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L.A. Times Holiday Cookie Bake-Off, Round 2: Tasting our way through the top 50

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Norwegian crowns, bourbon balls, "never say oops" lemon cookies, Grandma's carrot cookies, peppermint pinwheels -- these were among the 50 kinds of cookies that Food section staff members and chefs from the Pasadena Cordon Bleu cooking school taste-tested Saturday to determine the top 10 cookies in the first-ever L.A. Times Holiday Cookie Bake-Off. (Hey, somebody had to do it.)

The top 50 cookies from more than 350 submissions were determined by readers' votes Nov. 15. The job of narrowing the competition down to 10 wasn't easy -- the 50 kinds of cookies covered five dining tables.

Six judges, including Food section editor Russ Parsons and test kitchen manager Noelle Carter, assessed each cookie's texture, flavor, richness, appearance and holiday spirit. It took nearly two hours to taste and tally -- any longer, and the judges wouldn't have finished before succumbing to a collective sugar overdose.

The top 10 cookies were the clear finalists (no tie-breaker taste-testing required), and these will be announced Monday. Hopefully, we will have fully recovered from sugar-induced catatonia by then.

-- Betty Hallock

Photo credit: Betty Hallock / Los Angeles Times

 
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