Originally Published: November 23, 2011 12:47 p.m.
First Place: Mindy Mohler, Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookie SandwichCOOKIE:1 1/2 Cups Butter (No substitutes), Softened2 Cups Packed Brown Sugar1 Cup Sugar1 (15 ounce) Can Pure Pumpkin1 Whole Egg1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract4 Cups All Purpose Flour2 Cups Quick Cooking Oats2 Teaspoons Baking Soda2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon2 Teaspoons All Spice1 Teaspoon Salt1 Bag (12 ounces) Semi Sweet Mini Chocolate ChipsDIRECTIONS:In a large mixing bowl cream together BUTTER and SUGARS. Beat inPUMPKIN, EGG and VANILLA. Combine the FLOUR and OATS, BAKING SODA, CINNAMON, ALL SPICE and SALT; gradually add to the creamed mixture.Use a tablespoon to make droplets on an ungreased baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350˚ for 5-10 minutes depending on your oven or until lightly browned.Set each batch on a wire rack so they can completely cool. After baking the cookies start preparing your frosting.VANILLA CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:2 (8 ounces) Cream Cheese, Softened1/2 Cup Butter, Softened2 Cups Sifted Confectioners' Sugar1 Teaspoon Vanilla ExtractDIRECTIONS:In a Medium bowl cream together the CREAM CHEESE and BUTTER until creamy. Mix in VANILLA, then gradually stir in CONFECTIONERS' SUGAR. Set in the refrigerator till you are ready to use.After the cookies have completely cooled start to spread the cream cheese frosting on the flat side of your cookies. Frosting should be about 1/4 inch thick or more if you want a bigger cookie. Then top with another cookie flat side down. Once all of your cookie sandwiches are created place your chocolate chips on a plate and roll the cream cheese part of your cookie in the mini chocolate chips until completely covered. Place in the fridge when done. Take cookie sandwiches out of the fridge about an hour before serving to guests.Second Place: Evelyn Sparks, Chocolate Candy Cane Sandwich BarsCookie:1 ½ cups firmly packed brown sugar¾ cups butter2 tablespoons water2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips2 eggs3 cups all-purpose flour1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda1 teaspoon saltFilling:Filling:½ package (4 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted½ teaspoon vanilla extract¼ cup peppermint candy canes, crushed (add more or less to taste)Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine brown sugar, ¾ cup butter and water in heavy 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted (3 to 4 minutes). Add chocolate chips; cook, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and smooth (1 to 2 minutes). Remove from heat. Beat in 1 egg at a time, until mixture is smooth. Stir in all remaining cookie ingredients.Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until set. Let stand 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely.Meanwhile, Place the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Blend with a electric mixer on low speed until combined, 30 seconds. Stop the machine. Add the confectioners' sugar, a bit at a time, blending with the mixer on low speed until the sugar is well incorporated, 1 minute. Add the vanilla, then increase the mixer speed to medium and blend the frosting until fluffy, 1 minute more. Stir in the crushed peppermint candy canes until combined.Spread about 2 teaspoons frosting onto flat-side of one cookie; top with second cookie, flat-side down. Squeeze together gently. Repeat with remaining cookies. Makes about 4 dozen sandwich cookies.Third Place: Wanda Matthews, Chocolate Surprise Cookies1 box Chocolate Fudge cake mix (18.25 oz.)1 cup vegetable oil2 large eggs1 cup Extra Chunk peanut butter4 large Hershey's Dark Chocolate Bars (break into squares)Stir the first 3 ingredients very well in a large bowl and spoon until dough forms a smoothness. Roll into 2" balls and flatten into a 3" circle (not too thin). Spread a large tablespoon of peanut butter on the circle. Add square of chocolate in the middle. Fold sides to cover the square (seal well). Place on lightly greased cookie sheet 2" apart. Preheat oven to 350˚. Bake cookies 10-12 minutes (do not over bake). Cool 5 to 6 minutes, then remove cookies to rack. Cool completely and dip in melted dark chocolate. Place on wax paper until firm. All you do now is, ENJOY!Baking has been a love of mine since I was a little girl. I am now 80 years old and that love is still with me. My two entries are short cut recipes I had fun creating. Owning a bakery many years ago was my income, now I enjoy giving it away to my family and friends! Its a very good feeling!!