DES MOINES, Iowa — Every year, Barksdale’s cookies bring smiles.

“It’s iconic to the Iowa State Fair,” said Annie Cook, the Iowa State Fair concessions and exhibits coordinator.

They rekindle memories. These cookies are more than flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and chocolate chips. Cook said, “There’s lots of memories for a lot of people of getting that big bucket of cookies. It’s abundance. It’s kind of that warm feeling you get when you get chocolate chip cookies that are warm and fresh.”

The famous Barksdale’s State Fair Cookies are made from a legacy. “They built that cookie building in order to continue his legacy and protect his family recipe so he’s a huge deal out here,” said Cook.

From humble beginnings with a family recipe in 1993 the cookies exploded into a crowd favorite. A favorite the Iowa State Fair will continue dishing out after the passing of the iconic dessert’s patriarch Joe Barksdale on Wednesday.

“We want to protect his legacy and we want to keep doing his family justice,” said Cook.

In 2019 the Barksdales gifted the business and most importantly, the recipe, to the Iowa State Fair. Iowans can bring a piece of the Barksdale legacy home with preordered frozen cookie dough sales through November 27 with pickup dates at the fairgrounds on December 2 and 3.

“The fair has sold the cookie dough. It’s the same recipe as what you get here but it is frozen cookie dough and individual little pucks you can bake. There’s three dozen in a bag for $12,” Cook said.

A legacy generously piled high, but more than a recipe generously gifted to all of Iowa. Cook said, “I think more than anything it brings joy and happiness to people.”