This is the time of year when you want to break out top recipes for the next food item you bring to a gathering of friends or family, so why not turn to the “best of the best” cookbook to find those recipes? Check out the five recipes below, taken straight from the pages of the State Fair of Texas’ Best of Show Cookbook, Vol. 1. The Texan chefs that created these tasty recipes not only won blue ribbons for their food but also took home the coveted Best of Show award. That makes these the cream of the crop! Give them a try and if you want more recipes like these, order your own copy of this exclusive cookbook by clicking here.
CHIPOTLE DEVILED EGGS WITH JALAPEÑO BACON
by Stephen Hulcy of Dallas, TX
2015 Best of Show – 1st Place: Tex-Mex
12 large eggs, hard-boiled & peeled
8 T. Hellmann’s mayonnaise
2½ T. minced chipotles in adobo sauce
1/4 tsp. adobo sauce
2½ T. minced pickled jalapeños
1/4-½ tsp. Mexene chili powder
Pinch of smoked paprika
Pinch of kosher salt
1 fresh jalapeño, finely minced for garnish
3 strips of HEB jalapeño bacon, cooked & sliced into 1/2-inch pieces for garnish
Slice eggs in half and separate yolks into a bowl, saving egg white halves. Mash yolks, then add mayonnaise, chipotles, adobo sauce, pickled jalapeños, chili powder, smoked paprika, and salt. Mix well with a spatula. Using a piping bag, pipe mixture abundantly into only 12 egg white halves. Sprinkle tops of deviled eggs with minced fresh jalapeño, and wedge 1 (2-inch) piece of jalapeño bacon into the center of the egg.
SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE WITH PECAN TOPPING
by Sara J. Smith of Fort Worth, TX
2018 Best of Show – 1st Place: One Pot Wonders
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
3 T. butter
¾ c. sugar
1/3 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T. orange zest
½ tsp. salt
½ c. brown sugar
1/3 c. flour
3 T. melted butter
1/2 c. chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350°. Cook sweet potatoes in water on the stove for about 10 minutes until tender. Drain set aside to cool a little, then put in a food processor. Add butter, sugar, heavy cream, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs, vanilla, and orange zest, then process until smooth. Pour into greased casserole dish. Sprinkle topping over and put in the oven and cook at 350° for about 55 minutes until set.
BUTTER ‘EM UP BISCUITS
by Krysabelle Gilbert of Lindale, TX
2016 Best of Show – 1st Place: Biscuit Cook-Off
3 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
¼ c. butter
¼ c. shortening
1 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1 c. buttermilk 1 large egg
Preheat oven to 450°. Whisk together flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder in a bowl. Cut in butter and shortening until crumbly. Whisk together buttermilk and egg in a small bowl; add to flour mixture. Mix the dough until barely combined (do not overmix). Dump the dough onto floured cutting board; knead a couple of times then pat to 1 inch thick. Cut with a 2 to 3-inch biscuit cutter. Place on a greased baking sheet (touching each other) and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
A BIT…OF PECAN PIE HONEY?
by Cyndy D. Grove of Alvord, TX
2019 Best of Show – 1st Place: Pie Contest
½ c. unsalted butter
15 Bit ‘O Honey candies, unwrapped
In a heavy saucepan, cook butter over low heat until golden brown. Put in unwrapped Bit ‘O Honey candies, stirring until candies have melted. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.
1 c. light corn syrup
¾ c. granulated sugar
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. salt
1½ c. pecan pieces + whole pecans for garnish
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine corn syrup, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, pour melted brown butter and Bit ‘O Honey mixture in, stirring to combine. Then, stir in the pecan pieces. Pour filling mixture into prepared pie crust. Top with whole pecans for garnish, optional. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 55 minutes or until set. Remove and cool on a wire rack until ready to serve.
1½ c. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
½ c. butter Crisco, cold
6 T. ice cold water
In a large mixing bowl combine flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter Crisco until crumbly. Add cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until a ball forms. Wrap pie dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
SALTED CARAMEL MAPLE PECAN PIE BARS
by Elizabeth Garmon of Krum, TX.
2017 Best of Show – 1st Place: Youth Cooking, Children
1/2 c. unsalted butter (very soft)
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/3 c. light brown sugar, packed
1/3 c. maple pancake syrup
Pinch of salt
1 c. pecans
About ¼ c. salted caramel sauce for drizzling
1 T. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil; spray with cooking spray and set aside.
To make the crust: In a large bowl, add flour, brown sugar, and cut in butter using 2 forks or a pastry cutter. Keep working until butter is evenly distributed and pea-sized lumps and sandy bits form. Turn mixture out onto the prepared pan and hard pack with a spatula to form smooth, even crust. Bake for 17 to 18 minutes or until crust is just set. While crust bakes, prepare the filling.
Filling: In a large bowl (you can reuse the same bowl as the crust, just make sure you wipe it clean ), add egg, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and optionally, salt; whisk until combined. Stir in pecans; set aside until crust is baked. After crust has baked, gently and carefully pour filling over crust, giving filling one last quick stir before pouring it, smoothing pecans with a spatula to evenly distribute. Make sure they are not clustered in one area and they are as flat as possible because edges or corners that are jutting up will be prone to burning. Bake for about 16 to 19 minutes or until the center is set and not jiggly. Bars will set up more as they cool. Place pan on a wire rack to cool for at least 1 hour before drizzling with salted caramel, slicing, and serving. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days.