Skip to main content

Free homemade cookies are Rochester woman's holiday gift to Minnesotans

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Free cookies. A dozen of them. Homemade chocolate chip. Order as many as you like.

It's right there, on the Etsy listing.

"I lose a little bit, but it’s not that much honestly," Jillian Kimberlin told BringMeTheNews about her bank balance during the period she is offering the treats.

Kimberlin (pictured right), a 28-year-old who lives in Rochester (by way of Wisconsin and Illinois), is not a baker. She works at the Mayo Clinic, actually.

But for the past four years, when the post-Thanksgiving holiday season rolls in, she begins rolling some dough and shipping batches of a dozen cookies – plus a homemade Christmas card – to anyone who orders them.

There is a small cost – Kimberlin asks you pay the shipping and handling ($5.95), and the 20 cents it costs to list the item on Etsy. But that's it, for a fresh batch of cookies you don't even have to leave your house for.

You can click here to order a batch.

Why send out free cookies?

It started in 2011. Her coworkers had always like her cookies, and she enjoyed making them.

"I didn't really want to sell them," she said.

So that year she went to the Internet.

"It's my own recipe," she wrote. "They are more 'cake cookies' than 'crunchy cookies'."

That first year, she baked and mailed out nearly 100 batches of a dozen (which is about 1,200 total cookies). The most she's gotten is 137 orders. Each year, she also donates to a different charity – sometimes cookies, sometimes just cash – based on how many orders she gets.

She's publicized it on Reddit each year, but not with much fanfare. This year, she posted to the Minnesota subreddit, letting people know they were available.

"It doesn’t seem to garner that much attention," she told BringMeTheNews.

She's made 50 batches available to start, but can up that number any time she wants. There is a limit somewhere, but she doesn't know exactly what that number is.

"If I up it to 150 dozen cookies, I'll have to employ some help from friends," she said.

And while some are skeptical ("False advertising at its best," one Reddit user commented), Kimberlin said it's the best offer she can put out there when making mass quantities of free cookies.

"I just hope that people will enjoy the cookies, and yeah, just kind of inspire people to give back really," she said. "Christmas is all about the giving spirit … I figure if I can help this way, that’ll be good too."

Next Up


Body of missing Mankato woman believed to have been found

A canoer found the body in a swamp near Eagle Lake Friday.

kim crockett facebook sos

MN GOP endorses attorney general, secretary of state candidates

Kim Crockett was endorsed as the party's candidate for secretary of state, while Jim Schultz won the endorsement for attorney general.


Volunteer firefighter identified as man killed during Thursday storms

The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office confirmed that 63-year-old Ryan Erickson died when a grain bin fell on him.

Juan Ramos, standing outside of his Taco Chon Mexican Grill, in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Firm takes on case defending Taco Chon against Taco John's lawsuit

The local Mexican restaurant is fighting a case presented by Taco John's over naming rights, among other things.

Screen Shot 2022-05-14 at 7.32.27 AM

Worker killed in skid loader accident was 23-year-old apprentice lineman

Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative called the incident "the unthinkable."

Cascade River 1

Raging North Shore rivers overtake bridges, snap trees in half

Pedestrian bridges near the Lutsen Resort have been damaged by the vast river flow.

u.s. attorney's office

St. Paul man sentenced for 2021 robbery spree

Warren Dean, 27, admitted to robbing seven St. Paul businesses in a span of three days.


Stevens County may have been hit the hardest by Thursday storms

The entire county was without power after the storms blew through Thursday evening.

State Patrol

3 killed, 1 critical after trio of crashes in Minnesota Thursday

One person also faces life-threatening injuries in a crash that happened in Olmsted County.

Screen Shot 2022-05-13 at 1.25.08 PM

Mora woman saves pelican caught in fishing line for days

A birthday fishing trip shapes into a heroic tale.


Duluth woman receives rare double organ transplant in Rochester

Jessica Danielson, 30, is recovering from a very rare double organ transplant at Mayo Clinic. After more than six months of waiting, she received a new heart and liver on Monday. Doctors at Mayo told KARE 11 her lifesaving heart-liver transplant is only seen at the hospital about twice a year.