The Story Behind Mt. Shasta Cookies

Last year, I posted a recipe for a favorite cookie I’ve been making for about 25 years – Mt. Shasta Cookies.  Last week, I received a comment from a lady who said her sister originated the recipe, won a contest with it, and should be given credit.  I totally agreed.  My source had been a newsletter that contained blue-ribbon winning recipes from all over the country and I’m sure the person who submitted it didn’t know the background either.  I posted an update on my blog and then on Christmas Day, I received this message from the cookie baker/contest winner herself:

Hello Lillian.

I am Linda McCready, and in 1958 I created the recipe for “Mt. Shasta Cookies”. I was the primary baker for my family of 10, and was constantly trying to come up with something different. This recipe began as a standard shortbread made with brown sugar and chopped walnuts. I love macaroons, so decided to try topping the cookies with macaroon mix. The result was such a huge hit that I spent many of my free hours making more and more … and more. The local newspaper carried Family Weekly magazine on Sundays, and one week they had a notice of a recipe contest for teenagers. I sent in the recipe and promptly forgot about it. Early in December of 1958 a man knocked on our door, introduced himself as a reporter for the Sacramento Union, and announced I had won the grand prize. My prize was a week-long stay in Chicago, over Christmas holidays, a slew of events such as plays, ballet, Ice Capades, museums etc. etc, and finally a gala luncheon with representatives of the food companies who advertised in Family Weekly. An amazing experience for a 15-year-old. Now I am 70, and still remember it clearly.
I am glad my recipe is still being used, and appreciate your sharing it with others.

Linda 1959 Newsp Class

Isn’t that a wonderful story! Now, I’m happy to share not only the recipe but the story behind this great cookie.

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Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

7 thoughts on “The Story Behind Mt. Shasta Cookies”

  1. That IS a wonderful story, and amazing that all these years later, she and you connected! The internet is a wonderful thing. Good cookie, good story!

  2. The story behind the creation of the cookie makes it even more interesting, I may have to give these a try, When we lived in Northern California we were 55 miles from Mt. Shasta.

  3. The creator of the cookie had sucha lovely story – I’m so glad you posted both because I am going to make some of those cookies for myself and mom’s new year’s eve afternoon tea (the ladies are generally asleep at midnight! and they will love it! Thanks Lillian!

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