There are so many compelling reasons to jump into the 14th annual Taste Holiday Cookie Contest.

Those in search of big-time fame, look no further: Your recipe — and your story — will be featured in the Star Tribune on Dec. 1. That day the Star Tribune will also hold a tasting of the winning cookie (and the four finalists) at 11 a.m. at #StribHQ in the Capella Tower in downtown Minneapolis. Watch the Taste section and for details.

After that, both the winner and finalists will enter our much-visited online archive, at, which features more than 70 past winners and finalists.

Another incentive? Fortune. The winner is awarded a $200 gift card to a Twin Cities kitchenware store.

And let's not overlook altruism; you'll be sharing a cherished recipe with countless Minnesota bakers.

It doesn't hurt that our contest — a December ritual that started in 2003 — is also lots of fun. Here's another tradition: As it has done for many years, the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis will invite the winner and four finalists to bake for the public in the museum's baking lab on Dec. 3.

It's easy to enter. Your recipe doesn't have to be original, but it does need to stand out. We love spritz, gingerbread cutouts and other holiday standards, but we're on the lookout for recipes that bakers will want to add to their baking repertoires.

Entries should include the cookie recipe, along with the story behind the recipe: Is it a family treasure, or a new-to-you formula? Where did it come from (it's OK if you found it in a cookbook, newspaper, magazine or website, just tell us where), and how did it become part of your holiday baking traditions? Don't forget your contact information: street address, daytime phone number and e-mail address.

Including a photo of the cookie doesn't hurt, but it's not necessary.

Enter via e-mail at (please write Taste Holiday Cookie Contest in the subject field), or mail to: Taste Holiday Cookie Contest, Star Tribune, 650 3rd Av. S., Suite 1300, Mpls., MN 55488.

Don't delay. Deadline is noon on Oct. 21.

Finalists will be notified by early November.