The annual Star-Tribune holiday cookie contest was published this week.

Get the recipes for the winners and the all the runners up for the last eight years.  Just click the picture to go to the recipes:

Gumdrop cookies


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups gumdrops cut into chunks the size of a semi-sweet chocolate chip
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 cup flaked coconut


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, mix well.
  3. Add the oatmeal, gumdrops, nuts, and coconut and mix well to coat the gumdrops with flour.  Take care to separate the gumdrops if they are stuck together.  Set aside.
  4. Cream the butter and sugars together.
  5. Add the eggs, salt, and vanilla and mix well.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture by ½ cup scoops, mixing well after each addition.
  7. Drop by spoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
Source: Adapted from the King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook

Whoopie Pie

Ingredients – Cakes

  • 2/3 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 6 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup milk


  1. Preheat ovent to 425 F
  2. Mix dry ingredients together
  3. Cream shortening and sugar together in the mixer
  4. Add the egg and vanilla, mix slightly
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternating with the milk
  6. Drop by teaspoons on cookie sheet
  7. Bake for 7 minutes.  Cool completely

Ingredients – Filling

  • At least 8 ounces marshmallow cream
  • 6 ounces vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 Tablespoons confectioners sugar


  1. Whip all ingredients together on high until fluffy – adjust to your taste.
  2. Assemble Whoopie Pies by taking two cakes and filling with frosting mixture.
From my mother’s friend Joanne in Brentwood, NH, USA

Neiman-Marcus Urban Legend Cookies


  • 2 1/2 cups oatmeal
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate grated (Hershey Bar)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 12 oz. chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (your choice)


  • Mixer
  • Food processor
  • Box grater
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cups
  • Rubber scraper shaped like a spoon
  • Spatula
  • Cookie sheets
  • Cooling racks


  1. Measure the oatmeal into the food processor and blend with the chopping blade until the oatmeal is reduced to a fine oat flour (powder).  Add to mixing bowl.
  2. Grate the milk chocolate into the oat flour.  Mix well.
  3. Add the remainder of the dry ingredients except the sugars into the flour mixture and mix well.  Set aside.
  4. In the mixer, cream the butter and both sugars.  Add eggs, water and vanilla.
  5. Stir in the combined dry ingredients.
  6. Add the chocolate chips and chopped nuts.  Make sure there are no dry ingredients sitting at the bottom of the bowl.
  7. Set oven rack in the center position and preheat to 375 degrees F.
  8. Form dough into one-inch-diameter balls.
  9. Place 2 to 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.  Mash down into a disk shape otherwise you will have chocolate chip bombs.
  10. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  11. Remove carefully with spatula onto cooling racks.
  12. When completely cool, store in a sealed container.


  • These cookies are generally good for up to a week in storage, but they probably won’t last long in storage, because people seem to really like them and they disappear rapidly.
  • Approximate yield: 7 dozen cookies
  • I use a #50 portioning scoop to get a consistent size when making these cookies.  I usually fit between 12 (3 columns of 4 rows) cookies per sheet depending on the size I am making.
  • The recipe can be doubled, but this is a stiff dough and hard to work, and a single recipe just fits in a Kitchen-Aid Stand mixer.
This is the famous urban legend cookie recipe that I have adapted to a manageable size.