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Cookie Swap winner raises the bar, sweetly

Addie Broyles
abroyles@statesman.com

Flashy isn't always better, but at last week's American-Statesman Holiday Cookie Swap party, Anne-Charlotte Patterson's Chocolate Dulce de Leche Bars with Sea-Salt Caramel wowed the judges enough to win the holiday contest.

Patterson's recipe was by far the most complicated and intricate, but the results were impressive: a savory bar topped with chocolate dulce de leche, a drizzle of caramel and a sprinkle of salt.

Judges Mark Chapman, Rebecca Rather, Rebecca Wallace Ford, Russell Williams and Anna Ginsberg had some astute observations about each of the finalists, and they each lobbied for their favorite. But when it came down to points on their scorecards, the dulce de leche bars beat out the Coconut Caramel Chews, the Best Gingersnaps You Will Ever Make, Uber Yummy Oatmeal Holiday Cookies and Brown Butter and Pecan Shortbread. See the recipes at austin360.com/cookieswap.

The finalists each got a holiday platter from Cafe Monet with their recipe drawn on it, as well as cookbooks. Patterson won a gift certificate to Central Market, and her bar will be on the holiday menu at Rather Sweet Bakery and Cafe in Fredericksburg.

— Addie Broyles