Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blue Ribbon Recipes from America's State and County Fairs

This wonderful collection of winning recipes is one of my favorites and one that I turn to when I want to impress company. The author set out to collect the very best recipes from State and County Fairs across the country.

The recipes cover everything from breakfast foods, vegetables, yeast and quick breads, candies and pastries, even jams and jellies and much more.

It is no wonder I had trouble finding just one recipe to feature here. So I chose two!

The Blueberry-Lemon Delight is a sure crowd pleaser. It won second place at the Michigan State Fair in 2000.

1 egg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon flavoring
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
3/4 cup pecans, chopped


1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a 9 x 9 x 2 inch pan.

In a large mixing bowl, beat egg and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in milk, lemon flavoring, and zest. With mixer running, add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Gently fold in blueberries and pecans. Spread batter into baking pan.

To make topping: In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and flour. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle topping evenly over batter in pan. Bake 35 minutes, or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan.

Makes 8 servings.

Pecan Swirls won first place, youth division at the Florida State Fair in 2005

2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups finely chopped pecans
1 1/3 cups sugar

In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Divide dough in thirds, form into balls, and flatten slightly into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Chill until easy to handle, about 2 hours.

Combine pecans and sugar. Roll out each dough disk on a lightly floured surface to make a 16 x 9 inch rectangle. Sprinkle one-third of pecan mixture over top to within 1/2 inch of edges. Roll up tightly jelly-roll style, starting with a long side. Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 2 hours.

Unwrap dough logs and cut into 3/8 inch slices. Place slices 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake in a preheated 400 F. oven for 12 to 14 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks. Makes 8 dozen pecan swirls.


  1. The blueberry lemon recipe looks fabulous. Well, gee, they both look fabulous, but blueberries are such a favorite here. :)

  2. Sherry did you try these recipes? Both wound really good and maybe when we return from our RI road trip I'll have time to try one or both. The BLueberry-Lemon Delight would be my first choice.

  3. Yep! They are both delicious. I've made them both. I plan to make the Blueberry-Lemon dessert next weekend for company. The other one can be tricky if you don't get the dough the right consistency - it can crumble on you!


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