A Nevada cook's recipe for Loaded Potato Pinwheels won the $1 million grand prize in this year's Pillsbury Bake-Off. The contest, held in Las Vegas Nov. 11, drew 100 cooks and bakers from across the United States. The grand prize went to Glori Spriggs. Winning second was Sheila Suhan of Pennsylvania for her Easy Caprese Pizza Bake. Antoinette Leal of Connecticut won third for her Cherry Almond Brunch Tart. Bake-Off finalists from the Tampa Bay area were Bethany Perry, 39, of Largo; Debbie Reid, 50, of Clearwater; Marie Valdes, 55, of Brandon; and mother-daughter Anna Zovko, 80, and JoAnne Tucker, 61, both of Tampa.
Patti Ewald, Times staff writer
Loaded Potato Pinwheels
1 (11.8-ounce) bag frozen backyard grilled potatoes
1 ¼ cups (5 ounces) finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided use
½ cup cooked real bacon bits (from a jar or package)
3 tablespoons milk
1 can refrigerated seamless dough sheet
⅓ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion tops (3 medium)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray large cookie sheets with cooking spray. Microwave frozen potatoes 3 to 4 minutes to thaw. In medium bowl, with fork, mash potatoes (which are a seasoned blend of roasted potatoes, peppers and onions) leaving some small pieces. Stir in cheese, ⅓ cup of the bacon bits and the milk until well blended.
Unroll dough on cutting board; press into a 8- by 14-inch rectangle. Cut in half lengthwise. Spread half of the potato mixture on one rectangle to within 1/4 inch of long edges. Starting at one long side, tightly roll up the dough; pinch seams to seal. Using a serrated knife, cut roll into 14 slices. Place slices, cut side up, on cookie sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
Bake 17 to 21 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove pinwheels from cookie sheets to serving plate. Top each pinwheel with sour cream, remaining bacon bits and the green onions. Serve warm.
Source: Glori Spriggs; pillsbury.com
Easy Caprese Pizza Bake
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
4 cups pizza sauce
¼ cup water
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped, divided use
1 can refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
20 fresh mozzarella ciliegine (cherry-size cheese balls, from an 8-ounce container)
¼ cup (1 ounce) shredded Parmesan cheese
Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a 12-inch skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium heat. Add sausage; cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until browned. Stir in pizza sauce, ¼ cup water and ¼ cup basil leaves; cook over medium-low heat, 2 to 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Meanwhile, separate dough into 10 biscuits; separate each biscuit into 2 layers to create 20 biscuits. Place 1 cheese ball in center of each biscuit. Carefully stretch dough around cheese; pinch edges to seal completely.
Pour meat sauce into ungreased 9- by 13-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. Place biscuits, seam-side down, on top of sauce. Brush tops of biscuits with remaining oil. Bake 13 to 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown and sauce is bubbly. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and remaining chopped basil.
Source: Sheila Suhan;
Cherry Almond Brunch Tart
1 refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box
4 cups sliced almonds, divided use
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 (12-ounce) jar red tart cherry preserves, divided use
1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Unroll pie crust; place in ungreased 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Press firmly against bottom and side; trim excess crust. Partially bake for 10 to 15 minutes until crust is light golden.
Meanwhile, reserve ¼ cup of the almonds. Place remaining almonds in food processor. Cover; process until coarsely ground. In large bowl, beat sweetened condensed milk, butter, almond extract and ¼ teaspoon salt on medium speed until creamy. Stir in ground nuts until well blended.
Spread ¾ cup of cherry preserves over bottom of partially baked crust. Carefully spread almond mixture over preserves, covering bottom of crust completely.
Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until center is set and edges are golden brown. Remove to cooling rack; cool 15 minutes. Remove side of pan; cool 30 minutes.
In small bowl, mix mascarpone cheese and remaining ¼ cup preserves until well blended. Top individual servings with mascarpone mixture and reserved ¼ cup almonds. Serve warm or cool.
Source: Antoinette Leal; pillsbury.com