Many thanks to all of you for your spectacular submissions. The judges loved all 212 cookies so much, they couldn't decide on only 5, so they selected 10.
Now it's up to you to decide the winner. Please cast one vote for the cookie that you think is most "wow!" (original), "I could I go for one of those" (edible), and "Santa would love these" (festive). The poll closes in one week.
The winner will just have to email her name and address so I can send her a copy of Sherry Yard's delicious new cookbook, Desserts by the Yard.
Here are the 10 finalists in no particular order. The survey is on the sidebar to the right of the post.
Gattina of Kitchen Unplugged from Barcelona, Spain. Like everything Gattina creates, her Fig Christmas Wreaths are stunning. Though I could eat these cookies any time of the year, Christmas seems particularly appropriate for such festive treats made with figs, orange zest, chocolate, almonds, and anise seeds. Make sure to visit Gattina's site to see her recipe and tutorial on how to make the cookies. Be warned: you'll likely spend a lot more time there admiring her fabulous culinary creations.
Mansi of Fun Food from California, USA. Mansi shares a recipe for Peppermint and Vanilla Butter Cookies. Flavored with aromatic vanilla and a hint of peppermint extract, these merriest of cookies will please everyone at your Christmas table.
Vibi of Le casserole carre from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Vibi shares her recipe for Florentins which are baked with colorful dried fruit and rich dark chocolate. Vibi's remarkably chewy, satisfyingly sweet Florentins would be a delicious and elegant addition to any Christmas feast.
Ann of Redacted Recipes from Brooklyn, New York, USA. Ann and I have mutual friends: Bing, Rosemary, Vera, and Danny. We see them every December, and remarkably, they always look the same. If you haven't seen Irving Berlin's White Christmas, then go rent it today. It's an absolute delight. And make a batch of Ann's White Christmas Cookies to nibble on while viewing.
Arfi of Homemades from New Zealand. Arfi's delightfully named Zebra Cookies are as elegant as they are scrumptious. Chocolate-y, buttery cookies are dipped in rich, dark chocolate and drizzled with royal icing. Oh, my.
Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen from Kochi, India. Aparna shares a typical Christmas food enjoyed in Kerala, India: Achappam (Rose Cookies). "Achu" refers to the iron mold used to shape the cookies, and "appam" refers to the batter that is fried or steamed. Aparna's Achappam are a lovely cross between a rose and a snowflake and would be a beautiful addition to your Christmas table no matter where you live.
Ronell of Myfrenchkitchen from France. Making lemon squares always evokes memories for Ronell--of her sister Trudie. Hence, the recipe for her aptly named Trudie's Lemon Squares. This no-bake cookie is a cherished treat in Ronell's family, and it will be in yours as well once you make them. They're refreshingly sweet and zesty and are lovely for Christmas, tea parties, or any special occasion.
Michelle of Culinography from Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. My father always told me never to procrastinate. If something has got to be done, then it should be done now. Fortunately, Michelle did not heed that advice. Since many of the cookies she had intended to bake were already submitted, Michelle had to find a new one. Her beautiful lace-like Swedish Almond Wafers are thin, light, and pleasingly buttery. Clearly, it does pay to wait.
Lisa of Homesick Texan from New York, USA. What would life be without mom's homemade cookies? Fortunately, Lisa doesn't have to find out because her sweet mom mails them to her. Mom's Raspberry Bars made from raspberry preserves, sliced almonds, and vanilla chips are so beautiful, they'll make make you want to sing (like Lisa). Always a hit with her guests, these bars were described as "pure heavenly decadence," by one eater. Need I say more?
Mandy of Fresh From the Oven from St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Mandy recently baked her first Christmas cookies of the season. I think she's going to run into a problem: How will she ever top these two cookies? Mandy's first mouth-watering recipe is for Hot Chocolate Cookies. Not only are they made with Godiva hot chocolate cocoa mix, but they are also topped with a pillowy marshmallow and drizzled with chocolate. Oh, my.