Tag: Blue Ribbon Cookies

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


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!



Chewy Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies

These Chewy Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies are a well-deserved blue ribbon winning entry from the Washington State Fair.

Chewy Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies

The award-winning cookie recipe features the nutty deliciousness of browned butter, combined with oatmeal, coconut, and toffee bits. The cookies are full of flavor and have an amazing aroma. As the finishing step, you drizzle melted chocolate and sprinkle extra toffee bits on top.

Chewy Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Recipe credit goes to Rachel Atwood who won 1st place with this re-invented oatmeal chocolate chip cookie at the Washington State Fair (2015, Gold Medal Cookie Contest). Rachel originally titled them as Brown Butter Coconut Chewies. Magically, they are chewy, crispy, and tender all at the same time.

Chewy Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies are an all-time favorite recipe we make again and again. They wowed the judges at the Washington State Fair and they wow us and every taster every time we bake them.

The recipe takes about two hours max, start to finish and makes about 24 cookies. You might want to double the recipe. It is that good!

Chewy Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies


The variety of ingredients in this recipe reminds us of kitchen sink cookies, but the texture is quite different.

Ingredients for Chewy Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Aromatic Browned Butter

Browning the butter is an essential step. Also key, is using these mix-in ingredients: toffee bits, oatmeal, coconut, and rice krispies cereal. Altogether they bring on the cookie’s crispy addictive chewiness. You can almost foresee the texture once you mix the dough.

Chewy Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Before baking, you’ll want to slightly flatten each ball you roll.

Single ball of dough, flattened

Use a scale and make them 1 ounce each if you want a consistent size and look. On the baking sheet, be sure you give ample space, about 3 inches, between the balls of dough, as they spread out more than the average cookie.

Chewy Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies

If you love browned butter like we do, this will become a fast favorite of yours like it did with us. And if you’re looking for another creative oatmeal cookie, check out this strawberries & cream themed one. It will be love at first bite with both. Enjoy!



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!



Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookies

These loaded Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookies are packed with deliciousness. They have Oreos and Golden Grahams cereal, both finely chopped, granulated in fact, in a food processor. They also have sea salt which makes each bite pop with tastiness. While we need no excuse to bake, THIS weekend is THE ideal weekend to make these. Not only is Saturday is National Oreo Cookie Day (March 6), but Sunday is also National Cereal Day (March 7). These cookies are super easy to bake also, as in, a prep time of 15 minutes. And you’re going to love their taste and texture.

Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookies Stacked

Marvelous Mix Ins

In addition to Oreos and Golden Grahams, they have chopped caramels, toffee bits, and two different sized chocolate chips. And they are another blue ribbon winning recipe. I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with these cookies. I’ve skipped the caramel and upped the toffee bits. I’ve also done the reverse, skipping the toffee and increasing the caramel. I’ve also done versions with chocolate chunks instead of chips. All of them, completely delicious.

Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookies Close Up

Blue Ribbon Bragging Rights

Recipe credit for these Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookies goes to Michelle Pontbriant. She won her blue ribbon and bragging rights at the Big E Fair in Springfield, Massachusetts. She won a Gold Medal Flour cookie contest with this creation back in 2016. I recall her being a runner and having an “aha moment” when on a run one day, to puree the cookies and cereal together. They give the cookie a terrific tasting texture. You get a bit of caramel, toffee, and chocolate in every bite.

These are such a tasty twist on the traditional chocolate chip cookie. Bake these soon my fellow blue ribbon foodies!


p.s. If you’re a fan of Golden Grahams, you should also try these Peanut Butter S’more No-Bake Cookies. They have the same cereal in them.


Bourbon Molasses Sandwich Cookies

Bourbon Molasses Sandwich Cookies: these blue-ribbon-winning cookies are made with Bulliet brand bourbon, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and molasses. The bourbon meringue buttercream filling morphs them into a creamy, dreamy dessert.  They are perfect for National Bourbon Day, which is June 14th. However, you need no excuse to make these.

Recipe credit goes to Gigi D’Amore of Burbank. She won 1st place at the L.A. County Fair with them. (Gold Medal Flour, best cookie contest, 2016)

Stacked Bourbon Molasses Sandwich Cookies

Cookie Texture Transformation

Two other great things about these Bourbon Molasses Sandwich Cookies: one, the ease of the recipe, and two, how they transform in texture after they sit for a few hours. They become even more tender, even more creamy and dreamy. They literally melt in your mouth. The meringue in the middle permeates the cookie itself and brings the bourbon flavor forward. And by “ease of the recipe” I mean that it’s straightforward. Yes, there are a lot of ingredients but that packs in the flavor.

Bourbon Meringue Buttercream Tips

A heads up: the meringue filling whips and fluffs up beautifully. When you add the bourbon, don’t be alarmed when it softens. Whip the filling more, then chill it before assembling. If you refrigerate the assembled cookies, the filling further thickens. As your own tasting experiment, you might want to test one right after they’re made, then another the next day. Taste the transformation for yourself.

To sum things up, we really love these award-winning Bourbon Molasses Sandwich Cookies. Highly recommended!

Love Sandwich Themed Cookies?


Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies

Bake this blue ribbon winning cookie recipe for Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies. The recipe includes how to make your own kick-a$$ caramel sauce with sweetened condensed milk…in one easy step. Ultimately, you will create a treat so delicate and delightful, it will melt in your mouth. If you want a cookie that is confectionary level quality, this is it. And it’s easy with the step by instructions below. Hint, you simply boil 1 or 2 cans of Eagle Brand Sweetened condensed mil Recipe credit goes to Christine Montalvo who won at the Iowa State Fair with it in 2013.

We have made both a classic version.

And one with macadamia nuts instead. Both absolutely delish.

Dulce de leche, sometimes called “milk candy,” is defined as a traditional Argentinian dessert made by caramelizing sugar with milk.  I first had it in the form of caramel ice cream. It is what makes this cookie extra special.

These blue ribbon winning Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies will be love at first bite. And if you want to try more Iowa State Fair winning cookies, simply search for Iowa in the search section. Here are two of our favorites: one, a s’more themed one, the other homemade macarons! Both are 1st place winning cookies also!