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Celebrate National Cookie Day with three local recipes

Take a hike, Betty Crocker.

To celebrate National Cookie Day on Thursday, Dec. 4, we’ve gathered three scrumptious recipes that were created — and perfected — right here in Michiana.

A bonus? They’re perfect for the holidays.

For more sweet recipes, download the winter issue of Flavor 574 magazine and check out the feature on holiday cookies from around the world.


This recipe by Cathy Stump of Goshen won first place in the cookie category at the 2014 Elkhart County 4-H Fair’s Open Class Baking Competition. It’s featured in our annual “Winning Recipes” cookbook.


  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. cloves
  • ⅔ cup vegetable shortening
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 egg


  1. In a small bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine shortening, sugar and molasses. Cream together well using an electric mixer. 
  3. Add the egg to the wet mixture and mix well. Then add the dry ingredients and mix completely.
  4. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
  5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Cut into desired shapes. 
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cookies on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  7. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes. Decorate with royal icing (recipe below).

Royal Icing


  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tbsp. meringue meringue powder
  • 6 tbsp. warm water
  • Paste food colors


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, combine sugar and meringue powder.
  2. Mixing on low speed, add a scant ½ cup of water. 
  3. Mix on medium-high speed until icing holds firm peak.
  4. Tint as desired with paste colors.


This recipe by Barbara Jewett of Goshen won second place in the drop cookie category in the 2014 Elkhart County 4-H Fair’s Senior Citizens’ Cookies Competition. You can find it in the “Winning Recipes” cookbook, too.


  • 1 cup oil
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


  1. Mix oil, sugar and eggs.
  2. Add baking soda to the buttermilk, then combine the mixtures.
  3. Sift together baking powder and flour. Add it to the wet mixture a little at a time.
  4. Add vanilla.
  5. Drop on greased and floured baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. 
  6. Add vanilla frosting (recipe below)

Vanilla Frosting


  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp. hot water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


  1. Heat butter over low heat until brown.
  2. Remove butter from heat and add remaining ingredients.
  3. Beat until smooth


This southern Italian cookie is a family recipe from Joe Klinedinst, owner of gourmet cheese shop Oh Mamma’s on the Avenue (1212 Beyer Ave., South Bend). It’s featured in the winter issue of Flavor 574 magazine.


  • 6 cups flour
  • 2¼ cups sugar
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ lb. butter
  • 1½ tsp. anise
  • ½ tsp. cream of tartar


  1. Mix together the dry ingredients, and in a separate bowl the wet ingredients.
  2. Combine the wet and dry mixtures and belnd until dough forms.
  3. Roll dough into half-inch logs, 6 to 8 inches long, then fold each in the middle and twist ends together.
  4. Lightly fry each cookie in a mix of olive and canola oil. (Any oil will do, but it will affect the taste of the cookies, so experiment to find a mixture you like.)
  5. Place cookies on paper towels as they come out to soak up extra oil.
  6. After they’ve cooled, store cookies lightly covered for 7 to 10 days. (Do not keep in sealed containers.)

What’s your family’s favorite cookie to make for the holidays?

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