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25 Popular Cookies from the Midwest

by Kristen

Is there anyone else who isn’t bothered by Christmas all year round? Every Christmas, my great aunt Shirley used to show up at our Christmas festivities with a large plate of cookies. These were cookies from the cookie exchange she did at church; we loved looking at the variety! I will share the best classic Midwest Christmas cookie recipes popular in the Midwest states, popularized by your local small-town church cookbook.

What States Make up the Midwest?

Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio, Missouri, Kansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Michigan, and Nebraska.

What ingredients should I keep on hand for my Midwest Cookie Baking?

Simple Ingredients to keep on hand are all-purpose flour, eggs, baking soda, baking powder, chocolate chips, unsalted butter, rolled oats, dried cranberries, acceptable sea salt,  vanilla extract, almond extract,  almonds, sugar, light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, coconut, Hershy kisses, and sprinkles.

Equipment needed for Christmas Cookie Baking

Oven, mixing bowl, electric mixer or stand mixer, cookie scoop, oven mitt, cookie sheet. There are many types of cookies and cookie bars on this list. I hope you make some of them!

Twenty- Five best Midwest Cookies Recipes!

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Peanut Butter Blossoms originated in Ohio in 1957, and because football is so popular around these parts, you can make these festive for any get-together!

Christmas Snickerdoodles

Originally, Snickerdoodles were brought over by German and Dutch Immigrants, but covering these cookies with Christmas sugar became popular in Minnesota.

Angel Cookies

Angel Cookies became popular in Eau Claire, WI.  Several bakeries sell them.


Northern Iowa and Minnesota are the home to many descendants of Scandinavian immigrants.  There is even a Nordic fest every year in Decorah, Iowa.

Cedar Rapids Kolacky

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is the home to the National Czech and Slovak museum, where you can get a Kolacky.  Many people have family recipes for them too!

Puppy Chow Bars

Puppy Chow or Muddy Buddies have been thought to have originated in the Midwest.

Apple Cider Donut Cookies 

Every Fall, every pumpkin patch in the Midwest radius sells apple cider donuts.  These apple cider cookies are reminiscent of those!

Cornflake Christmas Wreaths.

Cornflake Christmas Wreaths originated on the back of the Cornflake cereal box and appeared in many church cookbooks throughout the Midwest.

Gooey Butter Cookies

Gooey Butter Cookies are a take on the St. Louis Butter Cake, developed by a German immigrant baker.

Sweet Corn Cookies

There is SO. MUCH. CORN in the Midwest!

Pride of Iowa Cookies

Pride of Iowa Cookies originated in the 1950s in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where Quaker Oatmeal is situated. These cookies won a prize at the Iowa State Fair!

Cherry Christmas Cookies

Oatmeal Cherry Cookies

Traverse City, Michigan, is home to thousands of cherry trees!  These oatmeal-dried cherry cookies are a staple there.  Cherry Trees are also prevalent in Door County, Wisconsin.


A Scotcharoo is a Midwest classic dessert.  It’s not a cookie but belongs on any Midwest Christmas cookie platter.  Although a Scotcharoo is a straightforward recipe, almost everyone I know has a little twist their family puts on a Scotcheroo!

Cookie Butter Cookies

Dutch and German immigrants brought Cookie butter over, which has become popular in Minnesota.

Monster Cookie

Did you know that the Monster Cookie originated in Michigan?  A Dad of 6 kids wanted to make a cookie with ingredients he had on hand and came up with the Monster Cookie!

Buckeye Peanut Butter Balls

Buckeye Candy or Buckeye Cookies originated in Ohio in the 1960s.

Wisconsin Toffee Cookies

Butter Brickle Cookies

Butter Brickle Ice Cream is popular in Nebraska, so these cookies are reminiscent of that ice cream.

Sugar Cookie

Indiana is known for sugar cream pie, so I added a classic sugar cookie to this list!

Swedish Nut Cookies

Many Scandinavian Immigrants came to the Midwest in the 1800s.  These Swedish Almond Cookies are a classic in many families.

Potato Chip Cookies

Potato Chip Cookies are popular in Northern Minnesota

Amish Cookies 

There are pockets of Amish communities all over the Midwest and many delicious Amish cookie recipes like this!

Any one of these cookies will make an excellent gift this December.   To store your cookies properly, they will last in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week, or you can get your Christmas baking done early and freeze your cookies.  Your mom will be impressed when she sees that you know how to bake the classics!

Did you make any of these cookies? I would love to hear how they turned out for you!  Please comment below this blog post or tag me on social media and let me know how they turned out for you.  Do you have a special Midwest cookie not on this list?   Please let me know Please comment below this blog post or tag me on social media.  You can find me on Facebook,  Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.


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