Peanut Butter Cup Cookies win cookie contest

Gail Batavia of Carnelian Bay is the winner for The Weekly’s first Christmas Cookie Contest with her delectable Grandma Kitty’s Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cookies.


The judges enjoyed the tasty treats with several saying that is was the perfect combination of cookies and peanut butter.

Gail was thrilled to get the news that her cookie won, noting that she wished her mother-in-law (Grandma Kitty) was still alive to hear it, as it was her recipe.

The judge’s all enjoyed the unique presentation of the cookie, with the batter baked in a miniature muffin tin and a peanut butter cup placed in the center of the dough.

“The classic combo of peanut butter, chocolate and cookie simply done. The use of the muffin tin, rustic appearance and coarse texture complements the smooth candy texture,” said judge Alyssa Ganong.

“An absolutely delightful chocolate peanut butter morsel,” said judge Nicole Cheslock.

Gail received a $100 gift certificate to Spindleshanks for her winning entry. Second place was awarded to Gayle Hackbarth, who received a $50 gift certificate to North Shore Hawaiian Grill, with third place and a $25 gift certificate to North Shore Hawaiian Grill to Jessica Peterson for her Peanut Butter Dipped Cookies.


1st Place
Grandma Kitty’s Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Gail Batavia of Carnelian Bay

½ C butter
¼ C brown sugar
½ C granulated sugar
½  t salt
½  t baking soda
½  t baking powder
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 C flour
1 C chocolate chips
½  C chopped walnuts
Miniature Reeses Peanut Butter Cups

In a bowl, mix the butter and sugars. Add vanilla and egg. Blend well. Add dry ingredients. Mix in chocolate chips and walnuts

Spoon about 1 teaspoon of dough into greased, miniature muffin tins. Place one miniature Reeses Peanut Butter cup (top down) on top of each spoonful of dough. Bake at 350 degrees for around 10 minutes and let cool for around 10 minutes. Remove carefully with a grapefruit knife. Enjoy.


2nd Place
Mocha Truffle Christmas Trees
Gayle Hackbarth of Homewood

Makes 3 dozen

½ C butter
½ C Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate Chips
1 T instant coffee crystals
¾ C white sugar
¾ C dark brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
2 C all purpose flour
1/3 C unsweetened cocoa powder
½ t baking powder
1 C Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate Chips

Melt butter and ½ cup chocolate chips in a saucepan. When melted, stir in coffee crystals, and white and brown sugars. Let cool for a few minutes and then add vanilla and eggs, and beat well.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and cocoa. Then, add the wet ingredients from the saucepan and mix thoroughly. When combined, roll out on a floured board and cut out with Christmas tree cookie cutters. Decorate as you wish with the additional 1 cup of chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes.

The batter also can be made into small balls and rolled in powdered sugar.


3rd place
Peanut Butter Dipped Cookies

Jessica Peterson of Homewood

1 C peanut butter, crunchy
1 C softened butter
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
2 ¾  C flour
Dark Dipping Chocolate

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat peanut butter and butter on high for about 30 seconds. Add the sugar, brown sugar, baking soda and baking powder. After that is mixed, beat in the egg and vanilla until just combined (do not over mix). Mix in the flour.

Use a fork to make a cross-hatch pattern (if desired) after placing batter on an ungreased cookie sheet (ungreased is important). Bake for about 8 minutes, until tops are cracked and bottoms are browned.

After the cookies are cooled, take dark dipping chocolate and melt it on low in a double-boiler on the stove. If you don’t have a double boiler, melt the chocolate in a mug or a bowl placed in a pan of water (never melt chocolate directly on the stove, or it will burn). Dip the cookies in the chocolate halfway and place on a flat surface covered in a wax paper and let harden.

Thanks to our judges: Nicole Cheslock, Charlie Good, Alyssa Ganong, Joy Michiel and Katherine E. Hill.

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Katherine Hill
Katherine first moved to Tahoe in 1998 and has been in love with the Tahoe Sierra region since. She has been in the journalism field for more than 25 years and has worked for daily and weekly newspapers and magazines, as well as online publications and Web sites, as an award-winning writer and editor. In the fall of 2013, Katherine became only the third owner of the Tahoe Weekly magazine, and today serves as its Publisher and Editor In Chief. She currently serves as the President of the Tahoe City Downtown Association and is a member of the North Tahoe Regional Advisory Council and the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Federal Advisory Commission.