The State Fair of Texas is just around the corner, which means Jeremy Larsen is about to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Last year, the home designer and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Realtor entered three items into the Fair’s cookie contest. He was recognized for them all.
“I didn’t think that was a very big deal until other people started telling me it was,” Larsen said. “It turns out a first-time entrant getting three honorable mentions is pretty good.”
Larsen grew up baking cookies with his mother and grandmother. He lost interest as a teenager, but broke out the mixer about five years ago and started baking for himself. Friends told him the cookies were good, but he didn’t think much of it. What else would he expect them to so say?
Last year while perusing the fair, he heard about the cookie contest. At first, he had no intention of returning, but after some prodding, he found himself back at the fair a week later competing against some of Dallas’ best bakers.
Larsen created a cookie that looked like a corny dog with mustard, and another that was the cookie equivalent of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. His third recipe was an iced English plum pudding cookie that he created based on holiday plum pudding. It’s spritzed with brandy before being dunked in icing, and takes 10-14 hours to make.
“I have never had such a complex culinary experience with a cookie before,” Larsen said.
The hard work paid off after a friend tried the cookie and suggested he enter it in the Dallas Morning News/Central Market holiday cookie contest. Larsen sent the recipe in and didn’t give it a second thought. He later received word that he was a Top 10 finalist, and ended up winning the “boozy” category.
“That experience was a real kick in the pants and a lot of fun,” he said.
As for this year’s State Fair, Larsen plans to submit cookies in all six categories. Friends have suggested selling cookies or writing a cookbook, but he has no intention of doing that now.
“It’s a really creative outlet and I enjoy it,” Larsen said. “It’s a fun way for me to get some of my creative energy out.”