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What's Up Magazine

2018 Cookie Bake Off

Nov 01, 2018 12:00AM ● By Brian Saucedo

It feels like the blink of an eye—between the announcement of our new cookie contest in June and the pages you’re reading right now. Nearly six months ago, we put the call out to readers regionwide to submit their own recipes in several categories for best chocolate chip cookie, bar cookie, gluten/allergy free cookie, drop cookie, and non-bake cookie. We were inundated with entries—baker’s dozen after baker’s dozen of recipes flooded our inboxes. In all, readers submitted upwards of 75 cookie recipes. How tempting!

After careful vetting, we invited roughly half of all entrants to bake their delicious treat and drop off the batch to our office for official taste testing and judging by an exceptional panel of local culinary professionals. After loosening a few notches on the belt buckle and carefully noting each cookie’s quality based on several variables, including appearance, smell, taste, and texture, each judge submitted their ballot for best cookie(s). We tallied the results.  

And here we are, with seven winning recipes. We added two categories of winners—for most creative cookie and most unique ingredient. Enjoy meeting our judges, winners, and the recipes for each cookie. We promise, you’ll love every bite you bake!— James Houck

Meet our Winners

Best Chocolate Chip Cookie - Lauren Donaldson
Best Bar Cookie - Seton Rossini
Best Gluten/Allergy Free Cookie - Priscilla Hodge
Most Creative Cookie - Doris Wisner
Most Unique Ingredient - Jaime Watt
Best Non-Bake Cookie - Lyndsay Braswell
Best Drop Cookie - Sandra Cover


Meet our Judges

 Maria Cusinmano

Pastry Chef, Piazza Italian Market






Carrie Olish 

Owner/Chef, Blue Crab Cupcakes






 Monica Alvardo 

Owner/Chef, Bread and Butter Kitchen






Stephanie Squires 

Owner/Chef, All In The Mix Bakeshop






Kristen Rowell 

Owner/Pastry Chef, Sweet Hearts Patisserie






Jennifer Smith 

Owner, The Galley St. Michaels







Dick Franyo 

Owner, Boatyard Bar & Grill






David Dopkin 

Managing Member, Miss Shirley’s Café






 Jeff Jacobs 

Owner, Carrol’s Creek Café