How Do You Win Cookie Games? See All the Winning Recipes

How Do You Win Cookie Games? See All the Winning Recipes

The Cookie Games 2019 are just around the corner! Seven years ago, The Cookie Games were founded to challenge current ICC students to create an original cookie recipe inspired by a country of their choice. Each year, Professional Pastry Arts and Culinary Arts students go head-to-head to see who really has the best cookie chops. It’s all going down once again at ICC this August!

Whether you’re a student looking for inspiration, painstakingly searching for a recipe to bring to your next party, or just a good old-fashioned cookie lover, click through all of the previous year’s winning cookie recipes below. From 2018’s Umami Cookie from Japan, to the very first winner, the Dulcetto Bar of Russia, you’ll want to get baking ASAP!



For Decoration:

  • 1 Tbs. white sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 Tbs. sesame seaweed Furikake
  • ¼ tsp. Shichimi Togarashi powder
  • 200 grams white chocolate
  • White chocolate, additional, as needed
  • 1/4 tsp. Shichimi Togarashi powder

For Cookie Dough:

  • 3 cups + 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbs. powdered sugar
  • 12 oz. butter, unsalted and at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

For Umami Cookie Layer:

  • 2/3 cookie dough (SEE ABOVE)
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1/4 tsp. Shichimi Togarashi powder
  • 4 tsp. crystallized shoyu powder (by Naogen)

For Nori Cookie Layer:

  • 5 sheets of roasted nori
  • 1/3 cookie dough (SEE ABOVE)


For Decoration:

  1. Temper 200 grams white chocolate. Spread thinly on parchment paper to approximately 9” x 13″.
  2. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, sesame seaweed Furikake, and 1/4 tsp Shichimi Togarashi powder.
  3. Trim into 48 1- ½” diameter circles and reserve for later use.

For Cookie Dough:

  1. In stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add egg yolk and continue to mix for 1 minute.
  3. Add flour and salt all at once and mix on the lowest speed just until the dough comes together.
  4. Divide dough in 1/3 and 2/3 portions. Reserve at room temperature.

For Umami Cookie Layer:

  1. Mix 2/3 cookie dough with all ingredients, being careful not to over mix as the Shoyu powder will dissolve.
  2. Roll out to 1/4″ thick.
  3. Transfer to a parchment-lined sheet tray and chill in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Trim into 48 1- ½” diameter circles and reserve chilled for later use.

For Nori Cookie Layer:

  1. Lightly toast nori sheets over a low flame. Cool and process in a spice grinder until fine.
  2. Mix 1/3  cookie with nori powder by hand until well incorporated.
  3. Roll out to 1/8″ thick.
  4. Transfer to a parchment-lined sheet tray and chill in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Trim into 48 1- ½” diameter circles and reserve chilled for later use.

For Assembly:

  1. Preheat convection oven to 325°F (convection) oven to 300°F.
  2. Place nori cookie layers on a parchment-lined baking sheet ½” apart from one another.
  3. Top with umami cookie layer and lightly press.
  4. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp Shchimi Togarashi Powder.
  5. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly golden on the edges.
  6. Cool on baking rack.
  7. Melt additional white chocolate. Allow to cool slightly.
  8. Invert the cookies so the nori cookie is facing up.
  9. Top each cookie with pre-made white chocolate discs, adhered with a small amount of melted white chocolate.

Required Equipment: Stand mixer with a paddle attachment, rolling pin, sheet trays, spice grinder, cooling rack, 1- ½” round cutter



  • 2 cups butter, unsalted, divided
  • 1-2 star anise
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. chai spices
  • -2 parts EACH ground cardamom and ground ginger
  • -1 part EACH ground fennel seed, ground coriander and ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
  • 4 ½ cups flour, all-purpose
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. molasses
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup pecans, ground and toasted

For Garnish:

  • 1 red beet, peeled and cubed
  • Coconut chips, unsweetened
  • 2 cups white chocolate, chopped
  • Ground cardamom, as needed
  • Ground cinnamon, as needed


  1. Prepare the browned butter by melting 1 cup of butter in a saucepan placed over medium heat with 1-2 star anise to infuse. Stir until nutty and light brown. Remove immediately from the heat and add the chai spices and Chinese five spice. Set aside to cool. While still liquid, strain the butter through a fine-mesh strainer, discarding the spices.
  2. In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the cooled browned butter, butter, and sugars until light and fluffy. Add one egg or egg yolk at a time, scraping the sides occasionally. Add vanilla and molasses and mix. Add all dry ingredients and pecans and mix until just incorporated. Flatten the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out and cut into diamond shapes. Place onto baking trays, lined with parchment paper. Return the portions to the refrigerator until chilled.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  6. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow cooling before decorating.

For Garnish:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a blender, process beet pieces with a small amount of water. Transfer the puree to a cheesecloth lined bowl, and squeeze the juice out. Discard the beet products.
  3. Mix coconut chips with some of the beet juice to dye them red and spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes. Allow cooling before decorating.
  4. Melt 3/4 white chocolate in a metal or glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, stirring constantly. When completely melted, remove the bowl from the heat and add remaining white chocolate, stirring to cool the chocolate. When completely melted, add cardamom and cinnamon, as desired. Drizzle the tempered white chocolate over the cooled cookies.
  5. Before the chocolate sets, finish with a piece of cooled, coconut chip in the center of each cookie.



For The Dough:

  • 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup coconut, shredded, unsweetened, toasted and cooled (plus additional for garnish)
  • 8 oz. butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Filling, recipe below
  • Sea salt, coarse (for garnish)

Ingredients For The Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 ½ cups mango, diced
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup light rum
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ lemon, zested
  • Pinch salt


For The Dough:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and toasted coconut.
3. In a tabletop mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy.
4. Add the vanilla to the beaten butter and sugar, scraping the bowl well. Add the dry ingredients in one addition and combine until just mixed.
5. Portion the dough into 36 rounds and roll each piece in the additional toasted coconut.
6. Press the dough flat, while creating an indention for the filling and place on a cookie sheet.
7. Apply one teaspoon of the filling to the center of the cookie, top with a pinch of sea salt and bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
8. Allow the cookies to cool before transferring. Store well-wrapped cookies for 3-4 days.

For The Filling:

1. In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
3. Increase the heat slightly, stirring constantly until the mixture is reduced to a thick consistency.
4. Transfer immediately to another bowl to cool.
5. Filling can be made in advanced and stored in the refrigerator until needed.


Yield: 50 -2 inch cookies


  • 7 oz./200 g. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 5.3 oz/150 g. butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 5 oz./140 g. molasses
  • 20 g white vinegar
  • 3 c. + 1 tablespoon bread flour
  • ¾ c. cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • Additional raw/ turbinado sugar, for dredging
  • 7 oz/200 g. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 7 oz/200 g. heavy cream


  1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl placed over a pot of simmering water. When fully melted, remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Slowly, pour in the molasses, vinegar and melted chocolate.
  5. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and spices in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter minute and mix until combined.
  6. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill until firm.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Scoop the chilled dough into roughly 50-2 teaspoon portions. Roll dough into rounds.
  9. Dredge each piece of dough in raw/turbinado sugar and place onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet about 2-inches apart. Press down on each cookie to slightly flatten them (using the bottom of a glass) and create a small, round indent in the center of each cookie with a finger.
  10. Bake cookies in the preheated oven until sugar crust cracks on surface and cookies are firm in the middle, about 8-10 minutes.
  11. Remove cookies from oven and let cool on the sheet pan.
  12. For the ganache: in a small saucepan, bring the cream to a heavy boil. Place the chocolate in a bowl and pour the cream over the chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes and then gently whisk until combined. Let sit at room temperature until needed.
  13. Once the cookies are cooled, place room temperature ganache in a piping bag fitted with a #2 plain tip and pipe small button of ganache in the center of each cookie.


Yield: 4 dozen filled cookies


For The Filling:

1 cup 200 g dark brown sugar

1 ½ T. 15 g glucose

1/3 cup 75 mL heavy cream

1/3 cup 75 mL milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

150 g desiccated coconut, toasted and cooled

Pinch of salt


For The Dough:

10 oz 280 g unsalted butter, room temperature

1 ½ cup 300 g granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 t pandan paste

4 cup 450 g cake flour

1.25 t salt

1.5 T baking powder

¼ cup + 2 T 75 g granulated sugar

1 T. 15 g milk powder

1 T 15 g cornstarch

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

3.5 oz. 100 g dark chocolate, melted, for finishing


For The Filling:

  1. Combine the dark brown sugar, glucose, and just enough water to cover the sugar in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil for a few minutes and then add the heavy cream, milk, and vanilla extract. Cook until thickened and remove from heat.
  3. Mix in the coconut and salt and set aside to cool.

For The Dough:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Mix the 75 grams of granulated sugar with the vanilla bean to evenly disperse its flavor. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, milk powder, cornstarch and vanilla sugar. Set aside. In a mixer bowl, cream the butter and remaining sugar with the paddle attachment. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating thoroughly before adding the next forming a homogenous mixture. Add the pandan paste. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined, being sure not to over mix.
  3. Portion the dough into rounds about 1-inch in diameter and flatten into discs. Place cooled filling in the center of a disc and cover with another. Press the edges together so that the filling does not seep out while baking. Continue for remaining dough and filling. Transfer the cookies to a parchment lined sheet tray. Bake for 9 to 12 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom.
  4. Once cooled, temper the dark chocolate and drizzle on each cookie.


Yields: 39 – 1” x 3” bars


For The Cookie Dough:

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

½ cup granulated sugar

1 egg

3 1/2 oz sour cream

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar

2 cups all-purpose flour


For The Cream:

1 can (400g) sweetened condensed milk (or dulce de leche)

1 stick unsalted butter



1 tablespoon Maldon sea salt



For the Cookie Dough:

  1. In a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and sour cream.
  3. Activate the baking soda with vinegar and add it to the mixture. Transfer mixture to the creamed butter and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add flour all at once and mix until dough comes together.
  5. Separate the dough into two parts, wrapping each individually in plastic wrap, and freeze for one hour, at least.
  6. Preheat oven to 400F.
  7. Working with one piece at a time, grate the dough with the large side of a cheese grater. While it’s still frozen, spread the dough evenly over a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  8. Bake the grated dough evenly until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Watch it carefully to prevent burning.
  9. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough.


For the Dulce de Leche Butter:

  1. Place a can of sweetened condensed milk, without the label, in a large pot and cover fully with water.
  2. When it comes to a boil, place a lid on top, reduce the heat, and cook for 3 hours at a boil, adding water to keep the can submerged, if needed.
  3. Immediately, transfer the can to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
  4. When it is room temperature, combine the dulce de leche and butter and mix together. Note: the cans of dulce de leche can be done in advance.


To Finish:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the dulce de leche butter with the cooled cookie.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a 13” x 9” pan, lined with parchment paper and spread evenly.
  3. Sprinkle lightly with Maldon salt. Freeze overnight.
  4. Remove from the freezer and let it stand 15-20 minutes.
  5. Cut into 1” x 3” rectangles and serve at room temperature.

Looking for more Cookie Games inspiration? Check out our announcement article here and Jansen Chan, our Director of Pastry’s, 5 Steps To Creating A Winning Cookie Recipe From Cookie Games Creator.

This blog post was originally published by the International Culinary Center (ICC), founded as The French Culinary Institute (FCI). In 2020, ICE and ICC came together on one strong and dynamic national platform at ICE's campuses in New York City and Los Angeles. Explore your pastry education where the legacy lives on.

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