Turns out, the most popular cookies this season may depend on where in the country you call home. Our Land O’Lakes Kitchen experts looked through their extensive portal of recipes and found that some regions were drawn to certain recipes more than others. Here, we break down where in the nation these boundaries lie -- and offer some alternatives for Christmas cookie non-conformists.
Northeast: Peanut Butter Blossom
Northeasterners gravitated toward the Peanut Butter Blossom -- brown sugar peanut butter cookies topped with a signature chocolate candy pieces. These holiday favorites are also the second-most popular cookie recipe from our vault of all time!
Not every state in the region agreed, though. Maine and Vermont diverged, opting for our Old-Fashioned Molasses Cookies instead. These cookies are so old fashioned, in fact, that in the reviews for the recipe, one home cook said these were as close as could be to her grandmother-in-law’s recipe from 1888.
Peanut butter blossom cookies
Midwest: Peanut Butter Blossom… again!
These treats swept westward, as midwestern states overwhelmingly searched for Peanut Butter Blossoms above other cookie recipes.
However, one state in the region stood out: Indiana. The cookie that Hoosiers searched for the most was the kolache, Czech pastries filled with fruit preserves. Kolache are a particularly celebrated cookie, with their own festivals all over the nation -- from other midwestern states, including Wisconsin and Iowa, all the way to Texas.
This year, instead of going to a kolache festival, stay safe, stay home and make your own festive multi-color batch with different flavored fillings, using our recipe. Any flavor preserve will do, so pick your favorites or use whatever is in your pantry.
Peanut butter cookies
Southeast: It’s a tie! Between Peanut Butter Cookies and Small-Batch Chocolate Chips
The Southeast was split between two crowd favorites: our Classic Peanut Butter Cookies and our small-batch recipe for chocolate chip cookies. The Small-Batch Chocolate Chip recipe -- which makes just a dozen cookies -- hit peak popularity earlier this year, when at-home bakers shifted from bake sales and potlucks to baking for themselves or their families at home.
In this region, dissenting states favored fruit fillings. Naturally, Floridians most clicked on our Key Lime Cookies, while Frosted Lemon Cookies won over bakers in Tennessee.
Small batch chocolate chip cookies
West: Carrot Cake
Leave it to westerners to defy the pack. Say they’re health-conscious, or lovingly call them quirky, the residents in these states opted to incorporate a side of veggies in their Christmas cookies with our Carrot Cake Cookie recipe.
This region also saw some of the more unique runners-up. For instance, Oregon was the only state to prefer gluten-free cookies -- our Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies. And, Washingtonians gravitated toward Browned Butter Cardamom Cookies. These sweets may sound fancy, but they aren’t at all difficult to make with a little ground cardamom. If you’re missing cardamom from your pantry, try using cinnamon or nutmeg for a warm and spicy substitute.
Carrot cake cookies
Alaska and Hawaii
Alaska sided with the rest of the West, choosing Carrot Cake Cookies, while residents in Hawaii searched for Chinese Almond Cookie, depending on different traditions, your family might use walnuts instead of almonds and mung bean flour instead of all-purpose.
Chinese almond cookies
Whatever your home state, start a new tradition this year and beyond
While this year has seen unprecedented levels of stress, and many home bakers are responding by dipping into their nostalgia and baking their favorite classics, others are experimenting with new and interesting flavors.
We developed these new recipes for just the occasion:
So here’s to trying something tried and true along with something new. Happy holidays -- and happy baking -- from Land O’Lakes, Inc. and Land O’Lakes Kitchen.