30 Winning Recipes from the County Fair (2024)

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30 Winning Recipes from the County Fair (1)Sue StetzelUpdated: Feb. 21, 2024

    County fair judges are the local experts when it comes to home-baked goodies. You can count on their good taste when you bake up these blue-ribbon winners!

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    First-Place Coconut Macaroons

    These coconut macaroon cookies earned me a first-place ribbon at the county fair. They remain my husband’s favorites—whenever I make them to give away, he always asks me for some, too! I especially like that this macaroon recipe makes a small enough batch for the two of us to nibble on. —Penny Ann Habeck, Shawano, Wisconsin

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    Taste of Home

    Blue-Ribbon Herb Rolls

    These rolls have been a favorite of ours for nearly 25 years. I even baked them in an old wood stove when we lived on a farm. I developed the recipe using several techniques I learned while studying the art of bread making. The recipe won a blue ribbon at our county fair. —Mary Ann Evans, Tarpon Springs, Florida

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    Brown Sugar Icebox Cookies

    My daughters and I have been fairly successful competitors at county fairs and baking contests for years. This is one of our winning recipes. —Eilene Bogar, Minier, Illinois

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    Peppermint Brownies

    My grandmother encouraged me to enter these mint brownies in the county fair some years ago—and they earned top honors! They're a delicious treat to serve during the holidays. —Marcy Greenblatt, Redding, California

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    Blueberry-Orange Muffins

    This recipe was given to me some time ago, and I've used it often since. In fact, it's so good that it won first prize at a county fair! Blueberries are plentiful here in the Midwest, and this is a delicious way to prepare them. —Irene Parry, Kenosha, Wisconsin

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    Sesame Wheat Braids

    When I started making this bread, my husband and our six children liked it so much that I was baking every day! I was thrilled when the judges at our county fair gave these braids both a blue ribbon and a best of show award! —Nancy Montgomery, Hartville, Ohio

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    Cherry No-Bake Cookies

    I always loved my no-bake cookie recipe, but I was never able to place at the fair with it. So I mixed in some maraschino cherries, added almond extract and voila! I won a blue ribbon at the county fair in 2010. —Denise Wheeler, Newaygo, Michigan

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    My biscuits won the prize for best quick bread at my county fair. One of the judges liked them so much, she asked for the recipe! These buttery, savory biscuits go with just about anything. —Gloria Jarrett, Loveland, Ohio

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    Spiced Almond Cookies

    These cookies are my all-time favorite! The recipe has won ribbons at fairs and applause from family and guests alike. One of the reasons I like it is that I can make the dough and freeze it. Then, when I need another batch of cookies, I take a "log" out of the freezer, thaw it and make fresh cookies in minutes. —Wanda Daily, Milwaukie, Oregon

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    Black Raspberry Bubble Ring

    I first made this pretty bread years ago for a 4-H project. It helped me win grand champion for my county and took me to the Ohio State Fair. It takes some time to make, but I pull out this recipe anytime I want a breakfast or dessert that will really impress. —Kila Frank, Reedsville, Ohio

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    Frosted Cashew Cookies

    We savor these cookies at Christmas, but they're special year-round with coffee or tucked into a lunchbox. I won a ribbon with these cookies at my county fair. —Sheila Wyum, Rutland, North Dakota

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    Apple-Cherry Cream Cheese Pie

    A layer of sweetened cream cheese topped with a tart fruit filling makes this pie popular with family, friends and co-workers. It won the blue ribbon at a local fair. —Donna Rettew, Jonestown, Pennsylvania

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    Cookie Jar Gingersnaps

    My grandma kept two cookie jars in her pantry. One of the jars, which I now have, always had these crisp and chewy gingersnaps in it. They're still my favorite cookies. My daughter used this recipe for a 4-H fair and won a blue ribbon. —Deb Handy, Pomona, Kansas

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    Blue-Ribbon Red Velvet Cake

    This two-layer beauty features a striking red interior. It calls for more cocoa than most red velvet cakes, making it extra chocolaty. Feel free to change the color of the food coloring to suit the occasion. This recipe won a blue ribbon in the holiday cake division at the 2006 Alaska State Fair. I think this cake will be a winner in your house, too! —Cindi DeClue, Anchorage, Alaska

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    Chocolaty Nanaimo Bars

    If a pastry could be a friend, the Nanaimo bar would be my BFF. This version won Cookie of the Fair at the 2006 Iowa State Fair. —Kelly McCulley, Des Moines, Iowa

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    Sweetheart Cookies

    These rounds filled with fruit preserves were blue-ribbon winners at the county fair two years running. A family favorite, they never last beyond December 25! —Pamela Esposito, Smithville, New Jersey

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    Aunt Rose's Fantastic Butter Toffee

    I don't live in the country, but I love everything about it—especially good old-fashioned home cooking! Every year, you'll find me at our county fair, entering a different contest. This easy toffee recipe is a family favorite. —Kathy Dorman, Snover, Michigan

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    Apple Pie

    I remember coming home sullen one day because we’d lost a softball game. Grandma, in her wisdom, suggested that maybe a slice of hot apple pie would make me feel better. She was right. —Maggie Greene, Granite Falls, Washington

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    Zucchini Chip Loaves

    This bread has won many ribbons at our fall fair. The recipe yields two nicely spiced loaves—one for eating and one for sharing. I like to make it for family and friends. —Chantelle Ross, Forest Grove, British Columbia

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    Upside-Down Apple Pie

    This pie has won eight ribbons at area fairs. People say it looks and tastes like a giant apple-cinnamon bun. I take time off from work around the holidays to fill pie requests from family and friends. The recipe has become everyone's favorite. —Susan Frisch, Germansville, Pennsylvania

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    Blue-Ribbon Rye Bread

    My kids once had a little bread business, selling homemade loaves to neighbors and people in the community. Many purchased this rye that won best of show at our county fair. —Susanne Spicker, North Ogden, Utah

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    Amish Sugar Cookies

    These easy-to-make, old-fashioned Amish sugar cookies simply melt in your mouth! I've passed this recipe around to many friends. After I gave it to my sister, she entered the cookies in a local fair and won best of show. —Sylvia Ford, Kennett, Missouri

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    Streuseled Zucchini Bundt Cake

    Inspired by an abundance of zucchini, I found a new way to use it up in this spiced and lightly sweet cake. It even won a blue ribbon at our county fair! —Regina Stock, Topeka, Kansas

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    Rhubarb-Filled Cookies

    I won a blue ribbon at our local fair for these tender cookies. They're so pretty with the ruby-red filling peeking through the dough. Try making these special cookies and watch the smiles appear. —Pauline Bondy, Grand Forks, North Dakota

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    Orange Grove Cake

    A few years ago, I won best in show in the Western Idaho State Fair for this citrusy cake with a luscious filling and creamy frosting. It bursts with fantastic orange flavor. —Amanda Bowyer, Caldwell, Idaho

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    Peach Pie

    I acquired this delicious peach pie filling recipe some 40 years ago, when my husband and I first moved to southern Iowa and had peach trees growing in our backyard. It's been a family favorite since then and always brings back memories of both summer and those happy early years. — June Mueller, Sioux City, Iowa

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    Winning Apricot Bars

    This recipe is down-home baking at its best, and it really represents all regions of the country. It's won blue ribbons at county fairs and cookie contests in several states! Easy to make, it's perfect for potluck suppers, bake sales, lunchboxes or just plain snacking.—Jill Moritz, Irvine, California

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    Marble Chiffon Cake

    This confection’s a proven winner—it earned me a blue ribbon and was named Division Champion at the county fair! It’s my favorite. I’m the third generation in the family to make it. —LuAnn Heikkila, Floodwood, Minnesota

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    Originally Published: July 08, 2019

    30 Winning Recipes from the County Fair (29)

    Sue Stetzel

    Sue has been working with Taste of Home since 2011. When she isn’t writing, she’s answering your burning cooking questions and working with our team of Community Cooks. She spends her free time cooking, crafting, and volunteering for various organizations in her home town.

    30 Winning Recipes from the County Fair (2024)
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