Gingerbread Cookies

Sunday, Dec. 9, 10 a.m. (TIME CHANGE!)

Do you bake the best holiday cookies in Carefree? Here’s your chance to prove it!

Christmas in Carefree is holding a Holiday Cookie Contest in order to find out who makes the BEST holiday treats in four categories:

  • Decorated: Do your cookies just scream ‘It’s Christmas’? Then this is the category for you! Cookies can be decorated with sugar, icing, or whatever it is that makes your cookies special, and will need to be edible for judging.
  • Easy: Not really much of a baker, but you have an amazingly easy holiday cookie recipe that is your go-to every year? This is the category for you! Cookies in this category should be yummy and amazingly easy for anyone from 5 to 95 to prepare.
  • Special Diet: Classic cookie ingredients such as flour, milk, sugar and eggs are off-limits to many, making it tough to find holiday treats. We’re looking for cookies made allergy-friendly, and can be submitted as vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free or other diet.
  • Wild Card: Is grandma’s magic cookie the one that never really fits neatly into a traditional cookie category? The “wild card” category is open to all types of holiday cookies.

Holiday Cookie Contest Recipe Winners!

Congratulations to Vicki C. (above), the winner of the Wild Card category!

Here are the winning recipes, and our thanks to everyone for participating!

WILD CARD (winner Vicki C.) – Betty Marietta’s Peanut Butter Kisses

EASY (winner Mary P.) – Sonja Heine Pecan Thumbprints

How Do I Enter?

To enter, bring six (6) of your best holiday confections to the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion by 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9.

Judging in each category will begin at 10 a.m., and the winners will be announced when the judging is completed.

Entry forms will be available on-site, or can be downloaded with this link Cookie Contest Form.

Please bring a printed copy of your recipe with your entry. Winners in each category are requested (but not required) to share their winning recipe.

Winning recipes may be posted online at and also on the event Facebook page after the event.

Winners permit the Town of Carefree to use their name, photo, recipe and likeness in future promotions.

FAQ and Rules For Entry

Who Can Enter?

Kids and Adults of any age are welcome to enter in any or all of the judged categories – Decorated, Easy, Special Diet or Wild Card.

Submission may be from individuals or with a team. Prizes will be awarded in each category to one (1) member/team only, NOT each individual.

Submissions must be home-baked. Commercial and/or store-bought cookies will not be accepted.

Drop, Bar, Molded, Pressed, Refrigerator and No-Bake cookies will be accepted in the proper categories. Please submit in the category most closely associated with your recipe. Unknowns will be submitted into the “wild card” category.

What Will I Win?

A winner will be chosen in each category, and will receive one VIP auto admission ($35 value) to Illumination Symphony of Light holiday display, as well as a Holiday Treat Tower. And of course, bragging rights for the year!

How Will I Be Judged?

All cookies will be judge by a team of ‘professional cookie-eaters’ who are looking for the tastiest and prettiest cookies in Town.

Judging categories are: Presentation, Consistency, Flavor and Creativity.

Each entry will receive a number for judging. Cookies will be judged on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being highest.) The cookie in each category with the highest total score from all the judges will be named the winner. In case of a tie, the judges will vote for the winner.

Questions? Call us at 480-488-3686 for more information.