Cooking contests offering big payoff, top prize, taking entries

The home cooks who win the national cooking contests now seeking entries will take home thousands of dollars in prizes.

Competitors in the 46th annual Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest, open for entries at http://www.bakeoff.com, will be vying for almost $1.1 million in cash, prizes and trips, including a $1 million grand prize.

Those entering the seventh annual Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off at http://www.manischewitz.com have a chance to win a $25,000 grand prize, which includes Maytag appliances, cash and an expense-paid trip.

This year, America will vote to determine all 100 finalists to compete for the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest’s grand prize in three categories: Amazing Doable Dinners, Simple Sweets and Starters and Quick Rise and Shine Breakfasts. Furthermore, submissions must include no more than seven ingredients and take 30 minutes or less to prepare, not including baking or cooling time.

“We know consumers crave recipes that are delicious, yet easy to make, so adding an ingredient limit allows us to provide inspiration for even the busiest families and novice cooks,” said Jann Atikins, Bake-Off Kitchens manager. “And with voters selecting all 100 finalists, we hope to rally excitement and friendly competition across the country as people choose their favorites.”

Each of 100 finalists wins a trip to the contest in Las Vegas, including airfare, a two-night stay at the Aria Resort & Casino, daily meals, a GE countertop appliance and $125.

In addition to the $1 million grand prize, the top winner also will receive $1,000 in GE kitchen appliances. The second-prize winner will get $1,000 and $3,000 in GE kitchen appliances. The third-prize winner will take home $5,000 and $2,000 in GE appliances.

Finalists may also win the GE Imagination at Work Award, which recognizes the most innovative recipes with $5,000 GE kitchen appliances; the Jif Peanut Butter Award recognizes the best quarter cup of Jif Peanut Butter with a $5,000 prize; the Crisco is Cooking Award, $5,000, will go to the finalist who has the best recipe using at least one tablespoon of Crisco Cooking Oil or at least 1 tablespoon of Crisco Baking Sticks All-Vegetable Shortening; and the Eagle Brand Signature Recipe Award recognizes the finalist who has the best recipe using one 14-ounce can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk with a $5,000 prize.

Each entry must include at least two ingredients from lists available at http://www.bakeoff.com.

Feb. 4 is the entry deadline for the Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off, sponsored by The Manischewitz Co., a manufacturer of kosher foods.

For the contest, home cooks must prepare recipes that adhere to Kosher guidelines, are prepared in under an hour, and have no more than nine ingredients which must include one of the company’s all-natural broth flavors plus one additional Manischewitz product, said Paul Bensabat, the company’s co-chief executive officer.

Four finalists will be selected by a judging panel, and five semifinalists will be posted on the http://www.manischewitz.com site from Feb. 21-28 to allow consumers to vote online to select the fifth finalist. The five finalists will compete at the company’s headquarters in Newark, N.J., on March 21 for the grand prize.