May 14, 2001
Woodinville girl wins regional bake-off contest
by Deborah Stone
Wowing judges with her original recipe for Coco Scotch Delights, nine year old Keiry Helton of Woodinville won first prize in the Albertson's/Pillsbury Kids' Bake-Off Contest, which took place April 7 at The Museum of History and Industry in Seattle.
For her efforts, Keiry earned a $1,000 U.S. savings bond and an all expense paid trip for four to Orlando, Fla., in June to the national finals of the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest.
Twenty-five children, ages 9 to 13, competed in the contest, working independently to prepare their special recipes in mini-kitchens with GE ranges (GE Appliance co-sponsored the competition). They had one hour to make their recipes, which had to use at least one eligible Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Hungry Jack or Progresso product.
Keiry has been cooking since she was 7, helping her mother around the kitchen.
She says, "I really like to cook because it's fun and it tastes good when you make something. People like to eat what I make and that makes me feel good, too."
Her repertoire includes a variety of egg dishes, waffles, pizza, macaroons, peanut butter balls, fudge and French toast, but she enjoys baking desserts most of all.
Keiry has entered baking competitions at Evergreen State Fair in the past and has won several prizes for her efforts. When her mother saw an entry form for the Albertson's/Pillsbury Kids' Bake-off Contest, she asked Keiry if she would be interested in entering the competition and Keiry agreed.
"I decided it would be fun to enter," explains Keiry, "but I didn't expect to win anything, so I was really surprised when I did!"
She spent several weeks experimenting with her some of her favorite ingredients (coconut, butterscotch chips and brownie mix) to create her special recipe.
She says, "I practiced lots of combinations, using different oils, different amounts, different temperatures. My brother and my neighbors were the guinea pigs for tasting my desserts. One day, I had just given a piece to my brother and he said it was great! I then took it over to my neighbors and they agreed, so that was the recipe I chose."
On the day of the contest, Keiry was a bit nervous under the time pressure, but she knew she'd done well when her plate of Coco Scotch Delights came back empty after it was given to the judges to taste.
"But when my name was announced for first prize," says Keiry, "I was shocked! My mom started screaming when she heard my name. It was so exciting!"
She is now continuing to practice her recipe to prepare for the national finals at SeaWorld in Florida, where she will join more than 30 other regional winners. The best kid cook will win a $25,000 cash prize, plus an additional $25,000 gift to be made to a charity selected by the child. The first place winner will earn a $10,000 prize, plus an additional $10,000 contribution to a charity. Three children will get second place prizes, and each will take home $5,000 in cash and a matching $5,000 charitable contribution.
Pillsbury has been honoring America's talented cooks for more than 50 years through the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest and is now helping youngsters develop their cooking skills with its Pillsbury Kids' Bake-Off Competitions.
Keiry is already planning for next year's contest, thinking of another special dessert recipe she can create. She says, "I would like to try something with lots of fruit this time and make it look colorful, as well as taste good."
Coco Scotch Delights
1 (19.5-oz.) Pkg. Pillsbury Rich & Moist Fudge Brownie Mix
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon almond extract
1-1/2 cups coconut
1 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Chocolate Fudge or Chocolate Frosting
Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl, combine brownie mix, oil, water, almond extract and egg; mix well. Stir in coconut and butterscotch chips.
Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto sprayed cookie sheets.
Bake at 375 degrees F. for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are set (centers will be soft). Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Cool 10 minutes or until completely cooled.
In small microwave-safe bowl, microwave frosting on high for 10 to 15 seconds or until melted Drizzle over cooled cookies.
Makes 3 dozen cookies.