2011 | Dine

2011 Holiday Cookie Contest winner

Peppermint meringues, molasses chocolate chip and cookie tartlets round-up the top three.

share this

Meghan Goddin of Kensington is the winner of the first Bethesda Magazine Holiday Cookie Contest. The judges selected Goddin’s peppermint meringues out of more than 20 entrants.

"I have been baking since I could walk,” says Goddin, the client service manager at DogCentric, a dog walking service. “My mom makes these ice cream pies that she is famous for. Anytime something good or bad happens, she makes an ice cream pie. I was just brought up to give food away."

After extensive online research, Goddin found a recipe for peppermint meringues.  "I was looking for the cookie that looked the most holiday. If I find a recipe that I like, that I think can be improved upon, I tweak it. I have high standards.”

Goddin did put her own spin on the recipe by changing the shape into a cup and adding chocolate. She piped the meringue into a circle and got the candy cane like swirls by brushing red food coloring on the side of the piping bag. “I've done a couple of wedding cakes, so I learned to pipe through the shear volume of tiers."

Goddin's Peppermint MeringuesThe judges in the contest were Francois Dionot, head of L'Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg; Marla Romash, owner of The Political Cookie Company; and Carole Sugarman, food editor of Bethesda Magazine.

Dionot described Goddin’s cookies as a “very technically difficult dessert done well.” Romash, who was Vice President Al Gore’s communications director in the 2000 presidential race, had a simple description of the cookies: “Yum.”

The first runner-up in the competition was Bridget Meretta of Potomac with her molasses chocolate chip cookies. "It's a family recipe that I have had for a while that I make all the time,” Meretta says. “But there is something about molasses that is nice for this time of year.” Sugarman described Meretta’s cookies as having the “right texture and consistency. Nice molasses flavor."

Tiger BjornlundThe second runner-up was Tiger Bjornlund of Bethesda with his cookie tartlets. Bjornlund, a student at Thomas W. Pyle Middle School, was the youngest competitor at 11-years-old. Stemming from a love of apple pie, Bjornlund was inspired to learn to bake after finding a recipe for an apple pie turnover. “I really liked it and really liked the process,” he says. Last year his sister gave him a cookbook for Christmas, and he has mastered another recipe for caramel apple pie that has his family wanting more.

As for the tartlets, Bjornlund didn’t use a recipe. “I kind of made them up. I put [homemade] sugar cookie dough in a mini muffin pan. Then I found a recipe for cinnamon whipped cream online and added ginger because I thought they would go well for the holiday.”

To view a full photo gallery of the contest, visit our facebook page.