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About The Author


Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 10 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is an online content producer for and the Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their three dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: December 18, 2013

The recipes: 30 tempting treats from MaineToday’s Holiday Cookie Contest

Written by: Susan Axelrod

The Cookie Contest winner: Kransekake Sticks Dipped in Chocolate Ted Axelrod/ photo

Thank you to everyone who entered’s Holiday Cookie Contest. Each looked tempting in it’s own right, but it was a deceptively simple-looking Norwegian almond and butter cookie, one end dipped in chocolate and coated with nuts, that was the first-place winner during the finals, held a Grace on Dec 10.

Carol Marshburn’s Lebkuchen, a richly flavored German-spice cookie, came in second and Jessie Grearson’s delicate, honey-scented White Christmas Cherry-Pistachio Florentines took third prize. The People’s Choice Award, voted on by guests at the event, went to Karen Watterson’s Maine Macaroon Mountains.

Superstar local pastry chefs — Tara Smith of Standard Baking Co., Alysia Zoidis of East End Cupcakes and Ilma Lopez of Piccolo and Blue Rooster Food Co. — were the judges, and most prizes were donated by King Arthur Flour.

Here are all of the entries:

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