Tag: Tulsa State Fair

Oatmeal Buttercream Sandwich Cookies

Oatmeal Buttercream Sandwich Cookies: If you want to make a blue ribbon winning cookie recipe from one of the top fairs in the country, make this one. You bake thin crispy oatmeal cookies flavored with butter and cinnamon, then sandwich them with a creamy filling in between.

Stack of Oatmeal Buttercream Sandwich Cookies

As a result, the cookies soften and the flavors meld, making them an absolutely delightful to eat. If you have ever had Little Debbie brand’s oatmeal creme cookies, you are going to LOVE these.

Recipe credit for these Oatmeal Buttercream Sandwich Cookies goes to Alexandra Coppinger. She made a jumbo-sized version of this cookie and won first place at the Tulsa State Fair.

They were an immediate favorite and have since become an all-time favorite from our archives.

Jumbo Love!

Giant Oatmeal Buttercream Sandwich Cookie

Key Ingredients

What strikes us is how flavorful these cookies are, without a huge number of ingredients.

  • butter
  • brown sugar
  • white sugar
  • egg
  • vanilla
  • flour
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • cinnamon
  • oats

The buttercream filling has even fewer ingredients:

  • butter
  • powdered sugar
  • heavy whipping cream
  • vanilla
  • ground cinnamon

Make these blue ribbon cookies and you will immediately know why they won. Wow! They melt in your mouth and are magnificent!

p.s. If you’re looking for another epic cookie from the Tulsa State Fair, try this baklava recipe.



2023 “Top 30 State Fairs” List

2023 “Top 30 State Fairs” List  

As long-time state fair baking/cooking contest managers, the Blue Ribbon Group is excited to share, for the first time publicly, our 2023 “Top 30 State Fairs” list. With this list we offer our answer to the often-asked question: What are the best state fairs in the United States?

This new compilation is based exclusively on two factors: per day attendance numbers (total 2022 attendance divided by total days open) and their baking competitions (history of past Blue Ribbon Group special contests).  All 30 fairs have higher per day attendance than any other U.S. state fairs happening July to October each year.

2023 "Top 30 State Fairs" List

Top 10

Topping this 2023 “Top 30 State Fairs” list is the Minnesota State Fair, followed by the Tulsa State Fair, State Fair of Texas, Iowa State Fair, and Wisconsin State Fair. Here are the top 10, listed in order, followed by the complete list noting each fairs’ dates and attendance numbers. 

  1. Minnesota State Fair
  2. Tulsa State Fair
  3. State Fair of Texas
  4. Iowa State Fair
  5. Wisconsin State Fair
  6. North Carolina State Fair
  7. Oklahoma State Fair
  8. Ohio State Fair
  9. New York State Fair
  10. Illinois State Fair

Best State Fairs w/ Blue Ribbon Baking Contests

Awesome Attendance Numbers

  • Attendance numbers in 2022, ranged from 26,224 to 153,519 for per day averages, and 287,367 to 2,500,000 for overall total attendances.
  • All take place between July and November, with the majority happening in August, September and October. 
  • All are official state fairs with two caveats. The Tennessee State Fair and Wilson County Fair essentially merged in 2021, with the Wilson County Fairgrounds location becoming it’s home. The Salem Fair is the largest in Virginia with a 350,000 attendance in 2022.  

Since 2006, Blue Ribbon Group has managed special recipe contests at large state, county and regional fairs. Find a collection of winning recipes at BlueRibbonGroup.net and featured on BlueRibbonFoodies on Instagram and Facebook

Holiday Baklava Homemade

Holiday Baklava Homemade: this sweet, nutty, almost candy-like dessert can be baked easily at home. You’ll need two boxes frozen phyllo dough, walnuts, butter, and a few pantry staples. If you’re like me, you always have Karo corn syrup, vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon on hand.  You layer butter between sheets of phyllo dough and drop in layers of chopped walnuts before baking.

Walnut layer of Holiday Baklava

Make sure to cut the baklava before baking, but not all the way through. It helps the pieces soak up the syrup topping but not stick to the bottom of the pan.

Baklava, cut, before baking


Baklava Variations

Coconut Homemade Baklava

I’ve also made a pistachio version and a coconut baklava (pictured above), both of which I love. However, if you’re making baklava for the first time, this recipe is perfect. You can always add in ingredients, or move on to more complex flavor profiles if so desired later.

This Tulsa State Fair winning recipe for  homemade Holiday Baklava comes from Sherrel Jones. She placed second overall in a dessert contest with it back in 2013.

Homemade Baklava Made Easy

I’m always surprised at how forgiving the delicate-looking phyllo dough product can be to work with and how quickly homemade baklava comes together. We found that keeping a clean, lightly damp towel over the phyllo sheets helps hold in more moisture, making them easier to separate. Most stores sell pyllo dough in their frozen food section. Just be sure, for this recipe, to grab the sheets versus the shells version. Athens is a favorite brand of mine.

I first had a bite of this gooey, rich sweet treat at the Mediterranean Cruise, a long-standing restaurant in my home state (Minnesota). The restaurant, moreso in its prior, kitschy Eagan location, was our go-to whenever my mom and stepfather visited from out of state. Always festive and fun, their atmosphere and entertainment go hand-in-hand with great food in a family-friendly setting.

Baklava is not only a popular dessert across the Middle East, but throughout the world also, including here in the U.S.A. If you’re curious about the much debated origins of baklava, this Greek news outlet, the Greek Reporter, has some interesting background. Contentious! Read a bit, then get baking!