies, or almost 30 in jumbo, 3 ounce portions. It can easily be halved.
  • We like the jumbo size, like a bakery-style cookie. You can also opt for a smaller size and higher quantity batch.
  • If you flatten the rolled cookies into discs, you get a nice even bake.
  • Notice you use egg whites and not whole eggs
  • This dough works well if chilled before baking. You can even freeze in batches to pull out whenever.
  • You can alter how finely you chop the candy bars to your liking.
  • Change up how you top these, either by dipping or by spreading the chocolate on top.

Peanut Butter Butterfinger Cookies

Jumbo Peanut Butter Butterfinger Cookies: Step by Step

We walk you through the process here, starting with gathering and measuring your ingredients. We went with the big 3.7 ounce size candy bars. Once you buy them, make sure “no one lays a finger on your Butterfinger” supply.

Best Ever Jumbo Peanut Butter Butterfinger Cookies

You can alter how finely you chop the candy bars to your liking. I did a combo of bigger and smaller pieces, vs all finely chopped or all rough chopped. Any which way is delicious. It’s mostly the overall texture and look of the cookie that changes with how you chop the Butterfingers.

Step by step Peanut Butter Butterfinger Cookies

Then you start mixing up the dough, beginning with creaming the butter and sugars.

Step by step Peanut Butter Butterfinger Cookies

You’re off to a good start when the mixture looks like this.

Step by step Peanut Butter Butterfinger Cookies

Next, you add 3/4 of your chopped Butterfingers.

Butterfinger Cookies

Once you mix them in…

mixed cookie dough

Get your scoop! We used an ice cream scoop to get the 3 ounce portion.

Ready to scoop jumbo peanut butter cookies

Make sure you set them apart with ample room to spread out.

cookie dough balls

Once they’re baked, you microwave the chocolate and remaining butter, for dipping or spreading on top. A flat spatula works nicely to remove extra chocolate on the cookie’s bottom. Do this stage quickly and in batches so the Butterfinger crumbles stay put on the chocolate.

inspired peanut butter cookies

You could also opt to spoon the chocolate across the top for full coverage.

Jumbo Peanut Butter Butterfinger Cookies-fully loaded

If you love Butterfinger candy bars, you’ll love this epic cookie. And if you’re into candy-bar-inspired sweet treats, check on this cake!

-Cyndi

dipped cookies

Cinnamon Cookie Butter Cookies

These Cinnamon Cookie Butter Cookies won best sandwich cookie and best overall cookie at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair. Their creamy filling, phenomenal flavor, and utter deliciousness will wow you with every bite.

Cinnamon Cookie Butter Cookies

A Winning History

Joan Kinsley

Joan Kinsley was the winning Minnesota State Fair baker. She adapted a Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest winning recipe that Annette Gustafson won with in 2020. Joan first entered the state fair baking competition in 2014, had a win, and was hooked on the annual tradition.

Joan’s version is a linzer look-alike with an opening on top so you see the inside filling inside, which is thick, creamy, rich, and absolutely divine.

Cinnamon Cookie Butter Cookies

We invite you to make them for the holidays and check out our step-by-step tips for reproducing these blue-ribbon-winning Cinnamon Cookie Butter Cookies. Did I mention that outstanding filling? =)

Special thanks to Joan fore re-baking her cookies for me. Same to the our friends at the Star Tribune for their recipe use permission and to Annette. We look forward to learning what more about this year’s Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest winners!

Secrets to Success

Joan estimates she made these cookies 5-6 times before entry drop-off at the fair. She spent hours tweaking ingredients and altering the thickness of the dough and the filling. She also adjusted baking times, temperature, and what kitchen tools she used. This seems to be a popular process among successful state fair blue ribbon baker, especially with recipes they’re new to. It pays off.

  • To achieve the “perfect bake” Joan keeps the dough chilled throughout the entire prep process: before rolling it out, afterward with the scraps she re-works, and even while the cut dough waits its turn in the oven.
  • Hint: Handle the dough as little as possible. It’s much easier to transfer and work with when chilled.
  • Joan prefers baking them on parchment that sits on a silpat baking mat with an air bake pan underneath.
  • You can opt to cut out the cookies an inch apart, directly on the parchment you’ll bake them on. This way the shapes stay fully intact because you’re not touching or moving them.
  • Joan uses an adjustable rolling pin (for an exact thickness) and a Linzer tart cookie cutter.
  • Joan also bakes her cookies 1 sheet at a time.

Step by Step

You make the cookies with flour, cinnamon, salt, butter, and brown sugar. Set out your butter ahead of time as you want it room temperature. Also, allow enough time to chill the dough at least 30 minutes.

Ingredients for Cinnamon Cookie Butter Cookies

When mixing the dough, it’s ready when the ingredients are just fully combined and clumps start to form. Like with pie dough, avoid over-mixing.

Prepped Dough

Pressing the dough out before chilling makes for an easier roll out. And seal it in plastic wrap. Ultimately you end up rolling it out between parchment layers.

Dough pressed out

Joan uses an adjustable rolling pin with rings to make the dough exactly 1/6th inch thick.

With the first portion of dough, you cut the cookie “bottoms.”

Cinnamon Cookie Butter Cookies

With the second portion of dough, you cut the cookie “tops” with the center cut out.

Wilton Linzer Cookie Cutter

Tip: cut out, then chill the unbaked cookies again and they will be easy to move with an offset spatula. Bake them an inch or more apart. Cinnamon Cookie Butter Cookies

You sprinkle all with a cinnamon/sugar mixture before baking, giving them some glitter and glam.

Cinnamon Cookie Butter Cookies

Then, simply keep a close eye on the oven. You want the bottoms to barely start to brown, which takes 12-14 minutes.

The filling features Biscoff cookie butter (available at most grocery stores in the peanut butter section), along with butter, and powdered sugar. I could eat this stuff by the spoonful.

Cinnamon Cookie Butter Cookies

Joan pipes hers on before spreading it even with an offset metal spatula.

Cinnamon Cookie Butter Cookies

All these tips and tricks were the secrets to her baking success.

The last thing you need to do is enjoy these better-than-anything blue ribbon cookies.

Happy baking!

-Cyndi

 

Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Put these Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies on your must-make baking list. Their flavor shines bright with Chambord black raspberry liqueur, along with orange zest, chocolate chunks, and fresh red raspberries.

Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Minnesotan Rachael Hood created the cookie for the Blue Ribbon Drop-Style Cookie Contest at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair (a Blue Ribbon Group sponsored contest). She won 1st place and $100 in King Arthur Baking Company gift cards.

I also arranged for Rachael to showcase her cookies on a TV spot with me on KARE 11 Saturday, the NBC affiliate in Minneapolis. Yay for hometown PR! We had an absolute blast.

Blue Ribbon Baking 2021

Let’s get back to the cookie itself. If you are intrigued by this cookie, read on for some insights about it and how you can recreate the recipe.

Key Ingredients

With these Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies, the Chambord liqueur is key. It plays off the other ingredients so well, making for a terrific flavor combination that subtle, but not too subtle, and so well balanced with citrus and chocolate elements.

Display of Key Ingredients - Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I especially love the cookie’s scent you take in with each bite and the delicious lingering aftertaste.

Chambord – if you aren’t familiar with it – is a liqueur that combines XO Cognac and French spirits with Madagascan vanilla, honey and Moroccan citrus peel, making it an ideal flavor enhancer for these cookies. It originated in France, the Loire Valley specifically, in the 1600’s. Back then, with the many King Louis of the time, it was popular to sip cognac or liqueurs at fancy French meals.

Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Fast forward to today, the Chambord brand is owned by the same folks who own Jack Daniels. I was surprised to learn that in addition to black raspberries, they infuse blackberries and blackcurrants into it. You can find it in a variety of sizes. Since I had to go to a couple of stores to find it,I recommend calling ahead, especially if you want a specific size.

Bake Like a Blue Ribbon Winner

As always, before I add a recipe to this Blue Ribbon Foodies blog, there’s a baking test run. Walk through the recipe with us here and then give it a go yourself. The cookies are delicious and highly recommended.

Here’s everything that goes into the cookies (minus the food color), including the liqueur, fresh Driscoll raspberries, orange zest, and all-purpose flour from King Arthur Baking Company.

Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

You first sift together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Flour

Next you cream the butter and sugars before adding in the remaining wet ingredients and mixing until smooth. Sorry, no pic. I was too excited to get these into the oven! Finally, add the pre-mixed dry ingredients, and stir just until combined.

Then all that remains prep-wise is to chop the raspberries and gently mix everything together.

Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies Dough

Put both the fruit and juice in the dough. Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies Ingredients

Your dough should come out a bit like this.

Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto a parchment lined baking sheet. You’ll bake these 12-14 minutes at 350 degrees F.Dough on baking sheet

To experiment and to use ingredients already on hand, I varied from Rachael’s recipe just a bit. I used all semi-sweet chocolate chunks instead a combo of dark and milk chocolate and did not chop them fine, opting for larger chocolate pieces. I also used a different red food coloring. Here’s how mine came out!

Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Rachael chopped her chocolate by hand and smaller. She also used McCormick’s red food coloring.  Do both those things and you’ll match the color of Rachael’s cookie dough and end product.

Blue Ribbon Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

What a delight these were to bake and eat. We invite you to bake and share these cookies, or anything from our recipe collection. If you do, be sure to post a pic on Instagram or Facebook. Be sure we can follow along, by tagging:

  1. @blueribbonfoodies
  2. @mnstatefair
  3. #blueribbonbaking2021
  4. #kingarthurbaking

Hey Hey! You never know when we might do a giveaway!

-Cyndi

 

 

Citrus Swirl Cookies

These colorful and fragrant Citrus Swirl Cookies taste as great as they look. They’re buttery and tender, yet firm, and so flavorful too. Their scent is illuminating. They are an epic icebox cookie. They are the bomb. That’s our take and we’re sticking to it. And seriously, just wait until you catch their lovely aroma!

Citrus Swirl Cookie Recipe - Close Up

Recipe credit goes to Karen Cope, a long-time blue ribbon winning baker at the Minnesota State Fair, which is where she won “best cookie” with this recipe in 2016.

Creator, Citrus Swirl Cookie Recipe

The kaleidoscope-like look of these Citrus Swirl Cookies is eye-catching. The technique of twisting colorful dough together may remind you of tie dye clothing. That method makes the recipe more involved than your average cookie, but it’s worth  the effort. And once you have that part down though, you’re golden. Bake like a blue ribbon winner and make these!

Citrus Swirl Cookie Recipe - Stack

Secret Ingredient?

Ask any blue ribbon baker their tips for baking winning entries in competitions and most often you’ll hear “great ingredients.” That applies to this winning cookie as well. Karen speculates that using Fiori Di Sicilia made her cookie stand out for its distinct and delicious aroma. Fiori Di Sicilia (flower of Sicily) is a combo of vanilla and citrus. Our friends at King Arthur Baking Company sell a delightful version, plus they give great tips about using and storing it here.

Baking Tips

Some helpful points about Karen’s recipe:

  • If using Fiori di Sicilia is not an option for you, Karen suggests replacing it with a teaspoon of vanilla and a half teaspoon each of lemon and orange extracts
  • This recipe makes about 6 dozen cookies. If you don’t want to bake them right away or all at once, freeze the dough or portions of it (prior to slicing).
  • If you freeze any portion, simply thaw in the refrigerator the night before you what to bake them.
  • Be careful not to overbake these cookies. You want them tender and not dry.

By the way, we had a fun time brainstorming alternative names for this cookie, just for fun. A couple favorites were: Karen Cope’s Kaleidoscope Cookies and Tie-Dye-For Sweet Treats. Ultimately we stayed with the original/best title.

Enjoy-

Cyndi

p.s. If you’re into cookies that are awesome and artistic (aka “require a bit more work”), be sure to also try the copycat Girl Scout cookies we previously shared.

 

Strawberries & Cream Cookies

These Strawberries & Cream Cookies are a best cookie recipe winner from the Delta Fair in Tennessee. They feature instant oatmeal in the cookie itself and strawberry jam with cream cheese and whipping cream in the oh so delicious filling. They are amazing to taste when you first make them, then phenomenal when they sit and soften a bit.

Strawberries & Cream Cookies: best

Now THIS is a jazzed up oatmeal cookie. Epic! For this winning recipe, start with butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking soda and strawberries and cream instant oatmeal, like Quaker.

Cookie Ingredients

Once you have baked and cooled the cookies, make a filling out of cream cheese, sugar, strawberry preserves, and heavy cream. Sandwich them together with the filling inside.

Strawberries & Cream Cookies

Strawberries & Cream Cookies: Blue Ribbon Winner

This winning recipe comes from the Delta Fair in Memphis. Cindy Dunn won a blue ribbon with it in 2016. It has become an all-time favorite around here. (Right up there with these boozy sandwich cookies.)

It is decadent and so delicious! And one of the cool things about it is, that after it sits, the texture completely changes, drawing on the moisture of the filling. It bursts with flavor and literally melts in your mouth when you eat it. Tasty! Try your hand at these today!

Strawberries & Cream Cookies

Happy Baking!

Cyndi

 

Homemade Samoa Girl Scout Cookies

These Homemade Samoa Girl Scout Cookies aka Caramel deLites are an obsession of mine. From my first taste back in 2016 to today, they stand as one of my all-time favorite cookies. With a shortbread-like base, they’re buttery yet firm enough to hold the caramel, coconut and chocolate layers on top. The chocolate bottom provides a ridiculously good richness to every bite. Its gooey chewy caramel-coconut “filling” is a delight to taste too. And the finished version is a sight to behold!

Layers of Lusciousness

Homemade Samoa Girl Scout Cookies

From bottom to top, here’s how they stack up when finished:

  • Chocolate bottom
  • Cookie base
  • Melted caramel “layer”
  • Caramel/Coconut “filling”
  • Chocolate drizzle on top

Blue Ribbon Winner

Recipe credit goes to Annette Saylor who won at the Dixie Classic Fair in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with this recipe. She won first place in a Gold Medal Flour cookie contest back in 2016. I’ve made a few tweaks and versions over the years.

This time when I made these notorious cookies (yes notorious, at least around here), I happened to have some extra coconut chips. Since I am in love with coconut, I chopped up the candy (let’s call it what it is) for a second layer on the jumbo cookie version. It really stacked the deck with extra height and gooeyness.

Jumbo or Classic-Sized Cookies

Homemade Samoa Girl Scout Cookies

 

You can make these Homemade Samoa Girl Scout Cookies two different ways. Jumbo size is my personal favorite, as the process is less involved. You press the dough into a pan versus rolling it out. That alone is a huge time saver.

Homemade Samoa Girl Scout Cookies

I use a 9-inch round springform pan for easy removal. A tart pan with a removable bottom also works. Once the cookie is baked and cooled, you can easily flip it over to spread chocolate on the bottom, instead of dipping individual cookies.

The other way to make them is the smaller traditional size cookie version. If we’re talking pros and cons, the main pro is how elegant they end up tasting. This is because the dough/cookie itself is thinner, as are the other layers. Another pro is they are easier to share (if you’re willing =) i.e. If you are giving some to neighbors, they get individual cookies and not a wedge out of a jumbo one. The con of the smaller version is it requires a few more steps and more time. You chill the dough a bit and are cutting individual cookies, each 2-1/4 inch size. With the latter version, it took me about 2 1/2 hours. And that’s OK ‘cuz they are worth it!

Another variation I have done, is to substitute coconut oil for the butter. The dough looks a bit different, more “glossy.” The texture is also firmer than when you use butter.

That’s it for the tips. I say get your bake-on and whip up a batch of these.

Enjoy,

Cyndi

 

p.s. If you are a huge caramel fan, be sure to try our recipe for homemade sea salt caramels.

 

Double Chocolate S’more Sandwich Cookies

Double Chocolate S’more Sandwich Cookies: S’more inspired treats are so much fun. So decadent. So delicious.

Sheet pan full of cookies

Barrie Linberg at the 2013 L.A. County Fair won a blue ribbon for these sandwich cookies; 1st place, Gold Medal Flour best cookie contest. The young baker grew up baking with her mother, who is also a blue ribbon baker.

Barrie Linberg Blue Ribbon Cookie Home Baker

Barrie named her creation “S’Mookies” for S’more cookies. She said they were inspired by cupcakes she saw on TV. She took the concept and morphed it into an entirely new recipe. Barrie’s Double Chocolate S’more Sandwich Cookies are a delight to bake and taste.

Double Chocolate S'more Sandwich Cookies closeup

There is both cocoa and chocolate chips in the cookie dough. They end up soft and almost cake-like in texture, but also chewy. So delightful. Inside you have a rich marshmallow/vanilla cream and graham cracker crumb filling.

Double Chocolate S'more Sandwich Cookies in pan

Wow. Don’t miss out on making these tantalizing treats.

-Cyndi