Thank you to everyone who submitted their favorite fall recipes during our Fall Recipes Contest! There were many delicious, mouth-watering recipes, but these three took the cake. 1st place will receive a $1,000 gift certificate while 2nd & 3rd place will both receive $250 gift certificates. Serve these recipes at your next holiday gathering and you’re sure to be the star of the party!
1st Place — John S., Soft Pretzel and Bacon Stuffing with Mustard and Beer
- 10 heaping cups pretzel bread, cubed
- 1 (16 oz) package of your favorite Bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 celery ribs, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup beer
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 200⁰F. Spread out pretzel cubes on baking sheets and bake about 1 hour, until bread dries out, flipping bread cubes halfway through. Remove bread; set aside to cool and increase oven temperature to 375⁰F. In large saute pan, fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and place on paper towel-lined plate to cool. Drain off 1/4 cup bacon grease from pan; set aside. Add onion and celery to pan with remaining bacon grease and cook over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Set aside. In medium bowl, whisk together chicken broth, beer, eggs, honey and mustard. In greased 9 x 13-inch casserole dish, gently combine bread cubes, bacon, parsley, and onion/celery mixture. Pour broth mixture over top and toss gently to coat. Pour reserved bacon grease over top; bake 40 minutes.
2nd Place — Michelle L., Salted Carmel Apple Compote with Bacon
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 3 McIntosh apples – peeled, cored, and chopped
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/8 cup water
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons butterscotch schnapps/whiskey/bourbon (optional)
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons salted butter, chopped into small chunks
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 1 tsp. chunky sea salt
- ½ cup bacon, cooked and chopped up into chunks
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 1/8 cup powdered sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put butter in a bowl and melt it in the microwave. Mix brown sugar into melted butter. Toss pecans in butter (save leftover brown sugar/melted butter mixture), place on nonstick cookie sheet, and bake in over for 5 minutes, turning once and watching carefully so the pecans don’t turn scorch. Remove from oven, put in a small bowl, and set aside.
Turn oven temperature down to warm (250 degrees) Peel, chop, and core three McIntosh apples. Pour leftover brown sugar/melted butter mixture into sauce pan. When apples start to soften, add water, and raisins to the apples. Cook until the raisins are plump. Stir in butterscotch schnapps and vanilla. I like using butterscotch schnapps, but you can also use whiskey, bourbon…or not use alcohol at all. Spoon evenly into four ½ pint mason jars. Place jars in oven to keep compote warm if you plan on serving the dessert warm.
To make the salted caramel, heat sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, constantly stirring to prevent burning. After the sugar melts into a thick, brown sauce consistency, add the butter. Stir until the butter is melted. Then slowly add the whipping cream, being careful not to burn yourself and continually mixing so as not to burn the mixture. Allow the mixture to boil and thicken, constantly stirring with a whisk. Remove from heat and stir in bacon chunks and sea salt.
Remove mason jars from the oven and pour caramel sauce over apple compote. Leave at least 1-2 inches from top of the jar. Take whipping cream and powdered sugar and mix by hand or with hand mixer until you have soft peaks. Scoop onto top of caramel sauce/apple compote and serve immediately. Alternately, you can let the compote/caramel sauce cause cool and serve cold with the whipped cream. Crush the toasted pecans and top whipped cream with the pecans. Can also be served in a bowl/on a plate with a scoop of ice cream if you don’t have mason jars.
3rd Place — Cari V., Pumpkin Scones
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 Eggs
- 1 can of pumpkin
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
Mix the sugar, flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and baking soda together and slowly cut in 2 sticks of cold butter. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together until the dough is moistened and then split in half. Make two flat circles and cut into wedges (I prefer to make mini scones, but you can make large ones and bake for a little longer). Bake at 400 degrees for ~12 minutes. Mix the ingredients for the glaze while the scones are baking. Let cool for a few minutes and add the glaze while scones are still slightly warm to allow for a little bit of melting!