MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- One hundred top home cooks are proving that taste and creativity do not have to be sacrificed when it comes to quick and easy recipes in this year's Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest. Finalists packed big flavors and ideas, like Sriracha sauce and food mashups, into simple, family-friendly recipes made with seven ingredients or less and no more than 30 minutes of active prep time. The original recipes competing for the $1 million grand prize in the 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest reflect current tastes and trends and are ready for trying at www.BakeOff.com.
"The 100 finalist recipes show the creativity and care today's best amateur chefs are putting into their cooking and baking," said Jann Atkins, Pillsbury Bake-Off® Kitchens Manager. "The recipes have depth and flavor while providing quick meal and snack time solutions that will appeal to family and friends."
Throughout the year, home cooks were invited to submit original recipes that included at least two eligible ingredients and fit into one of the three contest categories: Amazing Doable Dinners, Simple Sweets and Starters and Quick Rise and Shine Breakfasts. The Bake-Off® Kitchens selected the 60 best recipes in each category to be placed online for public voting. America's votes selected the final 100 recipes which will compete November 10-11, 2013 in Las Vegas at the contest finals.
Of the 100 final recipes, which are available online at BakeOff.com, four major themes emerged:
1. Sriracha is becoming as mainstream as ketchup or salsa
Demographic shifts and an increased popularity in spicier foods have turned Sriracha, an Asian-inspired hot sauce made from sun-ripened chiles, into a kitchen staple for many. Several Bake-Off® Finalists used Sriracha, along with other heat inducing ingredients like chili oil, chili paste and chipotle, this year to spice up their breakfast and dinner entries.
"Research shows that consumers are trying to incorporate more global flavors into their favorite home cooked meals," Atkins said. "This year, contest finalists used Sriracha to give their original recipes a punch of flavor and, in some cases, put an Asian twist on classic comfort food."
Experiment with Sriracha by trying the following Bake-Off® Finalist recipes:
- Cashew Chicken Twists with Spicy Orange Sauce
- Ham and Creamy Sriracha Pizza
- Sweet Chili Chicken Sliders
2. Food mashups strive to prove two is better than one
From chicken and waffles to the cronut craze of 2013, people have long loved to combine two tasty favorites to create a new, single dish. This year, finalists used food mashups to bring new life to classic recipes by incorporating surprising ingredients and flavor combinations.
"Playful food interpretations were on the minds of many contest finalists this year," said Atkins. "With mashups, there's no need to choose—you can indulge in multiple flavors like sweet and salty, in one bite."
Discover fun flavor combinations with the following Bake-Off® Finalist recipes:
- Easy Caprese Pizza Bake
- Loaded Potato Pinwheels
- PB&J Mini Walnut Muffins
- Boston Cream French Toast
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars
3. Make vegetables a treat, not a trick
Many families are trying to incorporate more vegetables and greens into their daily diets. This year, Bake-Off® Finalists found fun and unexpected ways to showcase vegetables in their dishes, making them delicious enough to persuade even the pickiest of eaters to take a bite.
Of this trend, Atkins said, "To make vegetables more palatable, home cooks are adding more veggies to dishes their friends and families already love like pizza. Another way to enhance the taste of vegetables is by incorporating familiar and well-liked flavors, like a garlic or bacon."
Add vegetables to meals with the following Bake-Off® Finalist recipes:
- Honey and Bacon Brussels Sprouts Pizza
- Naan Greek Pizza
- Meatball and Breadstick Sub Skewers
- Tuscan Veggie Strata
4. A surprise twist on traditional baked goods
Traditional baked goods were infused with hidden ingredients, redefining expectations and surprising and delighting eaters. From preserves to vegetables, Bake-Off® Finalists added new flavors and textures to put their own spin on iconic recipes.
"Adding an extra, hidden element to any recipe, especially a dessert, ensures an unexpected and sweet surprise for diners," said Atkins.
Finalists also found new, creative ways to incorporate the brand's refrigerated dough products into their contest submissions. For example, Pillsbury® refrigerated sugar cookie dough was transformed to create cupcakes while Pillsbury® refrigerated classic pizza crust was used to make homemade bagels.
Enliven your kitchen repertoire by adding the following Bake-Off® Finalist recipes:
- Chocolate Cherry Souffle Cupcakes
- Carrot Cupcakes with Coconut Pecan Frosting
- Almond Cafe Cookies
- Honey Sesame Bagels
Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest Overview
The Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest began in 1949, and the first $1 million grand prize was awarded in 1996. At the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest, held in March 2012 in Orlando, Fla., Christina Verrelli of Devon, Pa., won the $1 million grand prize for her Pumpkin Ravioli with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream recipe. The 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest sponsors are The J.M. Smucker Company, GE Appliances and Green Giant. For more information, go to BakeOff.com.
About the 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest Sponsors
General Mills is one of the world's leading food companies, operating in more than 100 countries around the world. Its brands include Cheerios, Fiber One, Haagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Yoplait, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki, and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., USA, General Mills had fiscal 2013 worldwide sales of US $17.8 billion. Pillsbury products have been trusted by families to make meal times special times for more than 130 years. Favorite Pillsbury products include refrigerated cookies, crescent dinner rolls, breads, biscuits, pie crusts and sweet rolls as well as frozen biscuits, pie crusts and breakfast items. For product information and great-tasting recipes, visit www.pillsbury.com. Log on to www.generalmills.com for company information.
Green Giant started out in Le Sueur, Minnesota, as the Minnesota Valley Canning Company in 1903, when some 11,750 cases of white cream-style corn were sold in the company's first year. For the past 100 years, the Giant's Valley is where fresh and great-tasting vegetables are grown and picked at the peak of perfection. Green Giant has been implementing sustainability into the business since 1929 when the company introduced vacuum-pack technology and Green Giant has plans to continue to become "greener" in the future. The brand is now part of General Mills, Inc.
For more than 110 years, The J.M. Smucker Company has been committed to offering consumers quality products that bring families together to share memorable meals and moments. Today, Smucker is a leading marketer and manufacturer of fruit spreads, retail packaged coffee, peanut butter, shortening and oils, ice cream toppings, sweetened condensed milk, and health and natural foods beverages in North America. The Company's wide variety of iconic brands and products include such trusted favorites as Smucker's® jams, jellies, preserves, fruit spreads and ice cream toppings; Jif® peanut butter; Crisco® oils, shortening and no-stick cooking sprays; Eagle Brand® sweetened condensed milk; and Pillsbury® baking mixes, ready-to-spread frosting and flour. For more information and delicious recipes, please visit www.smuckers.com, www.jif.com, www.crisco.com, www.eaglebrand.com and www.pillsburybaking.com.
GE Appliances is at the forefront of building innovative, energy-efficient appliances that improve people's lives. GE Appliances' products include refrigerators, freezers, cooking products, dishwashers, washers, dryers, air conditioners, water filtration systems and water heaters. General Electric (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter to build a world that works better. For more information on GE Appliances, visit www.ge.com/appliances.