Meet Our National My Cookie Story Contest Winner: Jessica McGehee

It seems we all have a favorite holiday cookie we remember from childhood with a special story behind it. Last December, beginning on National Cookie Day, we asked you to share your story—and the recipe that goes along with it—in the My Cookie Story Contest. Today, we’re announcing the national winner who submitted the most memorable (and delicious!) story and recipe combo.

Below, meet Jessica McGehee, and hear the story behind her irresistible “Taste of Home” cookie bars.

Jessica’s Story:

Military kids are constantly picking up and making new homes on a moment’s notice—but they take a piece of each place they’ve lived with them when they go.

In my daughter’s seven years, she’s lived in four states, and my “Taste of Home” cookie bar has bits and pieces from each of the places we’ve lived. Like the military life, it’s flavor pairings are a little different, and take some getting used to. But also like our lives—when you savor each bite, none of that matters —it’s just plain good. Quickly, you realize a hodgepodge mix of different can be quite good!

We love our nomadic life and all it’s unique adventures. We love that “home” isn’t one place, but everyplace we’ve been.

It’s a chocolate chip cookie at its core, with marshmallows for our first snow in North Carolina, coarse bits of sugar on top for the sandy deserts of Arizona, and bits of bacon for our time in Texas. Finally, one end is dipped in white chocolate, reminding us of the white-capped waves of Florida’s beaches.

This is our cookie, and it “Tastes of Home! “

Ingredients:

*TASTE OF HOME COOKIE BAR*

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened. + extra for greasing pan

3/4 cup white granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 bag of milk chocolate chips

1/3 cup of small marshmallows

1 box microwavable dipping white-chocolate

For garnish: caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, turbinado sugar, 3 slices of crisp cooked bacon

Meet Our National My Cookie Story Contest Winner: Jessica McGehee

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir until the mixture is well-mixed.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs with 3/4 c of brown sugar and 3/4 c of white granulated sugar. Once well mixed, beat in butter.

Slowly add the bowl with dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients, mixing in between. Pour in vanilla and combine until creamy.

Fold in 1 bag of chocolate chips.

Grease a 9×13 glass pyrex dish with butter. Pour the cookie mixture into the pan and spread evenly. Bake 30 mins.

Remove from oven and sparsely sprinkle marshmallows on top. Press them into the half-cooked cookie mixture gently so they don’t move around.

Return to oven for 5 mins, then remove and let cool to room temperature. Drizzle caramel and chocolate in a thin zig zag pattern from one corner of the dish to its opposite corner. Break the slices of bacon into smaller pieces and sprinkle generously across the top, then dust everything with turbinado sugar.

Slice in rows and dip one end of each in white chocolate that has been melted in the microwave. Let cool completely.

Enjoy a “Taste of Home!”

What flavors would be included in your own “Taste of Home” cookie?

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