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Labor Day is barely a memory, kids are back in school and Halloween is seven weeks away. This is probably not the most opportune moment to think about the holidays.

But it's time to get into that mind-set, because the 20th annual Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest is officially underway. And in order to celebrate our big anniversary in a big way, we need your recipes.

Since 2003, our contest has introduced cookies that have become beloved standards in Minnesota kitchens, including Whiskey Gingers, Spumoni Squares, Nut Goodie Thumbprints and our delicious 2021 winner, Lemon Rosemary Cremes, created by Cynthia Baxter of Minneapolis.

Your recipe could join our distinguished pantheon, but you can't win unless you enter.

It's easy, and there are few rules. Original recipes always capture our attention, but if you've encountered a new-to-you recipe in a cookbook, newspaper, magazine, website or other source that you've adopted and made your own, feel free to submit it. Just be sure to share its origin.

(Pro tip: The purpose of the contest is to provide Star Tribune readers with new gotta-bake recipes. That's why we steer clear of spritz, chocolate crinkles, sugar cookie cutouts, Russian Tea Cakes and other tried-and-true favorites.)

That's it, rules-wise. OK, there's one more: The deadline is Oct. 21 at noon.

All entries must include the recipe — and the story behind it — along with your name, street address, daytime phone number and email address. If submitting via email, include "Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest" in the subject line and send it to Please include all text in the body of the email, not as a separate attachment. Photos are welcome, but not required.

If using U.S. mail, send to Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest, Star Tribune, 650 3rd Av. S., Suite 1300, Minneapolis, MN 55488. All snail mail entries must be postmarked by Oct. 19.

The winner receives a $200 gift card to Cooks of Crocus Hill, and our four finalists will receive copies of "The Great Minnesota Cookie Book," which features recipes and stories from the first 15 years of the Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest.

And talk about the gift that keeps on giving: You'll also have the pleasure of knowing that countless Minnesotans will be making your cookie recipe part of their holiday baking traditions.

We'll publish the winner — and four finalists — in the Dec. 1 issue of Taste. Happy baking!