Fall colors lead to all kinds of happy thoughts: holiday gatherings, warm kitchens and, yes, cookies. That's right, the 19th annual Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest is officially underway, and we need your recipes.

Over the years, our competition has introduced recipes that have become beloved standards for Minnesota bakers, including Almond Palmiers, Devil's Delight Cookies, Kit Kat Christmas Bars, Pistachio-Orange Cookies, Cinnamon Cookie Butter Sandwich Cookies and our 2020 winner, Spumoni Squares, created by Joanne Holtmeier of Edina.

Your recipe could join that distinguished company.

Unlike the Pillsbury Bake-Off, this contest doesn't have a lot of rules. We're always in search of original recipes, but if you've encountered a new-to-you recipe in a cookbook, newspaper, magazine, website or other source that you've adopted and made your own, feel free to submit it. Just be sure to share its origin.

(Hint: The purpose of the contest is to provide Star Tribune readers with new gotta-bake recipes. That's why we avoid spritz, gingerbread and sugar cookie cutouts, Russian Tea Cakes and other familiar favorites.)

That's it, rules-wise. OK, there's one more: The deadline is Oct. 22 at noon.

All entries must include the recipe — and the story behind it — along with your name, address, daytime phone number and e-mail address. If submitting via e-mail, include "Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest" in the subject line and send it to taste@startribune.com. Please include all text in the body of the e-mail, not as a separate attachment. Photos of the cookie are welcome, but not required.

If using U.S. mail, send to Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest, Star Tribune, 650 3rd Av. S., Suite 1300, Minneapolis, MN, 55488. All mail entries must be postmarked by Oct. 20.

The winner receives a $200 gift card from a local cookware store, and our four finalists will receive copies of "The Great Minnesota Cookie Book," which features recipes and stories from the first 15 years of the Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest. Another prize is the pleasure of knowing that countless Minnesotans will be making your cookie recipe part of their holiday baking traditions.

We'll publish the winner — and four finalists — in the Dec. 2 issue of Taste. Happy baking!