Blue ribbon chocolate chip cookies

This chocolate chip cookie recipe was developed by Mrs. Charles Estrem of Story County, Iowa and won the blue ribbon award at the 1948 Iowa State Fair. Her recipe was also reprinted in the Iowa Dairy Industry Commission’s print ads.

Blue ribbon chocolate chip cookies

Have you been to your state fair? I’ve attended three of them – in Delaware, North Carolina, and Iowa. Every state boasts that they have the best state fair, but of the three I’ve been to, Iowa surpasses them all.

The Iowa State Fair spans about 10 days and has all kinds of interesting competitions. The one that interests me the most, obviously, is the food competition. According to the website, there are 138 divisions, 695 classes and over 6,800 entries at this year’s state fair. Wow!! I’ve seen the food hall where the entries are judged, and the space is enormous. I was so tempted to try a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. How do I sign up to be a judge?

Blue ribbon chocolate chip cookies

My sister-in-law happened to win a cookbook from the state fair called Baking Blue Ribbons and gifted it to me one holiday. The cookbook, which doesn’t appear to be available on Amazon, features winning recipes from previous state fairs. This chocolate chip cookie recipe that I am featuring today won the blue ribbon (first place) in 1948. It was so popular that the recipe was reprinted in the Iowa Dairy Industry Commission’s print ads.

Blue ribbon chocolate chip cookies

I omitted the walnuts in the original recipe and doubled the recipe below. I rotated my pans halfway through baking (moving the top tray to the bottom and vice versa, and then rotating the pans 180 degrees). In addition, I also garnished the tops of the cookies with extra chocolate chips so they looked nicer. Plus, extra chocolate is always a plus in my book.

Enjoy this recipe from Mrs. Charles Estrem!

Husband’s rating: 4.5 out of 5
Addie’s rating: 4.5 out of 5
My rating: 4.5 out of 5

Blue ribbon chocolate chip cookies

This blue-ribbon award-winning chocolate chip cookie recipe is from Mrs. Charles Estrem, who entered her cookies in the 1948 Iowa State Fair. The recipe also appeared in Iowa Dairy Industry Commission print ads.
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cookies
Servings: 15
Author: Eva Bakes


  • ½ cup (1 stick or 8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 6 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons brown sugar packed
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 and ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 ounces chocolate chips or chunks
  • ½ cup walnuts chopped (I did not use)


  • Preheat your oven to 375℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugars on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the egg. Combine the baking soda with a few drops of water and add it into the mixer.
  • Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the flour and the salt.
  • Add in the vanilla, chocolate chips and walnuts (you can fold these in by hand with a spatula if you like).
  • Using a medium sized cookie scoop or two spoons, drop moundfuls of dough onto your prepared baking sheet. Make sure to leave 2 inches in between each mound of dough, as the cookies will spread.
  • Bake in your preheated oven for 5 minutes. Then rotate the pan and bake for another 4-5 minutes. The cookies will be set on the edges, but the tops will be appear to be underdone. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool. They will continue to set as they dry. Do NOT overbake these cookies or else they will turn out to be dry and hard.
  • If desired, you can add more chocolate chips on top as the cookies are cooling.


Leftover cookies should be stored, covered, in an airtight container at room temperature and will last at least a week.
Source: Mrs. Charles Estrem of Story County, Iowa; via Baking Blue Ribbons by Kay Fenton Smith and Carol McGarvey

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