Last week wrapped up 11 days of cooking competitions at the N.C. State Fair. These events are sponsored by commodity associations and popular brand names such as King Arthur and Spam. It brings out the competitiveness in some of our state’s best cooks as they try for blue ribbons and cash prizes.
The competitions ended on a sweet note, as youth and adults alike competed in the King Arthur flour recipe contest. Adults submitted pound cake, youth submitted brownies.
A Coconut Lemon Pound Cake made by Teresa Hardy of Apex placed first and won a $100 gift certificate to King Arthur Flour Baker’s Catalogue. Domino Ireland of Raleigh placed second and received a $75 gift certificate for Boozy Cream Soda and Caramel-Coated Pound Cake. Mary Ellen Creech of Garner placed third and received King Arthur Flour cookbooks for her Apple Cream Cheese Pound Cake.
In the youth competition, Grace Brescia of Cary placed first and won a $75 gift certificate for Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies. CoCo Stevens of Chapel Hill place second and received a $50 gift certificate for Chocolate Beet Brownies with Walnut Cream Cheese Swirl. Joseph Dunatov placed third and received King Arthur Flour cookbooks for his Extreme S’mores Brownies.
Pound cake and brownie recipes had to include King Arthur flour and be made from scratch. All ingredients must also be readily available at the grocery store. Judging was based on taste, creativity and texture.
The winning adult and youth recipes follow:
Coconut Lemon Pound Cake
- 3 cups white sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- ½ cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 3 cups King Arthur plain flour
- 5 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon lemon flavoring
- 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ¾ cup sweetened coconut flakes
Cream butter and shortening until smooth. Add sugar one cup at a time beating between cups. Add eggs one at a time beating between eggs. Mix whipping cream and milk together in a measuring cup. Add flour alternating with the milk (one cup flour, 1/3 cup milk). Add vanilla, lemon flavoring, fresh lemon juice, and lemon zest. Then add the coconut flakes. Stir until mixed together. Do not overmix. Pour into a greased and floured Bundt cake pan. Bake in a cold oven at 325 degrees for one hour and then raise the temperature to 350 degrees for 30 minutes longer.
Cool cake for 20 minutes before removing from pan.
While cake is cooling, make the lemon glaze.
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Zest of one lemon finely grated
Beat all ingredients together to form a smooth glaze. Pour glaze over cake. May use a pastry brush to get it even and smooth on cake.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies
- 8 ounces unsalted butter
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate (broken into pieces)
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup King Arthur all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 bag mini peanut butter cups
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and the semisweet chocolate over a bowl of simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In another bowl, stir together eggs, vanilla and brown and regular sugar. Stir slightly cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and let it come to room temperature. In another bowl, mix together flour and salt. Add the cooled chocolate mixture. Fold in the mini peanut butter cups. Pour batter into a 9×13 greased baking dish and bake for about 30-35 minutes.