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18th Services 2001 Holiday Bake-Off Contest winners

Date Posted: 2001-12-20

The 18th Services 2001 Holiday Bake-Off Contest held recently at Kadena Air Base was a resounding success. Entries were judged in one of three categories: cakes and pies; cookies, candy and bars; and breads. The 81 mouthwatering entries were judged on creativity, texture, taste, visual appeal and overall appeal. Helen Armstrong won in the cakes and pies division for her Hibiscus Nectar Cake; Maria McMillen’s Magic Cookie Bars took the sweets division; and Terri Smith’s Cinnamon Rolls were at the top of the breads division. Winners received a $75 gift certificate for the Kadena Commissary and a $50 coupon good for dinner at Jack’s Place. Honorable mentions: La Vertis Anthony, Melody Olson and Sheila Covington won coupons worth $10 off the purchase of a turkey at the Kadena Commissary.

I. Cakes and pies winner: Helen Armstrong’s Hibiscus Nectar Cake:
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, separated
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. coconut extract
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups flaked coconut, toasted
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries, drained

Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add extracts; beat until just blended. Set mixture aside. Combine buttermilk and sour cream, stirring until blended. Combine flour, baking soda and salt and add to butter mixture alternating with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer until blended after each addition. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Fold in coconut, pecans and cherries. Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans and then cool completely on wire racks. Spread Cherry-Nut Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Store cake in refrigerator. Yield: 1 (3-layer) cake.

Cherry-Nut Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. coconut extract
1 package (16 ounces) powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries, drained

Beat butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; mix in vanilla and coconut extracts. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating well. Fold in chopped pecans and maraschino cherries. Yield: 4 cups

II. Cookies, candy & bars winner: Maria McMillen’s Magic Cookie Bars
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a 13x9-inch baking pan in the oven. Sprinkle crumbs over butter. Pour condensed milk evenly over crumbs. Layer remaining ingredients and press down with a fork. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool and then cut into bars.

III. Breads winner: Teri Smith’s Cinnamon Rolls
3 cups flour, plus 2 cups for rolling out the dough
1 cup butter
1 cup margarine
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp. yeast or 1 packet
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar

Mix 3 cups flour, butter, yeast and sugar. Heat milk to 110 degrees and stir into flour mixture. Add the eggs and mix in additional flour as needed to make soft dough. Cover the dough and let it rise 1 to 2 hours until it’s doubled in size. Punch down the dough. Knead for two minutes and then roll into a rectangle. Spread the dough with a cup of margarine. Do not carry margarine to the edges. (Leave 1/2-inch rim so dough will stick to itself.) Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle evenly over dough. Roll dough into a log and pinch edges to stick. Cut into 12 thick slices. Place slices in a greased casserole or roll pan. Rolls should be approximately 1/2 inch apart all around. Let it rise in a warm oven (turned off) or on top of a warm oven, covered, for one hour. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Frosting
8 ounces margarine
8 ounces cream cheese
16 ounces powdered sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix ingredients together then beat with an electric mixer for 12 to 15 minutes. Frost cinnamon rolls when cooled.

Honorable Mention:
Sheila Covington -- Apricot Cardamom Wreath
La Vertis Anthony -- Apple Cider Pound Cake
Melody Olson – Sour Cream Cookies

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