Million Dollar Cooks, Don’t Forget: Pillsbury Bake-Off

Turn these brands into a million dollars.

Think you have a million-dollar recipe? Here’s a way to prove it. The deadline for the annual Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest is fast approaching. The winning recipe nets the creator one million dollars. As the press release below indicates, that’s a lot of dough.

Time is Running Out! Don’t Miss Your Opportunity to Be a Part of the Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest for the Chance to Win $1 Million

Creative Skills in the Kitchen Could Land You $1 Million in Dough

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–It’s crunch time! The April 18th deadline is fast approaching for amateur chefs from around the country to cook up a creative recipe for the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest. From March 25-27, 2012, one hundred creative cooks from across America will travel to the Peabody Orlando Hotel in Florida to compete in the contest finals. There they will chop, slice and dice for the chance to win the $1 million grand prize.

Before contest hopefuls make it to the iconic Bake-Off® cooking floor, they must create and submit their delicious, original recipes online at for preliminary judging. Once submitted, recipes are reviewed by food professionals who read each one for appropriate use of eligible products, taste, appearance, creativity and consumer appeal. The best recipes are then sent to the Pillsbury Bake-Off® Test Kitchens and prepared to ensure that they work consistently in home kitchens. Meanwhile, another team pores over a library of food publications, searches the Internet and other recipe sources, making sure recipes have not been previously published or chosen as winners in cooking contests.

“Whether it is a twist on a family favorite or a recipe inspired by ingredients on hand, we’re looking for recipes that taste and look great, are creative and that families across the country will love,” said Jann Atkins, the Bake-Off® Kitchens Manager who supervises the recipe selection. “Most importantly, don’t forget to make sure you have reviewed all of the contest rules and entry details before submitting your recipe.”

Think you have a winning idea? Keep the following guidelines in mind to ensure a recipe for success!

* Before submitting your recipe, double check the official rules and then verify all recipe ingredients, sizes, instructions and times for accuracy.
* Be sure to write preparation instructions in complete sentences and include exact sizes of pots, pans and casserole dishes.
* Make sure you include directions on how to use all of the ingredients listed or your entry will be disqualified.
* When writing your recipe for entry, include exact measurements and package sizes of all ingredients. For your recipe name, choose words that describe the dish accurately.

Need some inspiration?

* Try transforming a main dish into an appetizer, or a dessert into a snack. Prepare your recipe for family and friends, then ask: Is it a recipe cooks would make often?
* Think back to foods from your childhood and adapt them for today.
* Explore your ethnic heritage for recipe ideas. Dust off an heirloom recipe from your recipe box. Update it for today’s style of cooking and eating.
* Let the Bake-Off® Contest categories be your inspiration! What can you whip up for Breakfast & Brunches? What are your Entertaining Appetizers? Any ideas for Dinner Made Easy™? Does everyone love your Sweet Treats?

Don’t forget to share! Another important tip is to have friends and family read through a recipe before submitting it to ensure the instructions are clear. It can also be helpful to browse major cookbooks to see how recipes are arranged and what information is included, keeping in mind that Bake-Off® submissions must be original.

Contest Entry

The contest is open to amateur cooks, ages 18 or older as of January 6, 2011, and all entries must be the original recipe of the contestant. The recipes will be judged for 1) taste, 2) appearance, 3) creativity and 4) consumer appeal. All entries must meet the requirements of the recipe category and appropriately use two of the eligible products in at least the quantity specified. Only entries submitted via the electronic entry form provided on the web site will be accepted. Entrants must also be registered members of The official contest rules are available at and list the specific eligible products and the amount of each that must be used in a recipe entry.

You Be the Judge

The Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest is once again letting “You Be the Judge” by logging onto to help determine 10 of the 100 final recipes. Two groups of recipes will be chosen from all contest entries to comprise the final 100 winning Bake-Off® recipes—90 recipes whose creators will directly earn a spot at the competition and 20 recipes that will be placed on during the summer of 2011 in pairs. Consumers 18 years of age or older as of May 1, 2011, can vote online for their favorite of the two recipes in each pair. The entrant from each pair whose recipe receives the most votes will become a finalist and compete for the $1 million prize in Orlando.

Cash, Prizes and Trips

The 45th Bake-Off® Contest will award more than $1.1 million in cash, prizes and trips. There are four contest categories, and the judges will award the top recipe in each category a prize. One of the four category winners will win the $1 million grand prize and $10,000 in GE kitchen appliances. Combined retail value of Grand Prize is approximately $1,010,000.

The three remaining Recipe Category Winners each receive $5,000 and $3,000 in GE kitchen appliances. Combined retail value of each Category Prize is approximately $8,000.

Four additional awards will be presented to winners chosen from any of the recipe categories who have not already won another prize:

* The GE Imagination At Work Award recognizes the most innovative recipe, and its winner receives $5,000 in GE kitchen appliances. Retail value of GE Imagination At Work Award is approximately $5,000.
* The Jif® Peanut Butter Award recognizes the finalist who creates the best recipe using at least ¼ cup of Jif® Peanut Butter. The winner will receive $5,000.
* The Crisco is Cooking™ Award recognizes the finalist who creates the best recipe using at least 1 tablespoon of Crisco® Cooking Oil. The winner will receive $5,000.
* Eagle Brand® Signature Recipe Award recognizes the finalist who creates the best recipe using at least 1 – 14 ounce can of Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk. The winner will receive $5,000.

Each of the 100 finalists wins a trip to the contest finals, including airfare, a two-night stay at the Peabody Orlando Hotel in Florida, daily event-sponsored meals, a GE countertop microwave oven (estimated retail value of $200), and $125. Approximate retail value of each finalist package is $1,615. Each finalist is eligible to win only one of the contest awards in addition to the finalist package.

Consumers can submit recipes in one of four recipe categories:

* The Breakfast & Brunches category includes casual brunch or weekend family breakfast ideas. For example, sweet rolls, pull-aparts, pastries, breakfast breads, egg dishes or breakfast sandwiches.
* In the Entertaining Appetizers category, entrants can submit appetizers and snacks to serve at casual gatherings with family and friends or for holiday entertaining. For example, bite size appetizers, tartlets, pinwheels, puffs, bruschetta or focaccia.
* The Dinner Made Easyâ„¢ category encourages home cooks to create easy to prepare main dishes that will delight your family. For example, pizzas, calzones, sandwiches, foldovers, casseroles, chilis, soups or savory pies.

* Quick and easy treats for anytime celebrations can be entered into the Sweet Treats category. For example, cookies, pies, tarts, brownies or bars.

“Visit the Bake-Off® website to get inspiration from past entries and stir up creative ideas about how to use this year’s eligible products in addition to your favorite, everyday ingredients,” said Jann Atkins, the Bake-Off® Kitchens Manager.

Eligible Products

Contest officials have created two lists of eligible products. Contestants must use two or more different eligible products in their recipes, with at least one ingredient from the primary list of products and a second from either the primary or secondary list.

Primary List

* Pillsbury® Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls, Classic Pizza Crust, Biscuits, Cinnamon Rolls, Breadsticks, Crusty French Loaf
* Pillsbury Cookie Dough and Ready to Bake Cookies
* Pillsbury Pie Crusts
* Pillsbury Brownie Mixes
* Pillsbury BEST® Flour

Secondary List

* Progresso Bread Crumbs, Soups, Broths – New
* Muir Glen Canned Tomato Products – New
* McCormick Herbs, Spices and Extracts – New
* Jif® Peanut Butter
* Smucker’s® Jams, Jellies, Preserves, Fruit Spreads
* Crisco® Cooking Oil
* LAND O LAKES® Stick Butter and Eggs
* Hershey’s® Cocoa, Baking Chips or Bits, Baking Chocolate and Syrup
* Fisher® Nuts
* Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk

America’s most prestigious cooking contest, the Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest originated in 1949. The $1 million grand prize has been awarded since 1996. The last Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest was held April 2010 in Orlando, Florida. Sue Compton of Delanco, N.J., won the $1 million grand prize at the 44th contest with her Mini Ice Cream Cookie Cups.

About the Sponsors

One of the world’s leading food companies, General Mills operates in more than 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Yoplait, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills had fiscal 2010 global net sales of US$16 billion, including the company’s $1.2 billion proportionate share of joint venture net sales. For more than 130 years, families have trusted Pillsbury to make mealtimes special times. Favorite Pillsbury products include refrigerated cookies, crescent dinner rolls, breads, biscuits, pie crusts and sweet rolls as well as frozen biscuits, rolls, pie crusts, pastry bites and breakfast items. For product information and great-tasting recipes, visit Log on to for company information.

Named after legendary naturalist John Muir, Muir Glen® was founded in 1991 by a group of entrepreneurs with extensive experience in agriculture and the tomato industry. Muir Glen tomatoes are field grown and vine ripened under certified organic practices — no synthetic pesticides, no chemical fertilizers, just gorgeous tomatoes with true to nature taste. The same day that Muir Glen vine-ripened tomatoes are harvested on California organic farms, they are sent, processed and canned. For more information on the brand, recipes and other happenings, visit Muir Glen is distributed by Small Planet Foods, Inc., and owned by General Mills.

GE Appliances & Lighting spans the globe as an industry leader in major appliances, lighting, systems and services for commercial, industrial and residential use. Technology innovation and the company’s ecomaginationSM initiative enable GE Appliances & Lighting to aggressively bring to market products and solutions that help customers meet pressing environmental challenges. General Electric (NYSE: GE), imagination at work, sells products under the Monogram®, Profileâ„¢, GE®, Hotpoint®, Reveal® and Energy Smart® consumer brands, and Tetra®, Vioâ„¢ and Immersion® commercial brands. For more information, consumers may visit

For more than 110 years, The J.M. Smucker Company has been committed to offering consumers quality products that help families create memorable mealtime moments. Today, Smucker is a leading marketer and manufacturer of fruit spreads, retail packaged coffee, peanut butter, shortening and oils, ice cream toppings, sweetened condensed milk, and health and natural foods beverages in North America. The Company’s wide variety of icon brands and products include such trusted favorites as Smucker’s® jams, jellies, preserves, fruit spreads and ice cream toppings; Jif® peanut butter; Crisco® oils, shortening and sprays; Eagle Brand® sweetened condensed milk; and Pillsbury® baking mixes, ready-to-spread frosting and flour. For more information and delicious recipes, please visit,,, and

Since 1920, Fisher® Nuts has prided itself in providing only the freshest and highest quality nuts. Today, Fisher® Nuts continues its tradition of excellence as a John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc. (JBSS) brand. A favorite with at-home chefs looking for an easy and nutritious way to add flavor and pizzazz to any dish, Fisher ® Chef’s Naturals® Baking Nuts provide delicious baking and cooking ingredients, making everyday meals extraordinary. Fisher® Snack Nuts offer crunchy freshness and dry roasted flavor for a healthier, delicious snack any time of the day. Fisher’s fresh and delicious products can be found in stores and supermarkets under the Fisher® and Fisher® Chef’s Naturals® brand names. For more information on Fisher Nuts, please visit

Land O’Lakes, Inc., a Minnesota-based food and agriculture company, is a leading supplier of quality dairy products. In 1921, Land O’Lakes began making butter from sweet—not sour—cream. Ever since that breakthrough, the company has been a leading producer of butter and other pure, wholesome dairy products that deliver simple goodness to consumers. Today, the tradition of innovation continues with our complete product lines of butter, spreads, eggs and cheese. For more information visit

With an extensive network of researchers, trend experts, chefs, test kitchens, food technologists, and sensory analysts, McCormick & Company, Inc. keeps its finger on the pulse of flavor. McCormick was founded in 1889 in Baltimore, Maryland. Today it is a global leader in the sale of spices, herbs and seasonings. McCormick sources high quality ingredients from far-reaching destinations to bring a world of flavors to consumers. Over the past decade, McCormick has identified emerging flavors through its annual Flavor Forecast® report. To learn more about McCormick, visit

The HERSHEY Company, the largest North American manufacturer of quality chocolate products, also provides a wide variety of baking products for consumers and foodservice operators. The HERSHEY Company is proud to offer quality baking cocoa, baking chocolate, baking chips and pieces and syrup under the Hershey’s®, Reese’s®, Heath®, Heath® Bits‘o Brickle®, Mini Kisses® and Special Dark® brands. With such a variety of forms and flavors, making dessert a memorable occasion has never been easier or more certain! For more information, consumers may visit

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