In HearSway, SwaySnacks & Sips

With dozens of entries, the competition was tough — but the winner of our annual cookie contest dazzled us with presentation, and followed through on taste.  

The Winner: Ho-Ho-Oreo Peppermint Crunch Cookies

Heather Dunning’s Ho-Ho-Oreo Peppermint Crunch Cookies were a crowd-pleaser, and ranked among the top entries by all our judges. For that, she wins a $100 GC to spend at Against the Grain Shoppe.

Heather Dunning

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 6 TBSP vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 TSP milk
  • 1 TSP vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 TSP baking soda
  • 1 TSP baking powder
  • 1 TSP salt
  • 12 Oreo cookies
  • 1 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 10-oz package of Andes peppermint crunch baking chips

Cream butter, sugars and pudding mix in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Add eggs, milk and vanilla and beat for about two minutes. Stir in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until just combined. Carefully stir in the crushed Oreos, chips and mint bits. Drop dough onto a greased or silicone-mat-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Second Place: Stuffed Carrot Cake Cookies

These gigantic cookies, stuffed with cream cheese, were super original — and rich enough to please many, but not all, of our judges.

Here’s the recipe from Alyssa Lescallet:

First, the filling:

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 TSP vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Combine all ingredients for filling. Use 1/2-1 TBSP scooper to scoop out balls on parchment lined plate. Place in freezer while making dough.

Then, the dough:

  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 TSP vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 TBSP corn starch
  • 1/2 TSP baking soda
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1/2 TSP cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup finely grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup pecans, crushed
  • Pecan halves for topping

Grate carrots and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients in medium bowl. In a separate bowl, using stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Next add egg and vanilla to mix and combine. Slowly mix in dry ingredients. Lastly, fold in grated carrots and pecans. Separate dough mixture into six parts. Separate each of the 6 dough parts into 2 pieces. Remove balls from freezer and sandwich one between 2 dough parts. Pinch the dough together around the side so no filling is showing. Continue doing this with all parts until you have 6 large dough balls evenly spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place pecan half on top of each dough ball, if desired. Bake for 11-12 minutes. Cookies should look slightly undercooked with golden edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before enjoying!

Third Place: Maple Cinnamon Chip

These are flavors we’ve all seen before, but our judges loved the textures of these cookies from Britt Hampton. The cookie was soft and chewy, and the icing was oh-so smooth.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 2 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 TSP baking soda
  • 1 TSP salt
  • 1 stick of softened salted butter
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 TSP vanilla
  • 1 cup cinnamon chips

Beat butter and sugar for two minutes. Add egg and mix until combined. Add syrup and vanilla. Mix and add chips. Chill for at least two hours, then bake at 350 for 9-10 minutes. For frosting, melt 2 TBSP salted butter and 1/3 c syrup. Add in one cup powdered sugar and whisk. Drizzle on cooled cookies.

There you have it, folks. Want to weigh in? Email hello@itsthesway.com.

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