Monday, August 24, 2015

Blue Ribbon Recipe Winners

We'll also call these chocolate lovers delights because that's what both recipes really are. Delicious!

Lily and Jonah perused Pinterest quite a while back when deciding on their county fair baking projects. We found recipes that suited their ages and abilities and got to work in the test kitchen.

Both kids did amazingly well and were able to replicate perfection when it came time to present their desserts at the county fair. Thankfully, the rest of us were the happy recipients of the yumminess and the kids earned Blue Ribbons for both entries. Lily's was deemed State Fair worthy, but unfortunately she was the third alternate in the category and didn't get the State Fair trip. (Some of us may still be a wee bit bitter about that, but there's always next year!)

Lily's   Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie Bites:


3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks)  butter
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature or almost melted
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 cup miniature chocolate chips
additional miniature chocolate chips, if desired (to garnish the top)


Prepare the brownie layer- 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x9-inch pan with nonstick spray, then line with a strip of parchment or wax paper so that it covers the bottom and comes up two sides of the pan. Spray the parchment with nonstick spray too.

In a microwave safe bowl (or in the top of a double boiler or pan set on top of a pan of simmering water), microwave in 30 second bursts to melt butter and chocolate chips together until all is melted and smooth. Whisk in the sugars, then whisk in the eggs, vanilla and salt. Sift flour into the bowl and stir that in too. Scrape the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the brownie layer is cooked through (toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean). Place the pan of brownies in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process (or cool at room temperature and add the cookie dough layer later).

Prepare the cookie dough layer:

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter, sugars and salt until soft and creamy (1 to 2 minutes). Mix in the milk and vanilla. Sprinkle in the flour and mix in until combined. Stir in the 1 cup of chocolate chips. Scoop the cookie dough onto the top of the brownies and spread onto the brownie layer. I find that it's easiest to do this if the brownie layer is chilled and firm. Wet your hands or spray them with nonstick spray and pat the cookie dough on top in a even layer. Sprinkle additional chocolate chips on top to create a nicer, visual appearance. For easy, clean cutting, chill the brownies (wrap the brownies with plastic wrap and chill until firm- 1 to 2 hours or up to 2 days).

Cut the brownies: Run a knife along the sides of the brownie pan and then use the parchment paper to lift the brownies from the pan and onto a cutting board. Slice the brownies with a sharp knife, wiping the knife with a paper towel between cuts. If you'd like all of your slices of brownies to look clean-cut without edges, use the knife to cut the sides of the brownies off before cutting pieces. Keep brownies slices covered and chilled until ready to serve.

We found these to be pretty rich, so we cut them in smaller squares and labeled them as "bites".

--(Original recipe found here)


Jonah's  S'mores Poke Cake: 

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tub (12 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips


  • Grease a 9 x 13 pan. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Using an electric mixer, mix cake mix, eggs, water (amount indicated on box) and oil on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour cake batter into pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes. 

          Using the handle of a cooking utensil or wooden spoon, poke random holes in the cake. In a                 microwave safe bowl, melt the marshmallow creme for 30-45 seconds and stir. Spread the                   creme over the cake, making sure to fill the holes. It does begin to harden after only a short                 time, so work quickly. 

          Spread the Cool Whip in an even layer over the cake and top with crushed graham crackers,                 marshmallows and chocolate chips. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

The kids also entered a few other categories including performing arts, digital photography, fine arts and presentation. They received all blue ribbons for each of their entries and worked hard to make their projects a success. 

Until next year, we are all ready to put aside the 4H projects and jumping right back into schoolwork.

These days sure fly on by!


  1. The 4H Building at the State Fair has always been one of my favorites. One of these years I will be so happy to see one of your kiddos projects there. :) Those baked goods certainly look good.

  2. Congratulations!!!!
    I was just thinking about these two and their entries!!!
    I will be sure to share them with Peyton. : )
    Blessings all around, my friend!

  3. I was in 4-H! I loved going to the fair with my entries and winning a ribbon. Still have all my ribbons! Congrats to your children!

  4. Oh my gosh! This is all just SO incredibly amazing! Way to go, Lily and Jonah! The time and effort, the thought and preparation that went into these projects is fantastic. Tell me they were not bored this summer? ;) Our state fair isn't for another five weeks. One of the girls in our homeschool group raised bees and honey. She's entering in that category. I truly admire kids with these ambitions!! Way to go!

  5. These look so delicious! I will have to try them!! Good for Lily and Jonah!! :)


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