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And the Winner Is...

Pillsbury Bake-Off® Grand Prize Recipe

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Every year since 1987, I've watched the Pillsbury Bake-Off® contest broadcast with special interest. I was a member of the Bake-Off® staff for years, first as an intern working in the test kitchens, then on the Search Team. For Bake-Off® 2000, I searched the Internet to make sure the final recipes were original. In fact, that's how I found About.com! Each experience was completely wonderful, and in fact fulfilled a childhood dream. There are many things I can't tell you about the inner workings of the Bake-Off®, but this one is allowed: enter! Each year many cooks (and even non-cooks) are surprised to learn they are finalists with very simple recipes.

If you're looking for Bake-Off® books, I've found a great site that has pictures of every Bake-Off book! Visit Shop 4 Antiques. I worked on Bake-Off® #s 33, 34, 35, 38, and 39. In fact, my picture is in the book from 1988; number 33.

Try these recipes at least once. All the finalist's recipes are wonderful, but the top winners are really special. And you can tell your family they are eating a million dollar recipe!

2002 Grand Prize Winner: Chicken Florentine Panini


I have to say, this recipe is very inventive. I have never seen refrigerated pizza dough being grilled before. What a good idea! And the combination of textures and flavors in this simple sandwich is really superb.

2004 Grand Prize Winner: Oats 'n Honey Granola Pie


Using granola instead of pecans in a chess-style pie is a fabulous idea. Suzanne Conrad used crushed granola bars in the filling, along with brown sugar, walnuts, oats, and chocolate chips. Yum.

2006 Grand Prize Winner: Baked Chicken and Spinach Stuffing


I think this is the most interesting use of a breakfast product I have ever seen! Pillsbury frozen waffle sticks with syrup are used in this main dish by adding the syrup to a glaze for the chicken, and chopping the waffle sticks to add to the savory spinach stuffing.

2008 Grand Price Winner: Double Delight Peanut Butter Cookies


Now this is a recipe for beginning cooks. You just fill refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough with a powdered sugar and peanut mixture to create a creamy filling. I would drizzle the finished cookies with melted chocolate for a finishing touch. But that's just me.

2010 Grand Prize Winner: Mini Ice Cream Cookie Cups


This recipe is perfect for entertaining. You make little cookie cups ahead of time, dip them into chocolate and walnuts, then top with ice cream and raspberries. Yum.

Check back to this page for each winner as the contest continues!

Go to the next page to find more of my picks from each contest.

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