Ribbon Winning Recipes

I've been entering the Ohio State Fair baking competitions for the past 5 years. And in those 5 years I've been lucky to acquire not 1 or 2, but 15 ribbons. 15! That still blows my mind.

Cookies dominate the winnings, but I've had luck with cupcakes, cake, jam, and even BBQ sauce! And if you guys have been around awhile, you've probably seen every one of those recipes already. Practically everything I've entered into the fair I've posted on here first. But in case you're new to this neck of the woods, or just forgot what we've done here, I've put together a handy list of all the ribbon winning recipes to wow your friends and family with! (And maybe also so I can remember what the heck I've entered already.)

So without further ado... Drum roll please!

The Third Place Winners:

Mocha Cupcakes: I love my go-to chocolate cupcakes. (*spoiler alert* The secret ingredient is mayo. Yep. The kind you slather on a sandwich.) Topped with silky, fluffy Swiss meringue buttercream flavored with cocoa and espresso powders, it's a delicious little pick me up.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies: Chewy, crackly cookies with a kick of chipotle. They'll warm you up on a cold winter's day.

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies: Little pillows of peanut buttery goodness. They're quick and easy and oh so delicious.

The Second Place Winners:

Decorated Cookies: I've won 2nd with decorated cookies twice now. Once with these princess themed birthday cookies and once with a baby shower theme. This sugar cookie recipe is the most used (i.e., butter stained) in my entire Martha Stewart Baking Handbook. (Note: link goes to a very, very early post for Valentine's Conversation Heart Cookies. Don't judge the terrible ramble-y writing and awful pictures.. It was only my 5th post. ever.)

White Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies: I still think of these as my rockstar cookies. I had coworkers hug me after eating these cookies. I think that says it all.

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies: These were my favorite "easy" chocolate chip cookies. Moist and chewy--they were my go to. That is until I found the next recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cream Cheese: Like the chocolate chips with pudding, these babies have a secret ingredient that keeps them moist and chewy and fresh for days. Cream cheese replaces the egg, so these bad boys are good for those with egg allergies! And just as delicious as those without. They're my new go-to easy chocolate chips.

Honey Chipotle BBQ Sauce: My first foray into the BBQ sauce category. After making this recipe, I haven't bought bottled BBQ sauce since. There's a jar of this in my fridge as we speak, and I seriously want to slather it on everything in sight.

French Toast and Bacon Cupcakes: Possibly the most looked at post on my entire blog. These babies are multiple winners at both the Ohio State Fair and the very first Cupcake Camp.

And last but not least, The First Place (Blue Ribbon) Winners:

Cherry Jam: Okay so this picture and the link are for Strawberry Peach Jam. This is the one and only recipe I've made but never posted. However it's a variation of the S+P recipe: Follow recipe and ingredient list for S+P jam substituting cherries (stems and pits removed) for the other fruit, reducing the vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract) down to 1 teaspoon and adding 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract as well. The rest is pretty much the same.

Vanilla Cupcake: Light and fluffy and perfectly delicate, sometimes you just need simplicity. My fair version used a light lemon buttercream instead of vanilla, but the cupcake recipe is the same. For the lemon frosting, substitute 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract for the almond extract.

Chocolate Chip Cookies: My very first blue ribbon! These are my go-to chocolate chip cookies. 2 kinds of flour, 2 kinds of sugar, and roughly a ton of chocolate chips, these are my ideal cookie. No other recipe I've come across compares.

And this year I added 2 more blue ribbons to my collection.

Lemon Lavender Scones: Other than the scones I took to the fair, I haven't shared a single one of these with another person. I want them all for myself. Sweet and lemony with a light floral finish, these are perfection.

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake: I did change this up slightly from the posted recipe. Instead of 1 cup of water for the liquid, I used 1 cup of strong brewed coffee. I also frosted it with a simple chocolate ganache. You know, there's a tub of sour cream in my fridge just begging to be used up..

And now I'm on the quest for next years recipes, so keep an eye out. I've got a little more than 10 months until the next fair, so you might see a few more potential winners popping up around here!
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Anne said...

They all sound delicious! I can't wait to try them, beginning with the Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies!

Jo and Sue said...

Congratulations on the ribbons! We used to enter in our fall fair every year but sadly it was cancelled a few years ago. I miss the competition...
I can see why these recipes won...they look beautiful. :)

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