Tag: baking competition

Sugar-Free Coconut Icebox Cookies with Low-Sugar Cookie Dip

These Sugar-Free Coconut Icebox Cookies are buttery, delicious and made with just a handful of ingredients. They are easy to make and pair perfectly with a low-sugar cream cheese cookie dip

Sugar-Free Coconut Icebox Cookies dip closeup

Icebox cookies simply means you chill the dough after making it and before baking. We shaped ours into a long rectangle but you could do round or oval instead. Then you just “slice and bake” when you’re ready for some fresh-baked cookies. You can even freeze the dough to have on hand whenever a craving hits. 

A Short Ingredient List

For these sugar-free coconut icebox cookies, the short ingredient list includes flour, baking soda, salt, butter, and egg. Instead of sugar, you use a Splenda sweetener, like brown sugar or the new Magic Baker zero sugar baking blend (now available on Amazon and at Walmart or other stores). Then you can flavor the cookies like we did, with a coconut extract, or opt for your favorite flavoring. Personally, we are working our way through our favorite extracts, ranging from coconut and pumpkin spice, to cotton candy and citrus blends.

The cookie dip is such a fun idea, with the best part being you get to choose your cookie to frosting ratio. Or  you can frost each cookie instead. A tip with the dip/frosting is to make confectioners type sugar out of Splenda granulated sugar and cornstarch. And just like with the cookie dough, you can flavor the dip/frosting with your favorite flavoring.

“Low-To-No Sugar Showdown” Recipe Contest

We created this cookie to celebrate the first year of our Splenda Magic Baker “Low-To-No Sugar Showdown” and the upcoming contest at the State Fair of Texas. The fair runs Sep 30 to Oct 23 (2022), with the contest landing on Wednesday, October 5, 2022. The fair’s Creative Arts Building is where all their cooking contests happen and they have a terrific line-up. Hats off to all the aspiring blue ribbon bakers and amateur chefs there. We’re rooting for you! 

Whether or not you are competing, we invite you to bake these sugar-free coconut icebox cookies. Be sure to share and tag @BlueRibbonFoodies on Instagram and/or Facebook if you do! You never know when a giveaway will pop up.

And if you are at the State Fair of Texas please join us for all the ”Low-To-No Sugar Showdown” events. 

Splenda “Low-to-No Sugar Showdown” 10/5/2022

@ Contest Kitchen (Creative Arts Building)

  • 9am Entry Drop Off + Free Product Giveaway
  • 10:30am Judging
  • 12pm-ish Awards

@ Celebrity Chef Stage (Creative Arts Building)

  • 4:30pm Sponsor Showcase + Free Product Giveaway
  • Diabetes-Friendly Baking & Cooking
  • Featuring Andrea Luongo; Dieticians of Dallas

 

 

New Blue Ribbon Group Contests @ State Fair of Texas

Enter Our New Blue Ribbon Group Contests at the 2022 State Fair of Texas

Cash Prizes of $200, $100, $50 Offered in New Cooking & Baking Contests 

Dallas-Fort Worth, September  13, 2022 – Calling all Texas home cooks and hobby bakers! You’re invited to compete in our new Blue Ribbon Group Contests @ State Fair of Texas. Up for grabs is $350 in prizes in each of four contests/categories, plus bonus prizes and additional ways to win. Do you make great game day foods that are total crowd pleasers? How about some homemade low-sugar sweet-treats? If you do, then these new contests are for you!

Tom Thumb “Blue Ribbon Recipe Round Up” (Game Day Themed Recipes/3 Categories) 10/2/2022

The first Texas Blue Ribbon Group contest is the Tom Thumb  “Blue Ribbon Recipe Round-Up” on Sunday, October 2. With a “Game Day Delights” theme, the Blue Ribbon Recipe Round-Up calls for crowd-pleasing appetizers, main dishes, and desserts. The event is essentially three contests in one. We want to see your best-tasting recipes that are perfect for parties! Each category/type has $350 in gift card prizes, including $200 for 1st Place, $100 for 2nd Place, and $50 for 3rd Place. Plus, bonus prizes will celebrate overall baking category winners (among the fair’s total contest line-up) and offer additional ways to win, even if you don’t compete at the fair.

Splenda Magic Baker™ “Low-To-No Sugar Showdown” (Creative Cookies) 10/5/2022

The second Texas Blue Ribbon Group contest is Wednesday, October 5, for the Splenda Magic Baker “Low-To-No Sugar Showdown.” This contest includes a free product giveaway – while supplies last – and calls for CREATIVE COOKIES that are low in sugar or sugar- free! Use any Splenda product, such as Splenda Magic Baker, a new zero-calorie, zero-sugar, plant-based sweetener that tastes and measures just like sugar. The product  is now available from Amazon, Walmart and other grocery stores.

Winner Selections

State Fair of Texas official judges (a varied panel of food professionals, local celebrities, and foodies) will decide each contest’s winners based on evaluating entries with this judging criteria:

  • Unique, innovative, creative recipe (35%)
  • Taste, flavor, aroma (30%)
  • Appearance, color, presentation (25%)
  • Texture, internal appearance (10%)

Extra Ways to Win

Be sure to follow Blue Ribbon Foodies on Instagram and/or Facebook or join our mailing list here for a chance to win one of our $25 gift card giveaways. Whether or not you are competing at the State Fair of Texas, we invite you to take part. We will offer random prizes and perks to our community members and followers throughout the 2022 state fair season, which for us, ends October 22, 2022.

Participation Tips/Guidelines – Blue Ribbon Group Contests @ State Fair of Texas

 All state fair recipe/cooking contest registration and judging goes through the State Fair of Texas Creative Arts Department.

  • Get all the competition details here (Jump to pages 19 & 26, for the Tom Thumb and Splenda Magic Baker contests)
  • Only Texas residents can win at the State Fair of Texas. Advance registration is recommended but not required.
  • When you are ready to register, follow this link (TX Registration Shortcut)

 

Special thanks to our 2022 Texas Contest Partners

 

2022 Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Competitions

2022 Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Competitions Celebrate Home Baking & Cooking

7 New Special Contests & Blue Ribbon Group Baker Awards Offer Kudos & Cash Prizes

$3,325 in Winner Prizes Up for Grabs

Minneapolis – July 24, 2022 – Home cooks from throughout the Twin Cities are hitting their kitchens to vie for big first place prizes and bragging rights in our blue ribbon recipe contest series at the 2022 Minnesota State Fair. The much beloved tradition of competing is a quintessential state fair experience you don’t want to miss.

Calling All Blue Ribbon Foodies & Minnesota State Fair Lovers!! August 20, 2022 is Entry Drop Off Day

In this skill-based competitive event, home cooks prepare their entries at home and deliver them to fairgrounds for judging . You drop off your entry the Saturday before the fair opens , so it’s easy in, easy out. Drop off is 9:30am to 1pm on Saturday, August 20, 2022. You can even have a friend drop it off if you can’t make it. Competition is open to Minnesota residents only. Thousands of items from hundreds of competitors come in. Staff and volunteers sort, tag and organize everything for judging, a process closed to the general public. The Minnesota State Fair then showcases top finishers in window/display cases (Creative Activities Building) throughout entire run of fair (August 25 – Sept 5, 2022). Look also for chef presentations and product sampling among the Cambria Kitchen demonstrations schedule during the fair.

If you are on social media, be sure to follow, post and tag BLUE RIBBBON FOODIES and contest sponsors on Instagram or Facebook (or both =) for special giveaways and more ways to win in the kitchen.

Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Building on the success of 2021’s blue ribbon baking contest series and our decades of arranging national state fair recipe contests, our 2022 Minnesota State Fair plans include Blue Ribbon Baker Awards to honor each blue ribbon winning baker for their best cookies, cakes, pies, pies, and breads. Plus, we arranged seven (7) new special contests with 1st place prizes ranging from $100 to $200. They put the spotlight on sugar-free baking, classic artisan breads, creative cookies and cakes, energy bars made with cricket powder, and even healthy salads!

Key Dates

**Competitors Register by Tue Aug 9, 2022, 4:30pm**

**Drop Off Day Sat Aug 20, 2022, 9:30am to 1pm**

**View Winner Displays & Recipe Demos Aug 25 to Sep 5 in Creative Activities Building**

*Low-To-No Sugar Showdown – calling for the best quick breads made with Splenda products and no added sugar. Prizes total $350 with $200 for 1st place, $100 for 2nd place, $50 for 3rd place. Bring on the baked goods that are perfect for those avoiding sugar or are living with diabetes. Think scrumptious scones, marvelous muffins, and crave-worthy coffee cakes. Quick breads made with fruit, vegetables, or spices qualify too. This contest made possible by Splenda and its new plant-based, zero-calorie, sugar-free sweetener, Magic Baker.

Splenda Low-To-No-Sugar Showdown

*Great Chocolate Cake Contest – prominently feature chocolate as an ingredient and flavor in your cake – solo or with any complimentary flavors. Wow the judges and our taste buds. Entries can be any size or shape: layer, sheet, tube, cupcake or bite-sized. The most unique and most delicious cakes will win. Prizes valued at $175 are up for grabs for the top 3 finishers, plus bonus prizes for broader “best in class” cake winners. This contest made possible by Kowalski’s Markets.

Double Chocolate Bacon Cake

*Supreme Sourdough Bread Contest – the spotlight is on sensational sourdough this year. Enter yours in the new “Supreme Sourdough Bread” Contest at the 2022 Minnesota State Fair. Prizes valued at $175 will go to the best sourdough bread bakers. Plus, bonus prizes will go to the fair’s broader “best in class” 1st place bread winners, from quick breads to yeast breads, sweet or savory. This contest made possible by Kowalski’s Markets.

Sourdough Polish Rye Bread

*Blue Ribbon Best Peanut Butter Cookie Contest – We want to see your tastiest and most unique cookies and cookie bars, any shape or size. Creativity counts! Use 1/4 cup (or more) peanut butter, plus any flavors and any ingredient combinations you love, to wow the judges. Prizes valued at $175 are up for grabs, plus bonus prizes for broader “best in class” cookie and bar winners. This contest made possible by Blue Ribbon Group and King Arthur Baking Company.

Jumbo Peanut Butter Butterfinger Cookies-from above

*Blue Ribbon Best Cream Pie Contest – Make your creamiest and dreamiest pie entry, any size or shape. Creativity for the win! Prizes valued at $175 are up for grabs for the top 3 finishers, plus bonus prizes for all broader “best in class” pie winners. This contest made possible by Blue Ribbon Group.

Best Banana Cream Pie Recipe Overhead Shot

*Energy Bars & Power Balls Recipe Contest – if you missed last year’s first-ever 3 Cricketeers recipe contest, get cracking on your “Energy Bars & Power Balls” contest entry for the Minnesota State Fair. We want to see creative recipes using 3C’s 100% pure cricket powder and additional ingredients known to boost and energize – peanut butter, nuts, seeds, oatmeal, and chocolate, for example. Your entry can be any shape, size, or style, baked or the no bake kind. This contest made possible by support from 3 Cricketeers.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats

*Salad Bowl Tournament – make your best bountiful salad with any Salad Girl™ dressing and any other ingredients, from fresh vegetables, salad greens, herbs, and fruits, to proteins and nuts. Your entry can be in a bowl, or not. We’re looking for nutritious, unique, innovative, and creative recipes. Among the other judging criteria: appearance, color, presentation; texture, balance of ingredients, and flavor, aroma. Prizes valued at $175 are up for grabs. This contest made possible by Blue Ribbon Group with support from Kowalski’s Markets and Salad Girl.

State Fair Baking, Cooking & More

Don’t miss this treasured tradition that hundreds of Minnesotans take part in every year. You’ll rub elbows with like-minded home cooks and hobby bakers on entry drop-off day and once the fair opens see what wins in display cases throughout the Creative Activities Building. The experience is also a wonderful warm-up for the upcoming holiday baking season.

First Time Participant or Need a Refresher?

All registration goes through the Minnesota State Fair competition department. Registration is free! There’s also no obligation if you later can’t participate. Go to the Competitions/Creative Activities/Baked Products section at MNStateFair.org to sign up (under the Participants tab).

Quick-start tips:

  1. Find all baking rules, regs, open classes, and cool special contests here and be sure to download the Creative Activities/Baked Goods Premium Book Section. Jump to pages 12-18 for the special contests, page by page.
  2. Sign up for the Competition Department email list here and be sure to choose “Creative Activities” as your email list.
  3. Create your online account here (then be sure your registration clears and is confirmed).
  4. For step-by-step guidance, go here.

 

 

Splenda Low-To-No-Sugar-Showdown

New Splenda “Low-To-No Sugar Showdown” Recipe Contest Celebrates Sugar-Free Blue Ribbon Baking at State Fairs

$350 in Cash Awards for Top Winners in Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Texas, Arkansas; Bonus Prizes for Sugar-Free Bakers Nationally-

If you love cakes, cookies, pies, and other sweet treats but prefer them sugar-free or diabetes-friendly, check out the new Splenda “Low-To-No Sugar Showdown.” The state fair recipe contest series takes place this summer and fall at 5 prominent fairs.

  • Ohio State Fair  Runs 7/27/22 – 8/7/22   Judging 7/24/22 in Rhodes Center Building
  • Wisconsin State Fair   Runs 8/4/22 – 8/14/22   Judging 8/7/22 in Grand Champion Hall
  • Minnesota State Fair  Runs 8/25/22 – 9/5/22   Judging 8/20/22 in Creative Activities Building
  • State Fair of Texas  Runs 9/30/22 – 10/23/22   Judging 10/5/22 in Creative Arts Building
  • Arkansas State Fair  Runs 10/14/22 – 10/23/22   Judging 10/19/22 in Arts & Craft Center

Note: Most fairs require advance registration, which bakers do directly with each fair’s competition office. If you can’t compete at any of these fairs, you can still participate. See below.

The Low-Down on the “Low-To-No Sugar Showdown” (Product Giveaway!)

  • At each event, home-baking fairgoers receive a free 16 ounce bag of Splenda’s new plant-based, zero-calorie sweetener, Magic Baker (one per person, while supplies last).
  • All winning entries will feature Splenda Magic Baker or some other Splenda product.
  • Cookies, cakes, and diabetes-friendly desserts are among the varied themes at each showdown.
  • $350 in cash awards are up for grabs at each of the fairs.
  • 3 winners will receive cash prizes at each fair: 1st Place is $200, 2nd is $100, 3rd is $50.
  • Judges choose winners for being unique and creative, with great taste, flavor and aroma, as well as presentation and texture.
  • Look for a winning recipe collection on Blue Ribbon Group website and Blue Ribbon Foodies social media channels.

For contest details and complete competition guidelines, contact the fair’s entry office or the Blue Ribbon Group (here).

Bonus Prizes for Sugar-Free Baking Nationally

If you compete with a sugar-free/no added sugar recipe at ANY state fair (one of the above or other) and use Splenda, we invite you to share it with us for a chance to win a $25 gift card. To qualify, post before October 23, 2022 on social media — Facebook or Instagram, using #splenda, #lowtonosugar, #blueribbonfoodies, #blueribbonbaking, #statefair among your hashtags – and submit your sugar-free blue-ribbon-worthy baked good here. We will choose winning recipes (1 for each of 5 U.S. regions, if applicable) and feature them on our website and Blue Ribbon Foodies social media channels. Each baker with a winning recipe receives a $25 gift card.

Almond Blueberry Coffee Cake (Sugar-Free)

This Almond Blueberry Coffee Cake (Sugar-Free) recipe is one of the easiest and most delicious quick breads I’ve ever made.

It features – you guessed it – almonds and blueberries. We used sliced almonds and loved the end result. There’s a light crunch when you dig in, creating a delightful texture contrast.

Almond Blueberry Coffee Cake (Sugar Free) Key Ingredients

Blueberries abound

The bread portion is tender and filled with blueberries, which hold up well and provide a pop of fruity sweetness in every bite. We used fresh blueberries, but frozen would work well too. The batter is thick and spreadable. Because of this, the blueberries suspend throughout the quick bread and don’t sink down to the bottom, as they do often in other quick bread recipes. Here’s a look at the batter before I added the topping.

Thick Quick Bread Batter

How is this recipe sugar-free?

Thanks to the Splenda granulated sugar, this recipe is sugar-free. It bakes fast and gets a beautiful golden brown color. That color comes from tossing sliced almonds in egg white.  With the Splenda granulated sweetener added, that combo gives the coffee cake that fantastic, aforementioned texture contrast.

This type of recipe is called a quick bread for a reason, as it’s quick to make. It took me barely an hour from start to finish.

Almond Blueberry Coffee Cake (Sugar Free)

This almond blueberry coffee cake (sugar-free) creation was inspired by this one, from Splenda. I substituted heavy cream for 2%, but either will work. With no sugar, this recipe is diabetes-friendly. It’s ideal for my mother, who has type 2 diabetes, which she controls with her diet. According to my calculations, each serving has about 20 carbs, which makes it a sweet-treat that’s relatively low in carbs, especially compared to ones with sugar.

Upcoming recipe contest

Watch for more sugar-free desserts in the coming months as we experiment more with zero calorie sweeteners. Plus we have a 5 state fair recipe contest in the works with Splenda, so stay-tuned for more details on that this summer.

Cheers,

Cyndi

Almond Blueberry Coffee Cake (Sugar Free) Close Up

Blue Ribbon Mixed Fruit Pie

This Blue Ribbon Mixed Fruit Pie is a Minnesota State Fair award-winning recipe made with fresh blueberries, rhubarb, and strawberries. Recipe credit goes to Faye Peterson, who won best overall pie with it in 2014.

Best Pie at the Fair

The judges, a panel of food science professionals, chose the top pie based on appearance/color, texture/internal appearance, and flavor/aroma. In other words, it is all about execution…as in pie baking perfection:

  • A filling with excellent viscosity. (I love that word by the way; referring it its thickness.)
  • Fantastic flavor.
  • Perfectly browned on top.
  • And no soggy bottom!

Faye says this pie crust recipe, handed down from her mother, is more durable and fool-proof than most. She says this comes from using vinegar, egg, and shortening. Our tasters referred to the crust as “flaky yet firm” and “a perfect compliment to the rich, fruity filling.”

If you’re someone intimidated by home-made pie crusts, give this one a try. We found it forgiving and, so delicious!  You can make the crust ahead and refrigerate or even freeze it. Just bring it back to room temperature before rolling it out. Note: the pie crust recipe is for three crusts, so you will have one extra to make a cream pie, meringue, or some other one-crust pie. You can never have too much pie dough around. Am I right?!

Pro Tip

Using fresh blueberries, rhubarb, and strawberries is best. However, if that’s not an option, thaw and drain your frozen fruits and use the same portions: 2 cups blueberries and 3/4 cup each rhubarb and strawberries.

Bake Your Best

With the state fair season just around the corner and July being peak blueberry season, now is the perfect time to make this award-winning Blue Ribbon Mixed Fruit Pie. Plus, it’s a great practice run if you’re registered for 2021 Minnesota State Fair baking competitions a.k.a. Blue Ribbon Baking Day.

Hint Hint! There is a Best Fruit Pie Contest with $175 in prizes. Register by August 10, 4:30pm. Open to Minnesota residents only.

Enjoy & Good Luck!

-Cyndi

Note: This is an edited re-post from our sister website, StateFairRecipes.com

 

Bake Your Best for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair

Calling all Blue Ribbon Foodies & Minnesota State Fair Lovers!!

Hit the kitchen and let’s bake together for the Great Minnesota Get-Back-Together! To celebrate the official return of our hometown Minnesota State Fair in 2021, the Blue Ribbon Group is sponsoring four special baking contests at the Minnesota State Fair including:

  • Best Banana Bread
  • Best Fruit Pie
  • Best Drop Cookie
  • Best Coconut Cake

Cash Prizes & Kudos

For this “Blue Ribbon Baking Day” at the fair, we’ve organized $175 in prizes for each competition, plus there will be special recognition for blue ribbon winners across several broader baking categories: Cookies, Cakes, Pies, and Breads. Don’t miss this treasured tradition that hundreds of Minnesotans take part in every year. You’ll rub elbows with like-minded home cooks and hobby bakers on “baking drop-off day” and once the fair opens see what wins in display cases throughout the Creative Activities Building. The experience is also a wonderful warm-up for the upcoming holiday baking season.

Special Thanks to our prize partner, King Arthur Baking Company. 

King Arthur Baking Company

Blue Ribbon Baking Contest Series: Sat, Aug 21, 2021, 9:30am – 1pm (Competitors: Sign Up by Aug 10, 4:30pm)

All registration goes through the Minnesota State Fair competition department. Registration is free! There’s also no obligation if you later can’t participate. Go to the Competitions/Creative Activities/Baked Products section at MNStateFair.org to sign up (under the Participants tab). Three quick-start tips:

  • Create your online account here
  • For step-by-step guidance, go here.
  • Sign up for the Competition Department email list here and be sure to choose “Creative Activities” as your email list.

Best Drop Cookies Blue Ribbon Cake Blue Ribbon Pie: Blueberry Rhubarb Strawberry Pie Best Banana Bread

 

Sign Up!   *********************Registration is Closed; Stay Tuned for Follow-Up Posts **************************************

  • Registration is open now. It closes August 10 at 4:30pm. No late registrations are allowed so don’t miss the deadline
  • Registration is FREE
  • You drop off your entry the Saturday before the fair opens, so it’s easy in, easy out. Drop off is 9:30am to 1pm on Saturday, August 21. You can even have a friend drop it off if you can’t make it
  • Open to Minnesota residents only

If you are on social media, be sure to follow BLUE RIBBBON FOODIES on Instagram or Facebook (or both =). Help us grow. Like and comment on what you see there. Save and share your favorite posts. Also, stay tuned here for inspiration and award-winning recipes from Minnesota and across the country.

Want to see all the official rules? Download them here.

Good luck. We’ll be cheering for you all!

Cyndi & Crystal (aka The Blue Ribbon Group & Blue Ribbon Foodies)