Tag: Washington State Fair

Chewy Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies

These Chewy Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies are a well-deserved blue ribbon winning entry from the Washington State Fair.

Chewy Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies

The award-winning cookie recipe features the nutty deliciousness of browned butter, combined with oatmeal, coconut, and toffee bits. The cookies are full of flavor and have an amazing aroma. As the finishing step, you drizzle melted chocolate and sprinkle extra toffee bits on top.

Chewy Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Recipe credit goes to Rachel Atwood who won 1st place with this re-invented oatmeal chocolate chip cookie at the Washington State Fair (2015, Gold Medal Cookie Contest). Rachel originally titled them as Brown Butter Coconut Chewies. Magically, they are chewy, crispy, and tender all at the same time.

Chewy Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies are an all-time favorite recipe we make again and again. They wowed the judges at the Washington State Fair and they wow us and every taster every time we bake them.

The recipe takes about two hours max, start to finish and makes about 24 cookies. You might want to double the recipe. It is that good!

Chewy Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies


The variety of ingredients in this recipe reminds us of kitchen sink cookies, but the texture is quite different.

Ingredients for Chewy Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Aromatic Browned Butter

Browning the butter is an essential step. Also key, is using these mix-in ingredients: toffee bits, oatmeal, coconut, and rice krispies cereal. Altogether they bring on the cookie’s crispy addictive chewiness. You can almost foresee the texture once you mix the dough.

Chewy Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Before baking, you’ll want to slightly flatten each ball you roll.

Single ball of dough, flattened

Use a scale and make them 1 ounce each if you want a consistent size and look. On the baking sheet, be sure you give ample space, about 3 inches, between the balls of dough, as they spread out more than the average cookie.

Chewy Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies

If you love browned butter like we do, this will become a fast favorite of yours like it did with us. And if you’re looking for another creative oatmeal cookie, check out this strawberries & cream themed one. It will be love at first bite with both. Enjoy!



Blue Ribbon Fresh Herb Olive Nut Bread

Fresh Herb Olive Nut Bread: If you want a flavorful bread that wows people and is easy to make, bake this blue ribbon winning bread.

From fresh garlic, shallots, and chives, to basil, dill weed, and oregano, this bread incorporates them all, and more. You can change up the herbs based on your favorites and what’s on hand. That makes this dough so versatile. Love dill? Use more of it. Or switch to rosemary if that’s what you’re craving.

Last year we had the opportunity to test, tweak and photograph a big batch of bread recipes for a client. This blue ribbon-winning Fresh Herb Olive Nut Bread was a stand out. In fact, we are still drooling over its flavors.

Slather it with some great butter on it and it’s a double wow! I brought the bread to a wine and cheese party and it was an absolute hit! The only bummer was no leftovers to have as toast in the morning.

Recipe credit goes to Susan Erickson, who won her blue ribbon at the Seattle-Tacoma area Washington State Fair, aka the Puyallup Fair (2016). She won best bread in a themed recipe contest supported by Fleischmann’s Yeast.

Blue Ribbon Winner Tips

When she won, Susan shared that for most of her baking years, she was been known for her desserts. She only baked her first breads in 2014. Once she had the basics down though, she was hooked! Those basics were knowing when the yeast was working (thumbs up if you see the foam) and handling the dough (flour helps and not over-kneading). Winning first place at the state fair was a big feather in her cap and a cherished experience. Like many so many blue ribbon foodies, this built on her life-long passion for all things delicious.

Susan shared this great baking tip: she buys only one 5 pound bag of flour at a time. “This way, I always have only the freshest flour on hand,” she noted, and added that it makes a subtle but big difference.

Try this blue ribbon fresh herb olive nut bread and you will have a winner on the table too!

Wanting More?

Stay tuned for some fabulous focaccia breads….coming soon!

Got a sweet tooth? Try this Pumpkin Pull-Apart Monkey Bread


Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting:  this luscious layer cake features finely shredded fresh carrots, crushed pineapple, melted butter, eggs, and a few pantry staples in its batter. Once baked, you layer and frost it with a rich cream cheese/pineapple frosting. Chopped pecans add to its tastiness and texture.

This is it people…the carrot cake that won me over. It literally taught me to LOVE carrot cake.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Pecans

Bad vs. Good

Can you believe I never liked it? The truth is, my previous experience (nightmare?) with carrot cake was one bite. I tasted one hunk of an over-baked sheet cake when I was a kid. Turns out there were bitter bits in it too: flour not fully mixed in, and maybe rancid walnuts?! One bit of yuck! After that, for a dessert, I would almost always opt for chocolate cake, a lemon bar, or anything else.

One taste of this carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and I totally changed my tune. It’s dense but completely moist, and the cream cheese frosting is to die for! It was so easy to bake and I loved the creamy look of the batter just before mixing in the pineapple and carrots.

Batter of Carrot Cake

I brought the entire thing (minus my generous slice of course) to friends. Not to brag, but one said it was the best carrot cake he ever tasted. (Thanks Henry!) Another, just widened his eyes and said, “WOW!” (Thanks Jeffrey!) OK, yes, I am bragging, but that’s not the point =). This cake is something you definitely need to try at home!

Slice of Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Championship Cake Award Winner

This cake is another all-time favorite recipe from our archives. It’s based on a 1999 1st place winning recipe the Washington State Fair. Blue ribbon bragging rights went to Mark Yamamoto of Seattle. He won a Championship Cake Award for it. Thank you MARK! Funny thing, 1999 was my first ever year managing a recipe contest and its PR. The Washington State Fair was then known as Puyallup Fair or the Western Washington Fair. In fact, locals still call it the Puyallup Fair.  You know this recipe is good if it has been a favorite of ours for over 20 years! If you’re loving these “oldies but goodies” recipes, be sure to try another 1999 winner from our archives, this Mounds of Joy Cake, another championship cake award winner.

Sifted Flour

When I did our recipe test run for this crazy-good carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, I adjusted only a few ingredients. I opted for sifted all-purpose flour versus cake flour, added pecans, left out the raisins, and decreased the pineapple just a bit. Mark held back his cream cheese frosting recipe, so I added my own here.

As soon as you make this, you’ll have a winner on your hands too! Enjoy!