Saturday Spotlight: 2015 Cookiers' Choice Awards Winners!


This Saturday Spotlight may be late, but it's super sweet! Yes, it's the long-awaited announcement of the 2015 Cookiers' Choice Awards winners!

After a grueling few weeks of deliberation, our illustrious panel of judges, below, has reached a final conclusion. To arrive at the winners, each judge reviewed the finalists' photo and video portfolios, websites, product offerings, and other cookie-related activities, and then independently evaluated each candidate across several selection criteria specifically tailored to each of the awards categories.


Mind you, this was no easy task, as each and every finalist is so very talented in his/her own individual way. As one judge so aptly described the process: "I agonized over every selection in every category! Every single nominee is truly worthy of the honor they were nominated for. We are a very lucky community of cookiers to have so much talent in our midst!"

Indeed! I might also add that we are extremely lucky to have had such a thoughtful group of cookiers making the initial nominations, as well as these important final selections. I want to especially thank the judges for applying such time and care to this process, and to commend all of the finalists again for being incredible sources of inspiration in 2015. As another judge so eloquently put it: "All nominees produce extraordinary work and are an inspiration to other cookiers, in that they demonstrate the possibilities and the creativity that cookies can unleash. But they are also the embodiment of the dedication required [to create such remarkable work]."

One last housekeeping note about prizes before the grand reveal! (I know, I know . . . the suspense is killer!) What exactly do our winners win? First and most important, they all receive the heartfelt recognition of the entire cookie community! But, they also get, courtesy of Cookie Connection, an elegant crystal trophy (similar to the one below), custom-engraved to mark the particular award, and $100 to use however they wish!


Sorry, one last reminder! The Cookiers' Choice Awards recognize winners in four different categories: Cookier, Cookie Educator, Cookie Innovator, and Cookie Philanthropist of the Year. The first three categories were judged, as I described above, whereas the winner in the last category was determined by this community's popular vote during the nominations process. In that case, one person received such an overwhelmingly large number of nominations that I decided to declare no finalists - just the one very deserving winner who will be announced momentarily.

So without further ado, I present the 2015 Cookiers' Choice Awards winners, along with select remarks from our judges about what made these cookiers stand out in 2015.

2015 Cookier of the Year: Evelin Milanesi of Evelindecora

Evelindecora 2

"Each of Evelin's creations is an original piece of art, beautifully executed with a style of her own done to perfection! Her critters, characters, and miniatures are unique, fantastic little masterpieces that are stunning and priceless. Her 2015 portfolio is unbeatable by all standards."

"Evelin is a master of color, texture, and design. Her use of color is subtle, yet striking, and she often approaches designs from a unique and unusual perspective. Each cookie is a visual feast, making you want to study every single inch."

2015 Cookie Educator of the Year: Georganne Bell of LilaLoa

"2015 was Georganne’s year. Her crowning achievement for 2015 was the publication of her book, The Cookie Companion, which not only provides loads of helpful cookie decorating tips, but also includes extraordinary and indispensable color charts for mixing food gel colors. Georganne significantly branched out in her teaching this year by adding a class on Craftsy, all while maintaining her long-running blog. The blog is a perennial favorite of mine, not just for cookie decorating tips and tricks, but for all of its 'scientific-y' research articles . . . Georganne does all of this, and does it with such good cheer and ease."

"Georganne stood out for me this year as Cookie Educator, as she tackled two of the most ‘serious’ cookie problems: color in her book and shapes in her Craftsy class. The Craftsy class will change how people look at cutters (and everything else around them for that matter!), whereas the book will become a reference for colors and how to mix them."

2015 Cookie Innovators of the Year: Karen and Mike Summers of CookieCon

Karen and Mike Square
"Imagining something amazing and accomplishing it are two very different things. I chose Mike and Karen because, by creating CookieCon, they changed the cookie world forever. They brought people from all over the world together, and have given our community a platform and the resources to do things many of us never ever imagined."

"Mike and Karen have had great impact by bringing so many people together at one venue where they can learn by participating, watching, shopping, and chatting. This impact is . . . manifested in the wish of non-attending cookiers to ‘save up’ to be there in the future, and in the prod it has given further-away cookiers to get together on a smaller scale. Karen and Mike's artistry lies in their vision, and the quality of their work is displayed in their organizational skill and determination."

2015 Cookie Philanthropist of the Year: Anita Cadonau-Huseby of Sweet Hope Cookies

12516323_10153496690261656_405671976_n"Anita has this year, among other things, organised Bake to Defeat ALS, which raised enormous amounts of money for ALS research, as well as highlighted and made cookies for the GO BO Foundation cookie sale. Anita gives all her time to helping people."

"Anita is unsurpassed in her philanthropic activities. She is able to bring so many together for so many causes."

"Not only has Anita worked tirelessly to raise funds for ALS research, but her fund was the largest Community of Hope tribute fund this year, with $28,614 raised thus far. This result is testament to Anita's remarkable heart and generosity."

What an incredible group! Please raise a glass (or a cookie, if you prefer!) to the wonderful contributions of our 2015 winners, finalists, and judges, and to the prospect of another grand cookie-year in 2016!



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A special Congratulation to Evelin, You are always a generous and gracious lady. Your artistry is breathtaking perfection. No one deserves to be honored more and any day I can stand in your shadow is a day I will treasure. Hugs to you Evelin!

Congratulations to all the winners and also to all the nominees. What a wonderful group of people from sharing so much cookie information to giving of time and also raising awareness to such wonderful and important causes. Thank you for all you do.

Spectacular, well deserving winners!!  Huge congratulations!  The judges deserve congratulations, too. The finalists presented an almost insurmountable challenge, but the judges accepted their duties, with grand results!  I'm in awe of their process.

Raising my glass! Slainte!

Congratulations to all the winners and to Julia for creating and sponsoring this delightful way to bring recognition to those who continue to inspire us. While I'm very grateful and touched to have been awarded the Cookie Philanthropist of the year, giving and helping others is something the entire cookie community excels at and because I've done nothing that didn't involve the participation of everyone else in the cookie community, consider this OUR award. Drop by my house anytime and help yourself to the M&M's in OUR beautiful crystal vase  Love, Anita

Teri Pringle Wood posted:

A special Congratulation to Evelin, You are always a generous and gracious lady. Your artistry is breathtaking perfection. No one deserves to be honored more and any day I can stand in your shadow is a day I will treasure. Hugs to you Evelin!

Teri, you make me cry now! Thank you with all my heart for your beautiful words, I can say the same about you!

love and hugs!!! ❤️

mintlemonade (cookie crumbs) posted:

Congratulations to all!
Evelin has been my cookie idol and I admire her perfection and being generous as Teri said.
Lilaloa is one of my favorite cookie blog. It's not only helpful but funny! So is her book!

Noriko ❤️ Thank you! I am very happy that you are happy for me; indeed you are my cookie idol too. The sad thing is that there is only one prize because many great cookiers like you, Teri, Lucy and many , many others deserved to win it! I virtually share it with you that always give me a lot of love and precious support!

love ❤️❤️❤️

To Julia, judges and all Cookie Connection community: thank you with all my heart!

It is such a big honor and a huge happiness, so difficult to translate it into words!

Many congratulations to all the nominees and winners; a big honor was also being nominated with Teri and Lucy, two great artists that I love and respect! A big hug to Georganne too ❤️❤️❤️


manu posted:

Congratulazioni Evelin, che bel riconoscimento e che grande soddisfazione! And congrats to all the nominees and winners! Thanks to Julia and her Cookie Connection.

Grazie di cuore Manu! Non puoi neanche immaginare quanto io sia felice e onorata di ricevere questo premio!!!


Congratulations to all the winners and incredible cookie artists! So well deserved!

I am so happy and honored to have been among the nominees 

And thank you very much to all of you who have voted! :* :* :*


Hugs! <3

Felicidades para todas!!! gracias por ser el ejemplo de quienes admiramos su trabajo; antes de estar en este bello  mundo de la galletas me decía ,que galletas tan bellas!!! si tener la oportunidad de conocer mas de cerca las verdaderos protagonistas de esas bellezas, mi admiración para ustedes.

Gongratulation to all the winners! You all deserve it so much! Thanks for being so inspiring. I'm getting a better cookier as well as a better person because of people like you. Evelin, your art is absolutely beautiful. Georganne, you help me so much thinking outside the box and I love your book so much! Karen and Mike, I can't thank you enough for the CookieCon, this event was awesome and I can't wait for the next one. And finally, but not the least, Anita! All I can say to you is thank you for being such a good person, you are truly a mentor for me. 

Thank you Julia for creating this award! These people deserve so much being in the spotlight!