Growler: Stories Behind “The Great Minnesota Cookie Book”

By James Norton
The Growler

The Great Minnesota Cookie Book (Lee Svitak Dean and Rick Nelson)Cookies are personal. They’re sweet and festive, sure, but they’re also holiday traditions made concrete—family histories rendered with cups of sugar and sticks of butter.

The just-released “Great Minnesota Cookie Book” is an overflowing platter of Minnesota cookie history. Within its covers are 77 finalist and champion recipes from the Star Tribune’s annual holiday cookie contest, covering the contest’s 2003‒2017 incarnations.

The variation is immense—the book includes everything from cardamom crescents to red velvet whoopie pies to bacon cornmeal venetos to almond ricotta bars, all battle-tested and covered in that most significant of toppings: hard-won glory.

We talked to the book’s two-person creative team, Star Tribune food editor Lee Svitak Dean and food writer Rick Nelson, about power-baking hundreds of cookies at a go, holiday memories, and the eternal “cookies vs. bars” conflict.


Read the interview.