Tag: Wisconsin State Fair

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.

Wisconsin Gemütlichkeit SPAM Sandwich

Allow me to introduce you to this Wisconsin Gemütlichkeit SPAM Sandwich. It won the national SPAM brand recipe contest which I managed for 15+ years.

Wisconsin Gemütlichkeit Spam Sandwich Hold

Panko-crusted SPAM is paired with a warm cabbage slaw and served on pretzel buns. The award-winning sandwich comes from Lisa Dziadulewicz who first won her blue ribbon bragging rights at the 2015 Wisconsin State Fair. She went on to win national honors as well.

Wisconsin Gemütlichkeit Spam Sandwich

The schnitzel-inspired sandwich is a nod to the Midwest’s broad German heritage, and more specifically Wisconsin, where the home cook and creator lives.

When I saw “German Sandwich Day” (September 24) on the national today calendar, I knew the time was ripe to pull this indulgent, blissfully delicious recipe from our archives.

This Wisconsin Gemütlichkeit SPAM Sandwich recipe is an all-time favorite recipe because it is tasty and brings on so many fond memories of the SPAM contest. Plus, my family ate pork schnitzel almost every Christmas when I was growing up. I hope you make this sandwich soon and love it as much as we do.

German Slaw

Recipe Prep Tips

  • You can make the warm cabbage slaw ahead of time and freeze portions of it so it’s ready on the fly when you’re ready to fry up a few of these sandwiches. This works well if you don’t want to make all 12 sandwiches at the same time.
  • If you are making the full batch at the same time, keep the fried SPAM slices in a pan in a warm oven while you work your way through prepping all 12.  Served warm, these sandwiches really bring on the gemütlichkeit.
  • If you can’t find pretzel rolls, any hard rolls, like Kaiser or ciabatta will work also.
  • Be sure to get the panko-crusted SPAM nice and golden brown as that texture makes for an amazing bite each time.

Breaded fried SPAM Slices


Gemütlichkeit, pronounced “guh-MOOT-luh-kite,” refers to something “welcoming” and “cheerful.” While this recipe clearly embraces the German food theme, the sandwich has broad appeal as well.

Half Wisconsin Gemütlichkeit Spam Sandwich

The tender savory SPAM with its crispy coating is a delight to bite into as it perfectly complements the pretzel bread and zippy mustard. When topped with the bacon-rich, colorful red cabbage, you have something epic in your hands.



p.s. If you’re into globe-trotting eats-wise: for dessert, we recommend whipping up a batch of these Guinness-themed cookies, another Wisconsin State Fair winner.


Pistachio Lemon Butter Cookies

These Pistachio Lemon Butter Cookies bring three things together I adore: citrus, butter and my favorite nut, the pistachio.

With a triple threat of fresh lemon juice, lemon zest and lemon extract, these cookies burst with citrus flavor. Using all three of those ingredients together is the ticket. Put that in a rich butter cookie and I’m in love at first bite. A schmear of white chocolate lemon frosting on top adds another delightful dimension. You finish them with a sprinkling of extra pistachios. That texture contrast is a joyful experience. To be honest though, I have skipped the frosting before as they are delicious enough to stand alone. Unfrosted, they also stack well for transporting and storage.

Pistachio Lemon Butter Cookies overhead

Recipe credit goes to Denise Sokolowski who won a best cookie contest with it at the Wisconsin State Fair (2016). She came in second place, just behind those great Guinness Chocolate Cookies we previously shared.

These Pistachio Lemon Butter Cookies are perfect for celebrating National Pistachio Day – February 26, but you don’t need any excuse. Bake them any day of the year. The batch is pretty big. It made 60 cookies. What’s great about that is you can freeze the rolled balls of dough, in a single layer so they don’t stick together. Just bring them to room temperature before putting them in the oven. I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as I do.




Guinness Chocolate Cookies

These Guinness Chocolate Cookies feature the notorious dark beer from Ireland and four different types of chocolate: cocoa powder, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and semi-sweet chocolate chips.

They are super easy to make, a bit like our spicy snickerdoodles, which I  also love. The hardest part about making these Guinness Chocolate Cookies is waiting for the dough to chill two hours. The chocolate intensity of these cookies make them a treat to eat. Every time I make these I think, why don’t I make these more often!

Plated Guinness Chocolate Cookies

Recipe credit goes to Lora Pelzek who won at the Wisconsin State Fair, in a Gold Medal Flour cookie contest (2016).

Bake these for any chocolate lovers in your life, or for yourself.