Holiday Baking Contest entries on the Faraday's kitchen counter (Photo by Sharon O'Quinn)
Though there were fewer entries than in past contests, Faraday's customers showed up Saturday morning with a dazzling array of delectable holiday goodies to impress the judging panel.
The last rush of contestants dropped off their entries just around 10am and then the judging commenced. Faraday's manager Sharon O'Quinn, Hudson's on the Bend executive chef Kelly Casey, pastry chef Janina O'Leary, and I each took a different category and then chose the Best in Show winner from those four. From 11am-3pm, store customers were encouraged to sample the entries and vote for their favorite as the People's Choice. Each winner took home a gift basket ($200) and the grand prize was a Cuisinart Elite 12-cup Stainless Steel food processor ($249). Congratulations to them all!
Linda Adams with Ancho Chile Fudge Pie (Photo by Sharon O'Quinn)
PIE: Linda Adams for Ancho Chile Fudge Pie - the pie category had three good quality entries this year but Adam's version of the longtime Austin favorite flavor combo of chocolate, nuts, and earthy Ancho chile was the clear winner.
CAKE: Kirk Alston with Italian Cream Cake - the perfect Eighties flashback, chock full of coconut and pecans.
Meticulously decorated winning Ginger Snaps (Photo by Sharon O'Quinn)
COOKIES: Angela Negron for Gingerbread Snaps - we were impressed by the attention to detail in the decoration of these cookies but their crisp texture and spicy flavor contributed to the win.
Joanna Wilczock and her Rum Ginger mini eclairs
OTHER/BEST in SHOW: Joanna Wilczock for Ginger and Rum Mini Eclairs - these delightful puffs displayed a variety of skills and techniques and were delicious in the bargain.
PEOPLE'S CHOICE: Joe Lowke for Cabernet Poached Pear Ice Cream - creamy, dreamy flavors of fall fruit.
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