Simple Kitchen Cookie Contest 2013!

Well, we did it.  We pulled off the first Holiday Cookie Contest!  The winner was Cara Firestone with a wonderful twist on the good old snowball!  White Chocolate Cherry Teacakes were the winner and surprisingly the easiest of all cookies!  Rebekah Hubbard of www.pdxfoodlove.com did Cara proud!  We ate each cookie as we talked about them on the air during a 2 hour episode and then voted!

Cara – your package is on its way!

The prize was BIG, and much fun was had!

Many cookies were eaten!

The ladies spared no feelings about what was difficult, but also shared the fun parts of the cookie baking!

CHOCOLATE SPICE CRACKLE COOKIE WITH GINGERBREAD CARAMEL

you can find this cookie post at www.cookingcatastrophe.com 

Kristin Weglarz of Bremerton, WA

Kristin is a home cook who loves to experiment and create recipes, especially cookies.  During the holidays she loves to use the traditional spices like ginger, cinnamon, etc.  Her father always ate ginger snaps and her mother made yummy Christmas caramels so she grew up partial to ginger and caramel.  Chocolate is simply her weakness.  This cookie combines all three:  ginger, caramel and chocolate.

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PISTACHIO CRANBERRY CHRISTMAS CRISPS

you can find this cookie at www.margaritasintherain.com

Mary Marlow Leverette of Columbia, SC

Mary grew up on a farm in North Carolina and her father did not have a huge sweet tooth.  He like dessert but nothing overly sweet.  The tartness of dried cranberries wee right up his alley.  She first made these cookies with pecans because they are plentiful in the South, but as pistachios became more readily available, I made the switch because she likes the holiday red/green look.    She works from home as a freelance writer and enjoys baking for family and friends.

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WHITE CHOCOLATE CHERRY ALMOND TEACAKES  *WINNER*

you can find the cookie at www.pdxfoodlove.com 

CARA FIRESTONE, AUSTIN, TX

As her small children get older, Cara and her husband wanted to create holiday traditions the honored their families’ traditions, but create their own as well.  Her grandmother always made traditional Russian Teacakes, and while remembering  her and Christmases at her house, she had to admit to never really liking the teacakes.  She decided to put a fresh twist on the recipe, using flavors they like, and White Chocolate Cherry Almond Teacakes were the result.  Cara teaches musical theater and voice in Austin, TX.

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ROYAL PINE AND PARM HOLIDAY HONEY SANDWICH COOKIES

 you can find this post at www.spoonandsaucer.com

DAVID WILSON, CHICAGO, IL

This recipe harkens to David’s days as a Cub scout and then later Boy scout, camping and hiking pine-laden backwood trails.  As an Explorer scout he learned many different cooking approaches.  In 2010 he entered culinary school and after graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago with a culinary degree, he returned to school and earned his pastry certificate.  The These honey cookies are a time-honored classic turned on it’s head with the unique flavor blend of honey, pine and Parmesan cheese.

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CHOCOLATE FROSTED ITALIAN FRUITCAKE COOKIES

you can find this cookie at www.rosemarried.com 

TRUSA KRUSE, EAGLE, ID

Trisha is a fitness instructor living in Idaho, where she grows all of her own vegetables and fruit, preserving by drying, freezing and canning as much as possible.  Both cookies go back to her Italian roots.  Living in Europe gave her a taste for Austrian pastries like linzer tortes, and the cookies are a miniature version.  The fruitcake cookies were served at Christmas time in our Italian neighborhood in Genoa with cups of espresso.

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