In 10 short weeks we will unveil the winner of the 10th-annual Taste Holiday Cookie Contest. So get thinking, get baking and get writing, because we want our 10th-annual contest to be the best one ever.

You've got a tough act to follow, given our three most recent winners: Swedish Almond-Chocolate Macaroons (from Beth Jones of Owatonna, Minn.), Pistachio-Orange Cookies (Scott Rohr, Minneapolis) and Almond Triangles (Charlotte Midthun, Granite Falls, Minn.). We'll be baking them for years to come -- heck, we're still baking all nine of our past first-place cookies, along with a bunch of finalists -- but that doesn't mean we won't find room for another entry in this distinguished collection. And that cookie could be yours.

A suggestion: We're often inundated with spritz, iced sugar cookies, gingerbread cutouts and other December standards. While we hold them in high regard, we view the contest as an opportunity to present Taste readers with unfamiliar and unusual recipes. Make your submission stand out with an entry that will inspire bakers all over Minnesota to preheat their ovens.

There aren't many rules. We have an enormous appreciation for original recipes, although if there's a previously published recipe that you've made your own -- one you discovered in a cookbook, magazine, website, television show or any other source -- we're more than happy to consider it.

We're also curious about the story behind each entry. Please include a letter detailing your recipe's origins and the role it plays in your holiday baking traditions and celebrations.

Top prize is a $200 gift certificate to a local cookware store. The winner and finalists -- and their recipes -- will be immortalized in the Star Tribune on Nov. 29. They'll also be invited to share their cookies at a fun, open-to-the-public bake-a-thon on Dec. 1 at the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis.

Best of luck. Now get baking.