Ring in the holidays with recipes from the ‘Great Partnership Bake-Off’
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Ring in the holidays with recipes from the ‘Great Partnership Bake-Off’

December 22, 2022 | Updated on January 8, 2024
Rachel Lin

On Dec. 15, the Partnership for Public Service hosted its annual office holiday party in Washington, D.C. A main highlight of the festivities was the ‘Great Partnership Bake-Off’ competition.  

Sixteen participants entered their cookies to be evaluated by five judges. Every entry was rated on a scale of 1-5 in four different categories: presentation, taste, texture and originality.  

Sasha Blachman took home the first place award for her caramel hazelnut cookies. Additionally, one participant, Maddie Powder received the James-Christian Award for Best Dessert, an honor bestowed by the Partnership’s executive vice president, James-Christian Blockwood. 

Read on to explore ten delicious recipes sampled during the Partnership holiday bake-off.

Oatmeal Teff Chocolate Chip Cookies

Heather Gunter, a manager for the Public Service Leadership Institute team, made Gluten-Free Oatmeal Teff Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Pistachio Amaretti Cookies

Ellen Perlman, a senior writer and editor on the Communications team, baked Pistachio Amaretti Cookies.

Brownies and Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

Maddie Powder, a research associate, made Malted “Forever” Brownies and White Chocolate Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies.

Matcha Glaze Brownies and Black Sesame-Espresso Pinwheel Shortbread Cookies

Maggie Moore, a communications and events manager, baked Mini Brownies With Matcha Glaze and Black Sesame-Espresso Pinwheel Shortbread Cookies.

Caramel Hazelnut Linzer Cookies

Sasha Blachman, a research associate, made Caramel Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies.

S’mores Cookies

Kelly Shih, manager of the Excellence in Government Fellows program, baked s’mores chocolate chip cookies.

Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies

Rachel Bixby, an associate for the Public Service Leadership Institute, made Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies, or Peppermint Patricias as she calls them.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Shirley Tang, an associate on the Federal Workforce team, baked semisweet chocolate chip cookies with an original recipe below:


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour.
1 teaspoon of baking soda.
1/2 teaspoon of salt.
1 stick of salted butter, room temperature.
1/3 cup of granulated sugar.
1/3 cup of light brown sugar.
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
1 large egg.
5 ounces of semisweet chocolate chunks.
5 ounces of milk chocolate ships.


1. In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated and brown sugar, salt and butter until a paste forms with no lumps.

2. Whisk in the egg and the vanilla, beating until light ribbons fall off the whisk and remain for a short while before dissolving.

3. Sift in the flour and baking soda, then fold with a spatula until just incorporated. (Be careful not to overmix, which will cause the gluten in the flour to toughen, resulting in cakier cookies.)

4. Fold in the milk and dark chocolate chunks.

5. Chilling is optional. Chill the dough for 2 hours, or for a more intense toffee-like flavor and deeper color, overnight. The longer the dough rests, the more complex its flavor will be.

6. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

7. Scoop.

8. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges have started to lightly brown. Let cool completely before serving.

Rachel Lin is an intern on the Partnership’s Communications team.

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