The Pillsbury Bake-Off is in its 45th year, and the finalists for this year’s competition have been chosen. The grand prize winner receives a whopping $1 million.
The 100 potential winners include five men, and all will prepare their original contest recipes in Orlando, Fla., March 26.
The $1 million grand prize winner will be announced via live broadcast from Orlando on “The Martha Stewart Show” on March 27.
Pillsbury has spotted a few trends among this year’s entries:
Modern classics, including twists on ethnic favorites.
Cranberry-Orange Baklava Pinwheels: Greek baklava with a Pillsbury pie crust drizzled with honey
Carrot Cake Tart: Carrot cake and pie baked together with cream cheese frosting and caramel drizzle
Thai Chicken Subs: Chicken in a crusty French loaf sub sandwich.
Rise and Shine: Family-friendly breakfast and brunch ideas.
Dark Cherry-Chocolate Breakfast Pastry: Six ingredients turn Pillsbury crusty French loaf into a fresh fruit-chocolate treat.
Sausage-Pomodoro Brunch Bake: Crescents topped with sausage, tomatoes, two cheeses and eggs.
Butternut Squash Brunch Braid: Braid and bake with a savory onion, squash and Parmesan filling.
Small Foods, Big Flavor: Bite-size delights
Coconut-Almond Doughnut Pop-ems: Cut-up biscuits baked into mini doughnuts, glazed and sprinkled.
Spicy Sesame Tuna Bites: Tuna appetizer that’s spicy-hot and cool as cucumbers.
Bacon-Cheddar Whoopie Bites: Three-cheese appetizers with savory bacon.
Sweet, Salty, Savory and Spicy: Sweet is a favorite, but it’s being paired with salty, savory and spicy often this year.
Marmalade-Glazed Asian Meatball Cups: Meatball baked on crescent dough. With just 6 ingredients, they’re super easy.
Bacon-Date Scones with Orange Marmalade Glaze: Easy and delicious bacon, date and citrus combo.
Salted Caramel Macaroons: Sea salt updates classic coconut macaroon.
CRANBERRY-ORANGE BAKLAVA PINWHEELS
Prep Time: 20 Min
Total Time: 35 Min
Makes: 20 pinwheels
1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
2 tablespoons LAND O LAKES Butter, melted
1 1/4 cups sweetened dried cranberries (6 oz)
1 cup Fisher Chef’s Naturals Chopped Pecans
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons McCormick Ground Cinnamon
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 LAND O LAKES Egg
2 tablespoons water
½ cup honey
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper or lightly spray with Crisco Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. Unroll pie crusts; press each into 10 ½-inch square. Brush squares with melted butter.
In food processor, place cranberries, pecans, sugar, cinnamon and orange peel. Cover; process with on-and-off pulses until mixture is finely chopped. Spread half of mixture on each pie crust square.
Roll up each pie crust into a log; pinch edge tightly to seal. In small bowl, beat egg and water until blended. Brush egg mixture over each log. Using serrated knife, cut each log into 10 slices. Place slices, cut sides up, 1 inch apart on cookie sheet; replacing any filling. Reshape slices, if necessary.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove pinwheels on parchment from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Spoon about 1 teaspoon honey on each slice. Serve warm or cool.
Nutrition Information: 1 Serving: Calories 210 (Calories from Fat: 90), Total Fat 10g (Saturated Fat 3g, Trans Fat 0g), Cholesterol 15mg; Sodium 115 mg; Total Carbohydrate 29g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 18g), Protein 1g; Percent Daily Values (based on 2,000-calorie diet): Vitamin A 0 percent; Vitamin C 0 percent; Calcium 0 percent; Iron 0 percent; Exchanges: ½ Starch; 0 Fruit; 1 ½ Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 2 Fat; Carbohydrate Choices: 2.
— Carrie Hudkins, Wichita Falls, Texas
THAI CHICKEN SUBS
Prep Time: 40 Min
Total Time: 40 Min
Makes: 6 sandwiches
2 cans Pillsbury refrigerated crusty French loaf
1 cup coleslaw mix
1 small red onion (halved lengthwise), cut into thin wedges (1 cup)
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch strips (1 cup)
½ medium English (seedless) cucumber, cut into 2 x 1/4 x 1/4-inch pieces (1 cup)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3/4 cup soy-teriyaki blend or 3/4 cup stir-fry sauce plus 2 teaspoons sesame seed
3/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons hot chili sauce
1/4 cup Jif Creamy Peanut Butter
1 tablespoon Crisco Pure Vegetable Oil
1 ½ pounds uncooked chicken breast tenders (not breaded)
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray large cookie sheet with Crisco Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. Place loaves, seam side down on cookie sheet, about 3 inches apart. Using sharp knife, cut 5 diagonal ½-inch-deep slashes on top of dough.
Bake 26 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine coleslaw mix, onion, bell pepper, cucumber and cilantro. In 2-cup measuring cup, combine ½ cup of the soy-teriyaki blend, ½ cup of the rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of the chili sauce. Beat well with wire whisk. Pour over vegetable mixture; stir to combine. Set aside, stirring occasionally.
In 1-quart saucepan, combine peanut butter, remaining 1/4 cup soy-teriyaki blend, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar and ½ teaspoon chili sauce. Cook over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Set aside.
In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken tenders; cook 7 to 10 minutes, turning once, until chicken is no longer pink in center. Add peanut sauce; stir to coat. Remove from heat.
Cut each loaf crosswise into thirds. Cut each piece of bread in half lengthwise down center to within ½ inch of bottom. To make each sub, spoon 1/6 of chicken mixture into each piece of bread. With slotted spoon, top each with about ½ cup vegetable mixture. Serve any remaining sauce as a dipping sauce.
Nutrition Information: 1 Serving: Calories 520 (Calories from Fat: 110), Total Fat: 12g (Saturated Fat 2 ½g, Trans Fat 0g), Cholesterol: 50 mg; Sodium: 1,860 mg; Total Carbohydrate: 67g (Dietary Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 18g), Protein: 35g; Percent Daily Values (based on 2,000-calorie diet): Vitamin A: 20 percent; Vitamin C: 30 percent; Calcium 2 percent; Iron 20 percent; Exchanges:3 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 1 Vegetable; 3 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; ½ High-Fat Meat; 1 Fat; Carbohydrate Choices: 4 ½;
— Nadine Clark, Quakertown, Pa.
DARK CHERRY-CHOCOLATE BREAKFAST PASTRY
Prep Time: 20 Min
Total Time: 1 Hr 5 Min
Makes: 8 servings
1 can Pillsbury refrigerated crusty French loaf
4 tablespoons LAND O LAKES Butter
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 cup halved pitted dark sweet cherries (canned, drained or frozen, thawed cherries can be used)
1/4 cup Hershey’s mini chips semi-sweet chocolate baking chips
1/4 cup Smucker’s Sweet Orange Marmalade
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray 15 x 10-inch pan with sides with Crisco Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. Carefully unroll loaf of dough in pan; press dough to cover pan. In small microwavable bowl, microwave 2 tablespoons of the butter on High 15 seconds or until melted. Stir in orange peel. Brush butter mixture over dough.
Press ½ cup of cherries into half of dough, covering a 10x7 ½-inch area. Sprinkle mini chips over cherries. Fold plain side of dough over cherries. Pinch edges of dough to seal. Cover top of folded dough with remaining cherries; press into dough.
In small microwavable bowl, microwave remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and marmalade on High 15 to 30 seconds or until butter is melted; stir to blend well. Carefully brush mixture over cherries and dough.
Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on cooling rack 15 minutes.
Cut into 8 servings. Serve warm.
Nutrition Information: 1 Serving: Calories: 220 (Calories from Fat: 80), Total Fat: 9g (Saturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0g), Cholesterol: 15mg; Sodium: 270 mg; Total Carbohydrate: 31g (Dietary Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 12g), Protein: 3g; Percent Daily Value (based on 2,000-calorie diet): Vitamin A 4 percent; Vitamin C 2 percent; Calcium 0 percent; Iron 8 percent; Exchanges:1 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1 ½ Fat; Carbohydrate Choices:2.
— MaryAnne Salaway, Harveys Lake, Pa.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH BRUNCH BRAID
Prep Time: 35 Min
Total Time: 1 Hr 20 Min
Makes: 6 servings
2 ½ cups cubed (½ inch) seeded peeled butternut squash
1 tablespoon Crisco 100 percent Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon McCormick Ground Black Pepper
4 slices bacon, chopped (about 4 oz)
1 medium onion, chopped
½ teaspoon McCormick Ground Thyme
1 can Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations refrigerated seamless dough sheet
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 LAND O LAKES Egg White, beaten
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. In medium bowl, combine squash, olive oil, brown sugar and pepper; toss to coat. Spoon mixture into ungreased 15x10-inch pan with sides.
Roast 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally, or until squash is light brown on edges and tender when pierced with fork. Set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until almost crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon pieces to paper towels. Add onion and thyme to bacon drippings in skillet. Cook and stir onion over medium heat until onion is brown and softened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in bacon.
Spray large cookie sheet with Crisco Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. Unroll dough onto cookie sheet; press to 12x8-inch rectangle. Spoon onion mixture in 4-inch-wide strip lengthwise down center of dough. Top onion with butternut squash; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
With scissors or sharp knife, make cuts 1 inch apart on long sides of dough to within ½ inch of filling. Alternately cross strips over filling; press ends to seal. Brush with egg white.
Bake at 375 degrees F 20 to 25 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Cut crosswise into 6 slices.
Nutrition Information: 1 Serving Calories 230 (Calories from Fat 100), Total Fat 11g (Saturated Fat 4g,Trans Fat 0g), Cholesterol 5mg; Sodium 470mg; Total Carbohydrate 26g (Dietary Fiber 1g,Sugars 8g), Protein 6g; Percent Daily Value (based on 2,000-calorie diet): Vitamin A 110 percent; Vitamin C 8 percent; Calcium 6 percent; Iron: 6 percent; Exchanges:1 ½ Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; ½ Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 2 Fat; Carbohydrate Choices:2; *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
— Natalie Edwards, Boxborough, Mass.
BACON-CHEDDAR WHOOPIE BITES
Prep Time: 45 Min
Total Time: 45 Min
Makes: 24 appetizers
½ cup ricotta cheese (4 oz), room temperature
4 oz. (half of 8-oz package) cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 cups Pillsbury BEST All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon McCormick Crushed Red Pepper
3/4 cup LAND O LAKES Unsalted or Salted Butter, cut into pieces
2 cups finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (8 oz)
½ cup Fisher Praline Pecans, chopped
8 slices packaged precooked thick-sliced bacon, microwaved according to package directions until crisp, crumbled
2 to 3 tablespoons ice water
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray large cookie sheets with Crisco Original No-Stick Cooking Spray or line with cooking parchment paper. To make filling, in medium bowl, beat ricotta cheese and cream cheese with electric mixer on low speed until blended. Add milk; beat on medium speed 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Stir in lemon peel. Cover; refrigerate.
In food processor, add flour, baking powder and red pepper. Cover; process until well blended. Add butter; cover and process until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add Cheddar cheese, pecans and bacon. Cover; process with on-and-off pulses until mixture is consistency of fine crumbs. With food processor running, gradually add enough water through feed tube and process just until dough pulls away from side of bowl and forms a ball.
Shape dough into 48 (1 1/4-inch) balls; place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Using fingers, press each ball into 2-inch round.
Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 10 minutes.
Spread or pipe about 1 tablespoon filling on bottom of each of 24 rounds. Top with remaining rounds, bottom sides down. Store covered in refrigerator.
Nutrition Information: 1 Serving: Calories 180 (Calories from Fat 120), Total Fat 14g (Saturated Fat 7g, Trans Fat 0g) ,Cholesterol 35 mg; Sodium 190 mg; Total Carbohydrate 9g (Dietary Fiber 0g,Sugars 0g), Protein 5g; Percent Daily Value (based on 2,000-calorie diet): Vitamin A 8 percent; Vitamin C 0 percent; Calcium 10 percent; Iron 4 percent; Exchanges: ½ Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 2 ½ Fat; Carbohydrate Choices: ½.
— Teresa Smith, Santa Rosa, Calif.
MARMALADE-GLAZED ASIAN MEATBALL CUPS
Prep Time: 20 Min
Total Time: 40 Min
Makes: 24 appetizers
1/4 cup Smucker’s Sweet Orange Marmalade
2 tablespoons Chinese plum sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons chili paste
2 cans Pillsbury Butter Flake refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
24 frozen meatballs, thawed (½ ounce each)
1 teaspoon McCormick Sesame Seed
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly spray 24 regular-size muffin cups with Crisco Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.
In small microwavable bowl, microwave marmalade on High 15 to 30 seconds or until melted. Stir in plum sauce and chili paste. Set aside.
Remove crescent dough from cans, but do not unroll. Cut each roll into 12 slices. Place 1 slice in bottom of each muffin cup; press ½-inch-wide indentation in center of each slice. Place 1 meatball in each cup; top with scant 1 teaspoon marmalade mixture. Sprinkle with sesame seed.
Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Serve warm.
Nutrition Information: 1 Serving (1 Serving) Calories 120 (Calories from Fat 50), Total Fat 6g (Saturated Fat 2g, Trans Fat 1g), Cholesterol 15 mg; Sodium 240 mg; Total Carbohydrate 12 g (Dietary Fiber 0 g, Sugars 4 g), Protein 4 g; Percent Daily Value (based on 2,000-calorie diet): Vitamin A 0 percent; Vitamin C 0 percent; Calcium 0 percent; Iron 4 percent; Exchanges:1 Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1 Fat; Carbohydrate Choices:1.
— Cheryl Langlois, Jefferson, Wis.