First place — DropCherylynn Boyd, CulverCalifornia Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies3 cups of flour1 tsp. salt1 tsp. baking soda2/3 cup finely ground walnuts1 cup margarine1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed3/4 cup white sugar2 large eggs2 tsp. real vanilla extract1 T. fresh orange juice1 1/2 T. of finely grated orange peel/zest3 cups (18-oz.) semisweet chocolate chips1 1/2 cups of coarsely chopped pecans or walnutsSift together flour, salt and baking soda. Mix in ground walnuts and set aside. In large mixing bowl, cream margarine with both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the two eggs, vanilla, orange juice and zest and beat until smooth. Add sifted ingredients and completely blend; can use electric mixer. Add chips and nuts and blend together.Refrigerate dough about 30 minutes then preheat oven to 350 degrees. Form dough into walnut-size ball and drop on parchment lined sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cookies will be cake-like and soft. Keep dough refrigerated while the other cookies are baking. Let cool on pans a few minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 4 1/2 dozen.
Second place — DropCrisp German Chocolate Toffee CookiesCarol Anglemyer, Goshen1 cup butter, softened (no substitutes)1 cup shortening2 1/2 cups sugar1/2 cup packed brown sugar1 (4-oz.) pkg. German sweet chocolate, melted4 eggs2 tsp. water2 tsp. vanilla extract6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour2 tsp. baking soda1 1/2 tsp. salt1 1/2 cups English toffee bits or almond brickle chips1 1/2 cups chopped walnutsIn a mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugars. Beat in chocolate. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in water and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in toffee bits and walnuts. Drop by tablespoonsful 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 13 dozen.