Baking contest extended an extra week

December 2, 2018

Daily Journal staff

Calling all bakers!

We’re looking for your best holiday dessert recipes, whether you’re whipping up pumpkin pie, rugelach or gingerbread cookies.

You can submit as many recipes as you’d like and vote for your favorites up to once per week. Please include a photo and a description of the dessert, preferably the full recipe, and make sure to submit your correct name and email so you can be contacted if you win.

Entries are open to anyone 13 and older living in the Kankakee area. The two entries with the highest number of votes will have their dishes photographed and their recipes reprinted with full credit in the Life section of the Daily Journal. The person with the highest number of votes will receive a press plate of his or her recipe and a $50 gift card for groceries. The runner-up will get the press plate and a $25 gift card.

To enter, go to kankakee.secondstreetapp.com/HomemadeHolidays.

The contest is open and will end Dec. 5.

Last year’s winning dessert was submitted by Cathy Breeck, of Kankakee., and is the square cookies pictured below.



1 cup ground dates

½ cup water

½ cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter

¾ teaspoon vanilla


1 cup brown sugar

¾ cup melted butter (can use some shortening)

1½ cups flour

1¼ cup oatmeal

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

To make the filling: Mix dates, water, and sugar together in a saucepan and cook until thick. While still warm add butter and vanilla stir until melted. Cool before using.

To make the dough: Mix brown sugar, melted butter, flour, oatmeal, baking soda and salt together and add a little water to hold together. Pat half of the dough in a 9-inch-by-13-inch pan. Spread with the filling. Cover with the remaining dough. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or top starts to brown. Cut into bars while still warm.

Ellen Smith, of Manteno, won last year’s “Best Story” portion of our contest.

Behind the cookie

My mother’s (Emma) version did not have a name. We called them Weider Cooks. As early as I can remember, my mother baked these cookies. I don’t know where the recipe came from, but Emma’s version (here) is in her handwriting on a scrap of paper. When old enough, us kids would help, and they always have been my favorite.

When a friend and I were taking a German class, our mother loved us to use our German words we were learning. One day when she was baking, we pleased her with a new word, “weider,” which means “again.” When we’d say, “weider, weider,” we usually would get a few of the yummy morsels.

Since there was no name to these cookies, I always have called them Wieder Cooks. My friend from 60 years ago and I still love the cookies and laugh about the time we named them.


1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 chopped nuts

1 1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg. Mix in vanilla. Add all dry ingredients. Mold into 3-inch-thick rolls and chill in refrigerator. Slice thin and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

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