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


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."

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