Typically we’d be stuffed full of funnel cakes, corn dogs, and hot beef sundaes right now…but it’s 2020, so nothing is typical. This week you normally would have found us in the Elwell Family Food Center on the Iowa State Fairgrounds wrapping up the judging of delicious customer creations entered into the AllSpice food contests.
With the Iowa State Fair being postponed until 2021, we’re staying safe and sound at home and in the shop. Since we won’t be sampling new customer recipes, we decided to revisit some of our favorites from years past. AllSpicer Rory has judged each AllSpice contest on the Iowa State Fairgrounds since 2012, and we asked him to recall the top five most memorable prize-winning recipes from fairs past.
“There have been so many fantastic, creative submissions it’s hard to narrow things down to just the five most memorable, but I’ll give it a try.” The recipes he chose (in no particular order) are:
- Coconut Cardamom Butter Sandwich Cookies – This recipe was entered in the 2018 competition by Bridget L. of Norwalk. Rory loves coconut and cardamom and thought Bridget’s cookie was a perfect blend of the two flavors. He especially liked the use of less common cookie flavors.
- Prelude to the Turkey Snack Mix – Matthew P. of Ankeny submitted this tasty fall snack mix in 2017. Rory says, “It’s like Thanksgiving in the palm of my hand!” He makes the recipe at least annually, and follows Matthew’s recipe with only a single exception. “If pumpkin-spice Cheerios are in season, I use those in place of the honey-nut variety for an extra punch of autumn.” The AllSpice team can consume a double batch of this snack in nothing flat!
- Spiced Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies – This recipe came from Sara W. of Newton and was entered in the 2014 contest. According to Rory, “…you look at this and think, oh – a chocolate chip cookie. But bite into it and you’re in for a surprise. It’s savory and spicy too!” We liked this recipe so much we made it a kit for the 2014 holiday season. A tip from Rory if you’re going to make this one, “Don’t skip the margarine and replace it with butter. It messes with the texture of the finished cookie.”
- Colorado Style Pork Green Chili – This recipe from Jeffery K. of Newton for the 2019 contest is the perfect cure for a cold day. “The chili is fresh and zippy, and the pork is crazy-tender,” says Rory. This is a great go-to recipe when you’re bored with standard chili during the colder months.
- Nutty Goat Swirl Ice Cream – This amazing ice cream is another submission from Matthew P. of Ankeny, this time in the 2018 contest. Rory says, “The ice cream is wonderfully sweet without being overpowering, and the tasty caramel swirl adds an interesting and gooey element.” The flavors and textures in this ice cream are both winners.
We’re expecting nothing short of amazing in the 2021 contests, since everyone will have had a whole extra year to prepare! In the meantime, try out one (or more) of the recipes above. We know you’ll love them!