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Downers Grove Woman's Cookies Take Top Prize in Tribune Contest

Kim Koenig's cranberry coin cookie recipe adapted from a family favorite beat out the competition in the Chicago Tribune's Christmas cookie showdown.

Downers Grove resident Kim Koenig delivered a scrumptious contender for the Chicago Tribune's Christmas Cookie contest.
Downers Grove resident Kim Koenig delivered a scrumptious contender for the Chicago Tribune's Christmas Cookie contest.
A family recipe with a few special ingredients topped the competition in Chicago Tribune's 2013 Christmas Cookie contest.

Fresh from the kitchen of Downers Grove's Kim Koenig, the cranberry coin cookie combines the flavors of a sugar cookie, with dried cranberries, chopped pistachios and cinnamon. 

Koenig, her mother and grandmother spent years fine-tuning the recipe for Neapolitan cookies—though none of them can say exactly where it originated. 

Koenig separates the dough into an almond layer, a walnut layer and a chocolate layer before baking in a bread pan. The result? Something the likes of a container of Neapolitan ice cream. 

"Baking them always brings back wonderful memories," Koenig told The Tribune. 

She decided to experiment with the recipe by sprinkling in the dried cranberries and pistachios about 2–3 years ago. The crunchy, cinnamon-y shortbread cookie with sugars sprinkled on top crushed the competition. 

Koenig won a $250 gift card to Macy's. 

Want to try Koenig's recipe? It's included below. 

This recipe was adapted from a recipe called Neapolitan Cookies that I made each year with my grandmother at Christmas.

2 ½ cups flour                                        

1 ½ tsp. baking powder

1 ½ cups sugar                                       

2 ½ tsp. cinnamon

1 cup butter, softened                           

½ tsp. salt

1 egg                                                               

1 cup dried cranberries, chopped

1 tsp. vanilla                                         

¾ cup pistachios, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone mat.

With your mixer at low speed, beat all the ingredients until just mixed; increase speed to medium and beat 3 additional minutes scraping the bowl when necessary.  Add cranberries and nuts, mix till just combined.

Divide dough in half and form into two logs about 1 inch in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours. 

Remove wrap and slice logs crosswise into 1/8 inch thick slices. Sprinkle with decorative sugar and bake for 10-12 minutes until light brown. Remove cookies to wire racks, cool.

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