Yeah, we know, because we've also rolled our eyes at the Santa decorations already in stores and thought, "Come on, it's only September." But Christmas is in just 91 days, which means it's time for our sixth annual holiday cookie contest.
We're on the lookout for your favorite cookie, and the story behind it. We love original recipes (our 2005 winner, Michelle Clark of St. Paul, created a spicy chocolate classic), but brand-new isn't a requirement. This isn't the Pillsbury Bake-Off. A well-told tale of holiday cookie-baking traditions is just as compelling as a delicious recipe you discovered in a newspaper, magazine, cookbook or website and made your own (last year's winner, Eileen Troxel of St. Paul, adapted her entry from a Traditional Home magazine recipe).
A word of caution: We see a lot of spritz, Candy Canes, gingerbread men, rum balls and other seasonal standards, so make your submission stand out with a cookie that even the most prolific bakers will want to add to their holiday baking repertoire. Finalists will be featured in Taste on Dec. 4, and the winner will receive a $200 gift certificate to a local cooking store. All finalists will be invited to demonstrate their cookie-baking prowess for the public on Dec. 6 at the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis.
Along with your recipe, include a letter that explains the recipe's origin and its role in your holiday baking traditions. Good luck, and good baking.