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Sometimes I get crazy ideas in my mind and I just can’t shake them. Last March, my wild dream was to throw a Cookie Madness Party. During February, Graham and I completed a round of Whole30…meaning no sugar whatsoever for 30 days. While I felt good about making healthy choices, and our meals were really tasty (even without cheese, rice, and bread), I missed baking dearly! So, I came up with a plan. March Madness was right around the corner, so we decided to host a party on the weekend of Selection Sunday. At our Cookie Madness party our guests would be selecting the ultimate cookie champion! I thought this would be a great way to kick off one of our favorite times of the year, and it would surely get my need to bake out of my system.
Graham and I chose eight of our favorite homemade cookie recipes and created a bracket for the competition. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m pretty crazy about cookies. It was actually very tough to narrow down to my favorite eight recipes.
Cookie Madness Bracketology
- Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies: These cookies have been rocking my world for a few years now. I started making them in college and they’ve been a fan favorite ever since.
- Turbinado Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies: I stumbled across this recipe while at work, on the back of a bag of Sugar in the Raw®. It is one of the fastest, simplest cookie recipes I make. I love the texture of these cookies, crunchy, but not crispy…just like I like them.
- Donna’s Chocolate Chip Cookies: After graduating college, Graham lived in Indiana for a year. During that time he lived with the sweetest family, the Arnolds, who had a stock of these cookies available at all times. I started making these cookies shortly after we got married because Graham missed having them. I love their great mix of semi-sweet and white chocolate chips. I’ve called them Donna cookies in honor of Mrs. Arnold as long as I’ve known about them 🙂
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies: These cookies are extremely rich, and have almost a brownie-like consistency. They are rolled in powdered sugar before they are baked, leaving a decadent sugary coating.
- S’mores Cookies: I’m a huge fan of anything s’mores flavored: cookies, donuts, pies, the real deal, you name it. These cookies have graham crackers incorporated into the dough, along with Hershey’s Bars and mini marshmallows. You just truly can’t go wrong with that flavor combination.
- Deconstructed Oreo Cookies: The amount of time I spent searching for an Oreo Cookie recipe that I loved is slightly embarrassing. Graham loves Oreos, and I tried many duds before finding the perfect recipe. The recipe I finally landed on is found in Chocolate Chip Cookies: Dozens of Recipes for Reinterpreted Favorites. As the name describes, the oreos are deconstructed and incorporated into the cookie dough, along with oreo chunks and chocolate chips. So. Good.
- Ooey Gooey Red Velvet Butter Cookies: Honestly, this isn’t one of my favorite recipes because I’m just not a Red Velvet person. (After a month of staining my hands each day making Red Velvet donuts…I’m just over the flavor). But to throw in some variety to the lineup I included these. They are made with a cake mix and cream cheese, and have a wonderful light consistency.
- M&M Cake Cookies: This dough is also extremely easy to make. I typically make these cookies at Christmas, with red and green colored mini M&Ms. This recipe also uses a cake mix and oil for simple, chewy cookies guaranteed to please a crowd.
We invited our friends to come taste the cookies and choose their favorites. In keeping with the March Madness theme, I made index card sized brackets for each individual guest to fill out. It’s safe to say we all lost track of how many cookies we ate. At the end of the night we tallied the winners of each round in order to create a single bracket to sum up the night. I must say, the results were very surprising to me! Our winner was the Deconstructed Oreo Cookies (a three seed!) with Ooey Gooey Red Velvet Butter Cookies as the runner up. The Red Velvet Cookies barely made the cut for the bracket, so they were definitely the Cinderella Story of the evening.