Gourmet Girl Sweet Holiday Recipe Contest Winners!

Gourmet Girl - January 18, 2013

And the winners are...

The Gourmet Girl Sweet Holiday Recipe Contest is over and the judges have spoken!

And while we had some great submissions, from bizcochitos and snickerdoodles to traditional German stolen and empanaditas, we had to choose only three. And the winning entries are Kerri Cottle's Creamy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chile Fudge, Jessica Perea's Empanaditas and Shibana Singh's sweet/savory Indian treats.

Our panel of judges—Peyton Young, baker extraordinaire at Harry's Roadhouse, and Jeff and Kari Keenan, owners of The ChocolateSmith and Whoo's Donuts, joined me in selecting the winners for first, second and third place.

The winners will receive gift certificates to Vanessies and will also appear in an interview with Gourmet Girl on the radio. Watch here for the date and time.

Below are the winning recipes of the Gourmet Girl Sweet Holiday Recipe Contest! Enjoy!

Kerri Cottle's Creamy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chile Fudge

"I make fudge very year for friends and family. Every year I try a different flavor (hence a new recipe). This fudge was mailed out to Atlanta, Georgia to some of my family with rave reviews. The best part of this fudge is that you do not have to worry about thermometers or double broilers. Due to the sifting of the ingredients it never comes out gritty. So simple cooking with a microwave you can even make it with the kids. They like to sift too. It requires basic ingredients that provide rich flavors. What New Mexican kitchen doesn’t have red chile, peanut butter, cocoa, butter and milk on hand?"

1 ½ pounds powered sugar
1/2 cup and 3 tablespoons cocoa powder unsweetened (I suggestd cocoa powders from Scharffen Berger, Trader Joes or Guittard)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons of creamy salted peanut butter (natural stir type made with unblanched peanuts)
1/3 cup nonfat milk
2 tablespoons Chimayo red chile powder (more maybe added if want a spicier fudge)

Tools needed
Large mixing bowl-microwavable
Large spatula
Glass dish 9 x13 or about that size (thickness depends on size)

Sift together 1 pound powdered sugar, 1 ½ tablespoon chile powder and ½ cup cocoa. Put butter into mixture. Microwave for 1 minute and 20 seconds until butter is just melted. If not melted enough add another 10 seconds. Add 3 tablespoons peanut butter and began to fold with spatula. Fold to mix and smooth out fudge. Sift in ½ pound powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and ½ tablespoon of chile,

Add 1/3 cup milk during shifting and folding of fudge. Consistency of fudge should not be sticky but rather like smooth like play dough (with no lumps) as it forms a ball. Spread in buttered glass dish with spatula. Refrigerate for about an hour to set. Cut into pieces and enjoy

Jessica Perea's Empanaditas

2 1/2 pounds boneless chuck roast cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
5 pounds of cooking apples, pared and chopped
1 quart apple cider
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon allspice
1 1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons mace
3 cups sugar
3 cups seedless raisins
5 cups currants
2 teaspoons salt
1 cups brandy (optional)

1 package dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, melted
6 cups flour (to make a medium dough)

Cook meat in a deep saucepan. Barely cover with boiling water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and cover and simmer for 2 hours. Remove meat and continue to boil stock until reduced to 1 1/2 cups. Put meat through food processor. Mix meat, 1 1/2 cups of stock, apples, cider, spices, raisins, currants, and 2 teaspoons salt in pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally Stir in brandy.

Add yeast, sugar and salt to warm water; mix until dissolved. Add beaten egg, melted shortening and flour. Knead into medium dough. Make 1-inch balls and roll out into small circles. Place small amount of filling in center, fold over and crimp edges with fork to seal. Fry in deep hot oil until golden brown.

Shibana Singh's Indian Treats

"I have always believed in food without borders… so thought I would send this recipe, which is a gift of the Mughals to India, and is made over the holidays."

1/1/2 cups almonds without skin
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
Silver/gold leaf to decorate
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground cardamom seed

Put almonds in bowl, cover with boiling hot water. Leave for 10-15 minutes. Grind coarsely in a heavy bottomed wok/pan, add sugar, cover with water and stir over low heat , adding cardamom seeds. Simmer on low heat for 2 -3 minutes and cook, stirring constantly, for 4-6 minutes until the mixture begins to pull off the sides of the pan.

Transfer to a greased plate or cake pan, leveling with greased palms. Decorate with silver/gold leaf. When cool, cut into desired shape. Enjoy served with fresh edible rose petals.