The tally is in, and the taste-testers have spoken.

At today's #StribHQ cookie event, hundreds of cookie lovers cast their votes for their favorites in our 13th-annual Taste Holiday Cookie Contest. Their decision? Kit Kat Christmas Bars took the top spot, squeaking out a victory over Cardamom Orange Zest Cookies by two votes.

Chocolate Decadence Cookies grabbed the bronze. Fourth place went to contest winner Apple Cardamom Pecan Star Cookies, and Bacon Cornmeal Venetos came in fifth.



The Star Tribune handed out 2,500 cookies, all baked by Rush City Bakery, and the crowd was serenaded by a quintet of carol-singing actors from the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres' production of "Sister Act."

Here's the best news: Cookie-eaters donated generously to Second Harvest Heartland. Cash contributions totaled $340 -- that's enough to cover the cost of 1,258 meals -- along with nearly a quarter-ton of non-perishable food items.

Looking for another taste-testing opportunity? On Saturday (from 1 to 3 p.m.), the Mill City Museum is hosting a meet-and-greet (and sample) event, featuring our five winning bakers.

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

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Goodbye, cassoulet. Hello, coffee and bagels.