The Best Classic Midwest Cookie Recipes

When I was, kid, my great aunt Shirly used to bring a plate of assorted cookies to Christmas Eve.  She did a cookie exchange with ladies from her church, and she always had a plate of several different kinds of Christmas cookies for us to sample.   Like the rest of the country, we passed down cookie recipes that have become classics here in the Midwest.   Here is a list of the top Midwest Cookie Recipes and where they are from.

Swedish Nut Cookies

Northern Wisconsin, Northern Iowa, and Minnesota

In Minnesota, Northern Iowa, and Minnesota, you will find many people with Scandinavian ancestry.  If you take the time to explore Door County, Wisconsin, Minneapolis, and Northern Iowa, you will find various Swedish Bakery and meet folks who keep their Scandinavian traditions alive.   These Swedish Nut Cookies are easy to make and are a Midwest tradition!

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Peanut Butter Blossoms are a Midwest tradition.  Freda F. Smith of Gibsonburg, Ohio, developed Peanut Blossoms for the ninth Grand National Pillsbury Bake-Off competition, a contest founded by the Pillsbury Co. in 1949 as a marketing strategy for its flagship product, Pillsbury Best Family Flour.  I know so many people in the midwest who have their own version of Peanut Butter Blossoms!

Buckeye Peanut Butter Balls

Buckeyes are a tradition in Ohio!  This dessert has a resemblance to the nut of a buckeye tree.  Many home cooks have their version of a buckeye.  You will find candies and cookies throughout the state of Ohio that look like Buckeyes!

Potato Chip Cookies


Chocolate Covered Potato Chips can be found in candy stores across the Minneapolis area, and these potato chip cookies are reminiscent of those chocolate-covered potato chips.  These cookies are the perfect combination of salty and sweet!

Gooey Butter Cookies

St Louis, Missouri

The first gooey butter cookies were believed to be developed in a bakery in St. Louis, Missouri, by a baker trying to make a cookie similar to gooey butter cake.   These cookies have been a St. Louis tradition for several years now.

Swedish Kringla

Northern Iowa

Due to many Scandinavians and Norwegians in Northern Iowa, Kinglas are a tradition, especially during Christmastime.  Scandinavian Kringla, or kringle, is a pastry that had its origin with Roman Catholic Monks who arrived in Norway in the 13th Century. A Kringla is a  not too sweet, pretzel-shaped, thick, cookie-like pastry.


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Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies


Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies are popular in Michigan!

Cherry Christmas Cookies


Cherry Christmas Cookies, also known as “Cherry Winks,”  In 1950,  Ruth Derousseau from Wisconsin won a Betty Crocker baking contest. These cherry cookies have been a tradition in Wisconsin ever since.

Angel Cookies


A basic Angel Cookie is the cousin of shortbread with a slightly different formula, making them light instead of dense like shortbread.

Spritz Cookies

Spritz Cookies are Scandinavian cookies and have been voted the most popular Christmas cookie in Illinois and South Dakota.


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Apple Cider Cookies

Apple Cider Donuts are popular at apple orchards throughout the midwest.  These cookies taste just like an apple cider donut!

Christmas Snickerdoodles

Christmas Snickerdoodles are a holiday tradition in Minnesota and the Dakotas.  They are similar to traditional snickerdoodles but are coated with Christmas-colored sugars.  Snickerdoodles are believed to be either German or Dutch-influenced.


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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Although the chocolate chip cookie originated in Massachusetts, chocolate chip cookies have become a midwest tradition.

I would love to know what Midwestern Cookie is your family’s tradition!   Please leave me a comment below and let me know what your family’s favorite cookie is!



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