City Pages: Minnesota's favorite cookie contest has a heartwarming, belly-filling new book

By Erica Rivera
City Pages

The Great Minnesota Cookie Book (Lee Svitak Dean and Rick Nelson)Fifteen years ago, Star Tribune food critic Rick Nelson decided he needed a cookie. Not just any cookie, but the best cookie. And he knew Minnesotans could provide it.

Nelson had been sifting through the Taste section archives and noticed that there was more reader interaction in the ‘70s and ‘80s, particularly around a column called “Recipe Request,” where one reader asked for a recipe and others sent theirs in. That kind of dialogue wasn’t happening in the Taste section in 2003, likely because of a little thing called “the internet.”


Nelson’s solution? The Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest.


The cookie-recipe frenzy has since become an annual tradition for local bakers, so much so that the University of Minnesota press recently published The Great Minnesota Cookie Book, a compilation of 80 recipes from the contest’s history authored by Nelson and Strib Taste editor Lee Svitak Dean.


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