Routt County contestants share recipes in Dessert Bake-off |

Routt County contestants share recipes in Dessert Bake-off

Margaret Hair

— When Steamboat Springs resident Rae Rouse was decorating her entry in the Steamboat Today's inaugural Holiday Dessert Bake-off, she hoped the result would look professional and strike up some nostalgia.

"I used to decorate windows, so that gave me background," Rouse said. She collects decorative plates and coffee cups from the 1950s and hoped to give her dessert some retro holiday spirit.

"I wanted to make it look like the 1950s because it was a recipe from my Aunt Grace, who would bring it to Thanksgiving dinner every year," Rouse said. Her "Aunt Grace's Dessert" — a layered dish with a graham cracker crust, vanilla pudding and cherry pie topping — was one of 56 entries in the Holiday Dessert Bake-off on Thursday.

Rouse's entry won best presentation. Narghiza, who provided only one name, won for best cookie with "Chocolate Dip Cookies." Hanna Kurowski won for best miscellaneous dessert with her "Fresh Fruit Tart." George Morris won for best cake with his "Death By Chocolate." Maura Karow won for best pie with her "Mudda Mint Pie." And Dianne Stoyko won the community choice award with her "Chocolate Bon Bons."

See the winning recipes below. See all 56 recipes at

Community choice: Chocolate Bon Bons

by Dianne Stoyko

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1 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup butter

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

2 cups unbleached flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

60 chocolate candy kisses (either dark, almond, chocolate or white and chocolate)

2 ounces white chocolate

1 teaspoon canola oil

How to make it:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine chocolate chips and butter. Microwave the chocolate and butter for about 2 minutes, until the chips are melted and you can stir the mixture until it's smooth. Add the sweetened condensed milk and mix well.

Combine the flour and vanilla with the mixture until well blended.

Shape 1 tablespoon of dough around each candy kiss, covering completely. Place each dough-covered kiss 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes. The cookies will be soft and appear shiny, but they will become firm as they cool. Do not over-bake.

Remove the cookies from the sheets and cool.

Combine white chocolate and canola oil. Heat the mixture in the microwave for about 45 seconds, and stir until it's completely melted and smooth. Place the white chocolate mixture in a small plastic bag and snip off a bottom corner of the bag. Drizzle white chocolate over the cooled cookies.

Store in the freezer/refrigerator until ready to serve. Makes 5 dozen cookies.

Best cake: Death by Chocolate

by George Morris


4 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup oil

1 chocolate cake mix

1 box instant chocolate pudding mix

1 12-ounce package semisweet

chocolate chips

Powdered sugar for garnish

How to make it:

Beat the eggs, sour cream, water and oil until mixed.

Add the chocolate cake mix and pudding mix, and beat until smooth.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into a buttered bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

When the cake has cooled, sift powered sugar on top.

Best presentation: Aunt Grace's Dessert

by Rae Rouse


1 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons water

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups flour

French vanilla pudding, prepared and chilled

Three cans of cherry pie filling

How to make it:

For the first layer, cream butter and sugar. Add water and vanilla, mix well. Press the mixture into the bottom of a baking dish. Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes.

Top baked first layer with chilled French vanilla pudding.

Top the pudding layer with three cans of cherry pie filling. Decorate with your imagination.

Best cookies: Chocolate Dip Cookies

by Narghiza


3 eggs

1/2 pound margarine

1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 cup sugar

4 to 5 cups flour

1 cup pecans


How to make it:

Mix all ingredients except chocolate with a mixer.

Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. Divide the dough into three big balls. Roll the balls and make any shape with a cookie cutter.

Bake cookies in a preheated oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes.

Dip cooled cookies in warm chocolate.

Best miscellaneous dessert: Fresh Fruit Tart

by Hanna Kurowski


1 cup flour

1/4 cup crushed almonds

6 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 package instant French vanilla pudding

1 cup milk

1 8-ounce package mascarpone cheese

Fruit of season (chef's choice, strawberries or other)

2 tablespoons sugar

How to make it:

For the crust, mix flour, nuts (if desired) and sugar into food processor. Cut in butter, pulse to fine crumb. Press mixture into a 10- or 11-inch round pan. Bake the crust for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Let cool.

For the filling, whisk 1 cup of milk into the instant pudding mix. Add mascarpone cheese and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

For the fresh fruit, if you're using strawberries, wash the berries with stems on to prevent water getting into the berry. Place berries in a bowl and sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Allow the fruit to sit and absorb the sugar.

To assemble the tart, spread the chilled filling on the baked tart shell. Place macerated strawberries on top of the shell. Be sure to have enough fruit to completely cover the tart. Serve immediately. Serves 8 to 12.

Best pie: Mudda Mint Pie

by Maura Karow


45 Oreo-type cookies (crush 30, set aside 15)

1/2 cup butter, melted

40 marshmallows

1 cup milk

2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 tablespoons coffee liqueur

Hershey's syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract

3 candy canes, crushed

Additional candy canes for garnish

How to make it:

Step 1. Crush 30 of the cookies and mix with the melted butter. Press 3/4 of the cookie mixture on the bottom and a little up the sides of a spring-form pan.

Step 2. For the filling base, melt 40 marshmallows, add 1 cup of milk and cool. Whip 2 cups of cream until stiff, and add to the marshmallow mix.

Step 3. For the coffee layer of the pie, take 2 cups of the marshmallow mix from step 2, and add 1 1/2 teaspoons coffee liqueur. Place the coffee layer evenly over cookie crust. Freeze the first layer for 30 minutes, and place the rest of the marshmallow mixture in the refrigerator. Top the layer with Hershey's syrup.

Step 4. For the mint layer, mix remaining marshmallow mix with 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract. Spread the mint layer on top of the first, chocolate-syrup-coated coffee layer. Place 15 whole Oreo-type cookies along the border.

Step 5. Sprinkle the remaining crushed Oreos on top of the pie. Crush 3 candy canes and sprinkle them on the pie. Place additional candy canes on top for garnish.

Step 6. Freeze overnight and take out 1 hour before serving.

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