FRANKENMUTH –The second time around proved to be gold for Katie Reder of Midland, whose Chocolate Cherry Truffle Cookies won the grand prize – a trip to Mackinac Island – at the 2020 All Things Chocolate baking competition held on opening day of this year’s Zehnder’s Snowfest in Frankenmuth.
Reder’s cookies won second place in the cookie category, but when the top two finishers in all three categories – cookies, brownies and cakes – advanced to the finals, a new set of judges was most impressed with Reder’s recipe.
“Everyone has different tastes, which is why one set of judges weighs in for each category and then a separate set of judges samples the best of the best at the end,” explained Rob Clark, Director of Communications and Community Relations at Michigan Sugar Company, which sponsors the annual culinary competition at Snowfest. Clark served as a judge in awarding the grand prize. “Katie’s cookies were absolutely delicious and she is definitely deserving of this award,” he said.
Thirty participants took part in the event, held Wednesday, Jan. 22. Volunteer judges chose the top three dishes in each category with the top two advancing to the finals.
Here is a list of the top three finishers in each category. Each of them received a prize package, including white granulated sugar from Michigan Sugar Company.
1st Place – Carol Kammer, Marysville, Delicious Chocolate Dollops.
2nd Place – Katie Reder, Midland, Chocolate Cherry Truffle Cookies.
3rd Place – Jessica Bryant, Sheppard, Marshmallow Buttercream Cookie Sandwich Cookies.
1st Place – Linda Calhoun, Adrian, Swirly Fudge & Peanut Butter Brownies.
2nd Place – Brenda Washnock, Negaunee, Cheery Chocolate Cherry Brownies.
3rd Place – Susan Nickels, Brighton, Caramel & Sea Salted Pecan Blackout Brownies.
1st Place – Donna Bardocz, Howell, Chocolate Tipsy Cake Trifle.
2nd Place – Kevin VanSickle, Birch Run, Chocolate Mousse Brownie Cheesecake.
3rd Place – Heather Turner, Elwell, Triple Chocolate Raspberry Cake.
Other All Things Chocolate activities included a cookie-decorating contest, free samples of the sweets, cooking demonstrations and music by the Halsey Oldtimers. Michigan Sugar Queen Channon Turrell and Attendants Linde Bolle and Emily Jaremba ran the prize wheel and each of them served as a judge for one of the categories.