The winning entries in our annual holiday cookie contest

Our thanks to all who participated in this year’s annual cookie contest. While we don’t test the recipes, we do taste test each entry that was submitted.

The three winning bakers who submitted their cookies, along with the recipes, were delighted to share their recipes with you.

All three women who won this cookie contest had one thing in common: They all enjoy baking, and not just around the holidays, but all year long.


A recipe discovered in a “Taste of Home” magazine by Debbie Senger received top honors in the Journal-News holiday cookie contest.

The Liberty Twp. resident says we’re not the first to fall in love with the taste of her Chocolate Caramel Cookies. Her recipe is also well known by friends, who often refer to the chocolate creations as “the Rolo cookies.”

Senger said she enjoys baking these cookies not only because of the reaction she gets when people taste them, but also because they’re very simple to bake.

Made with chewy caramel Rolos, the cookies are made with a mix of Devil’s Food Cake and only two other ingredients.

Senger also receives some help in the kitchen when baking, as her three year-old grandson Wyatt is always eager to pull up a stool and give a helping hand.

Next year the duo also plans to enter some of their baked goods into the Butler County Fair.

Chocolate Caramel Cookies

Submitted by Debbie Senger of Liberty Twp.

1 pkg. Devils Food Cake mix

1 egg

¼ cup water

3 Tbsp. oil

Rolo candy

Combine cake mix, egg, water, and oil. Mix well. Roll rounded teaspoon around Rolo. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.


Topped with bright red and green candied cherries, the beautiful Coconut Maroons baked by Bernadine Alderfer tasted just as wonderful as they appeared.

“I just found this recipe and thought it’d be something new to try. Plus, they’re easy to make,” she said.

Baked among 13 other types of cookies each year, Alderfer said it’s a tradition for her to bake during the holidays, and the Coconut Macaroons are just something different to add to her collection of baked goods.

Coconut Macaroons

Submitted by Bernadine Alderfer of Liberty Twp.

2½ cups flaked coconut

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/8 tsp. salt

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

9 red or green candied cherries, halved

In a bowl, combine the coconut, flour and salt. Add milk and vanilla; mix well (batter will be stiff). Drop by tablespoons 1 inch apart onto greased baking sheets. Top each with a candied cherry half. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield 1½ dozen.


Christine Patrick is always happy to take on a baking challenge, and her entry in our holiday cookie contest is one of her most successful undertakings.

“The Lace Cookies take a lot of time, because you can only bake ½ teaspoon per cookie at a time,” said the longtime Liberty Twp. resident. “You also have to make sure that you don’t put too much down on the aluminum foil because the cookies will stick to the foil after they’re baked. When that happens, it’s really hard to pick them up without them breaking.”

She also mentioned that because the cookies are so thin and breakable, you have to make sure you give them enough time to cool after bringing them out of the oven.

The Lace Cookie recipe was discovered by Patrick years ago, and has been a favorite of those she generously gifts them to each year.

She enjoys this recipe because it is different and because one batch makes nearly 60 cookies, so there is always plenty to give.

Patrick, who has lived in Liberty Township since 1959, said she loves to bake for her family and church year-round, and one of her favorite things to bake and give to others is her sourdough breads.

She also has a passion for making fruit cakes, and has been doing so for more than 11 years.

Lace Cookies

Submitted by Christine Patrick of Liberty Twp.

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

1 Tbsp. flour

2 cups white sugar

½ tsp. salt

2 sticks melted butter or margarine

2 eggs, well beaten

1 tsp. vanilla

Combine and mix well in a large bowl the oats, flour, sugar and salt. Over this mixture, pour the melted butter or margarine. Mix well and then add the beaten eggs and vanilla. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and drop the mixture by ½ teaspoon, 2 inches apart on the foil. Bake in preheated 325-degree oven about 8 to 10 minutes. When cookies are completely cool, foil will peel off. Store in air tight container. Makes at least 6 dozen cookies.

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