Chocolate prevails among Vermillion County 20th Bakersfest winners

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Chocolate, chocolate and chocolate.

That was the theme of the 2017 Bakersfest, which was staged in October at the Vermillion County Fairgrounds in Cayuga and marked the 20th year for the event.

Twenty-four entries of chocolate baked items were judged by Melanie Brown, former home extension educator from Clay County and home economist for Public Service. She is from Ladoga. Perrysville Homemakers Club were hostesses for the event. They provided a continental breakfast during registration.

Guest speaker for the day was Michelle Hughes, owner of Jordan Creek Gifts, which consists of personalized baskets. She shared how she started her business out of her home. She had many displays and samples of the products that she can include in her baskets or decorated boxes. Many of her baskets can be purchased in a local coffee shop in Covington.

Brown complimented all of the entrants. She suggested that for competition purposes, it is best to use fresh ingredients including baking powder, sugar and flour. It is best not to use a mix because of food allergies. White chocolate is not considered a chocolate.

Bakersfest winners:

First place for breads was Lynida Ross with Chocolate Zucchini Coconut Bread. Honorable mention in the cake category was Dragonfly Dark Chocolate Cake made by Janna Hogan. The first-place cake was 18 Layer Chocolate Cake made by Jane Cheesewright.

The winner of the muffins category was Linda Underwood with her Triple Chocolate Muffins. Sue Weber received an honorable mention in the cookie category with White Chocolate Craisin Cookies. The first-place winner was Martha Whitesell with her Death by Chocolate Cookies. Jane Cheesewright won first place in the pie category with Tennessee Whiskey Chocolate Pie.

Reserve champion overall among chocolate entries was given to  Underwood for her Triple Chocolate Muffins and the champion winner for the Bakersfest was Whitesell’s Death by Chocolate Cookies.

The homemakers are considering making a cookbook of the past 20 years’ winning recipes from Bakersfests for a fundraiser.

A “Favorite Recipes with Peanut Chocolate” Bakersfest cookbook with the recipes from all the entrants is available for $2 at the Vermillion County Extension office, 703 W. Park St., Suite 1, Cayuga, IN 47928. Call 765-492-5330.

Death by Chocolate Cookie by Martha Whitesell

2 packages (8 squares) semi-sweet baking chocolate, divided

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 cups chopped nuts (I used pecans)

n Coarsely chop 4 ounces of chocolate squares. Set aside.

n Microwave 4 ounces of baking chocolate squares and 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

n Stir in sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla.

n Stir in flour and baking powder.

n Stir in coarsely chopped chocolate squares and nuts.

n Drop by 1/4 cup onto ungreased cookie sheet.

n Bake 12 to 13 minutes at 350 degrees.

Makes 1 and 1/2 dozen.

Triple Chocolate Muffins by Linda Underwood

1 4-ounces bar semi-sweet chocolate

1/2 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cups sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature

1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup natural cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 heaping cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet, dark or mini)

(I used 1/2 cup each semi and mini)

n Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

n Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line with cupcake papers.

n Coarsely chop chocolate bar and put into microwave with butter.

n Melt and stir together until completely smooth.

n Whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla and sour cream.

n Sift together cocoa powder, flour and baking powder.

n Blend dry ingredients into wet mixture and combine completely.

n Make sure no flour mixture remains.

n Fold in chocolate chips. Batter will be thick.

n Pour mixture into muffin cups, filling all the way to the top.

n Bake muffins for 5 minutes at 425 degrees.

n Then, keeping muffins in the oven, reduce temperature to 350 degrees.

n Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

n Total bake time 20-25 minutes.

n Allow to cool in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack.

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