Marcia Selden Ultimate Holiday Cookie Contest Party, Finalists + Recipes

11 Dec


When we announced the Marcia Selden Ultimate Holiday Cookie contest and party we Marcia Selden Catering & Event Planningdidn’t realize how many amazing entries that we’d get! 16 amazing recipes were submitted and we wish that we could have had all of them compete, but we had to narrow down things to just six recipes for the judges at the Ultimate Holiday Cookie Party on 12/15.  So, we thought about flavor profiles, texture, and creativity and both of us created separate top 6 lists.  Oddly enough, we both had the same 5 cookies and decided on the last one together.  Here they are, with the People’s Choice winner mixed in, in no particular order:

  • Browned Butter Cookies by Evan Cassidy
  • Buckeyes by Lisa Eppley (recipe below) 
  • Chocolate Chestnut Cranberry Mocha Supremes by Ruth Kalla Ungerer (recipe below) 
  • Double Chocolate Raspberry Filled Cookies by Melanie Lowe (recipe below)
  • Kourambiethes by Joey Kuntz (recipe below)
  • Orange Cranberry Pistachio Cookies by Kim Butz (recipe below) 
  • Peppermint Patties by Katie Garfield
All of these finalists will be baking 5 dozen cookies that will be up for the tasting on 12/15 from 2-3:30 at the stunning Winston Flowers at 382 Greenwich Avenue in Greenwich.  There will also be cider and other refreshments to lure you in…plus, did we mention that one lucky Ultimate Cookie Party-goer will win a sick 7 cup Cuisinart Food Processor?  One of the seven will win some major swag for getting the most votes and will win the “People’s Choice” award and one other person will bring home a massive prize set!  On hand to pick the Ultimate Holiday Cookie winner will be Lisa Maronian from Sweet Lisa’s Exquisite Cakes in Greenwich, John Barricelli from SoNo Baking Company, Chef Plum from Plum Luv Foods, and Robin Selden, from Marcia Selden Catering.
We hope to see you there!  A bit shout out to all the contestants who took their time entering the contest and another shout out to Marcia Selden Catering, the judges, and all the gift sponsors for making this happen!



1/2 lb. butter, softened

1-1/2 cups peanut butter

1 box or 3-1/2 cups confectioners sugar

12 ounces of chocolate chips

Cream and chill 3 hours or overnight. Roll into balls using melon baller and freeze (you can either do this in batches or over a pan of ice water.) In a double boiler (over hot water not boiling water) melt 12 ounces of chocolate chips. Dip frozen peanut butter balls in melted chocolate with toothpick and then set on wax paper, then freeze.  Before putting in freezer, patch toothpick hole with finger and then freeze until ready to serve!

Chocolate Chestnut  and Cranberry Mocha Supreme Cookies

Chocolate Chestnut and Cranberry Mocha Supreme Cookies

Chocolate, Chestnut, and Cranberry Mocha Supremes

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

Preheat oven to 375* and lightly grease cookie sheets with butter

Put ¼ cup Nestle chocolate bits in a small glass measuring cup.  Fill with freshly brewed strong coffee to the ½ cup mark. Set aside to cool. Cream until fluffy ½ cup of unsalted butter (I stick or 8 tablespoons) Beat in ¾ cup sugar.   Add 1 egg ½ teaspoon vanilla.  Sift together in a separate bowl 1 ¼ cups flour, ¼ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon salt.  Add to the creamed butter mixture about a quarter of the mocha chocolate mix.  Then add about 1/3 of the flour mixture.  Alternate adding these two mixtures to the batter until both are incorporated. Mix in 1 cup Nestle chocolate bits and ½ cup chopped chestnuts ( I use packaged peeled chestnuts), and ½ cup dried cranberries. Drop by the teaspoonful onto the cookie sheet and bake for about 12-15 minutes. (I check if done by inserting a wooden barbecue skewer.  Cookies are done if it comes out clean.)  Cool on a rack and enjoy.

Orange Cranberry Cookies

Orange Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

Orange, Cranberry, and Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 cup butter – softened

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar – firmly packed

4 eggs

2 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp lemon juice

3 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup old-fashioned oatmeal (uncooked)

3/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp orange zest (or dried orange peel)

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cup craisons (soak in 2 tbsp orange juice for 30 min)

1 1/2 cup semi-sweet Ghiradelli chocolate chips

1 1/2 cup pistachios

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees 2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. 3. Cream butter, add sugars and beat on medium for 2 min. 4. Add eggs, one at a time, beat well after each addition 5. Add vanilla, lemon juice, mix well 6. In separate bowl stir together flour, oatmeal, baking soda, salt, orange zest and cinnamon 7. Add to the creamed butter mixture and stir well to blend 8. Add craisons, chocolate chips; and pistachios and stir to combine 9. Using a 2 oz ice cream (or cookie dough scoop), drop the batter on to the parchment lined cookie sheet. 10. Leave 2-4 inches between each cookie 11. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges 12. Remove from parchment, cool on wire racks

Double Chocolate Raspberry Cookies

Double Chocolate Raspberry Cookies

Double Chocolate Raspberry Filled Cookies


2 ½ cups all purpose flour

½ tsp salt

1 tsp double acting baking powder

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup plus ¼ cup granulated sugar

divided ½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp raspberry extract

2 tablespoons strongly brewed coffee, cooled

1 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips (optional)


1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves

1/4 cup heavy cream

Directions: Make the dough- Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa powder in a medium bowl and whisk together. Cream together the butter, 1 cup sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric hand held or stand mixer. Add eggs, extracts, and coffee and mix until just combined. Gradually add dry ingredients a little at a time mixing in between each addition. Add chocolate chips if using and mix by hand. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours. Make the ganache- Combine the chocolate chips, raspberry preserves and heavy cream in a double boiler and heat until smooth, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool and slightly thicken till your dough is ready. Ganache may be covered and refrigerated for up to 20 minutes to thicken. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Set aside a small bowl with ¼ cup granulated sugar. Spoon 1/3 of the dough into a separate bowl to begin rolling cookies. Keep the remaining dough refrigerated while you work. Using a small ice cream scoop or spoon, roll about a teaspoon of dough into a ball then flatten with your thumb (tip: have a small bowl of flour nearby and dip your thumb in before flattening). Place a dollop of ganache in center of flattened dough. Take another teaspoon of dough, roll in a ball then flatten making sure it is about the same size as the bottom dough. Place over the ganache sealing the edges well with the bottom dough. Once well sealed, gently roll into a ball, roll in granulated sugar and place on cookie sheet. Place balls of dough 1 ½-2 inches apart. Bake for 7-9 mins at 375◦. Remove to wire rack to cool. Enjoy warm or fully cooled!

Kourambiethes, Greek cookies

Kourambiethes, Greek cookies

Kourambiethes (traditional)

1. 1 pound softened sweet (unsalted) butter (do not clarify for firmer cookies)

2. ¼ cup granulated sugar

3. ¼ cup orange/anise/honey syrup

4. 1 tablespoon Orange zest or candied rinds (reduce sugar by 1/8th cup if you use candied rinds) chopped fine

5. 1 cup well chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds or a mix)

6. 2 teaspoons orange flavor

7. 1-teaspoon anise flavor

8. 1 tablespoon orange juice or water

9. 3 cups flour (for cookies that are more cake-like (my mother suggestion), use 2½ cups cake flour and 2 cups regular flour – this also required more flour than the original, regular flour recipe to get the correct consistency of the mixture)

10. Powdered sugar

Beat the butter 30 seconds then add sugar and beat till fluffy. Add cool syrup and continue to beat. Add zest or rinds, nuts, orange and anise flavor and water. Continue to beat until the mixture begins to “ball” into clumps. (Sometimes I need to add more flour) You may shape the cookie, keep in balls or “squash down”. Your choice Roll into balls and place on a baking tray and cook for 20 minutes at 350º F. The cookies will have the edges just brown. They must cool before removing from tray (but not cold). Place on tray and cover with powdered sugar. Eat at room temperature. This is my recipe, Greeks generally add 2 eggs to lighten the cookies and use only confectionery sugar, not syrup and not granulated sugar.


7 Responses to “Marcia Selden Ultimate Holiday Cookie Contest Party, Finalists + Recipes”

  1. welcometonewhaven December 14, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

    Those look so delicious!


  2. Aly C December 12, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    I cant wait!!!! :)


  3. School Cookie Cutters December 12, 2013 at 5:18 am #

    Yummy!!!!!!!!! All these cookies are looking just awesome. I just want of these right now ;)


  4. whitemist December 11, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    Wow, just wow! i am honored!



  1. C Is for Cookie: The Ultimate Holiday Cookie Contest Rocks Greenwich | OmNomCT - December 16, 2013

    […] a select crew of judges, 8 talented bakers, and a huge crowd of tasters from hitting up the 1st Annual Ultimate Holiday Cookie Contest!  This is true devotion, you know?  Nor rain, nor sleet, nor snow storm can stop voracious cookie […]


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