Rolling in Pillsbury Dough

Baker Sue Compton created a dessert called "Mini Ice Cream Cookie Cups" and won $1 million dollars...find out how she did it.

Courtesy of Pillsbury Bake-Off.

“I just tried to figure out what would taste good together,” says home baker Sue Compton, explaining how she created the Mini Ice Cream Cookie Cups recipe that won the $1 million grand prize in this year’s Pillsbury Bake-Off. Compton, 56, a mortgage loan processor who lives in Delanco, Burlington County, is the first grand prize winner from the Garden State in the contest’s 60 years.

Last year she spotted an ad for the 2010 Bake-Off, and when she realized that the application deadline was the following weekend, she immediately went to the supermarket to buy ingredients (at least two of which have to be chosen from an approved list). Preparing the recipe just once, she got a thumbs up from her tasting panel—son Jonathan, 29, a med student, and his friends—then typed it up and sent it in. From tens of thousands of entries, hers was among 600 winnowed down for preparation in the Pillsbury test kitchen and 100 chosen as finalists.

On April 12, Compton and the other finalists made their recipes in Orlando for a panel of twelve judges, who chose four category winners to be flown to Chicago, where Oprah Winfrey announced the grand-prize winner on her show. When Winfrey asked her what she might spend the prize money on, Compton could only come up with new bath towels. She says she will keep her one-story Cape Cod-style house two blocks from the Delaware River and save her winnings for retirement. “I like the things I have,” Compton says. “I’m good.” Says John Mirenda, her boss and president of Greentree Mortgage Co. in Marlton, “She’s a million-dollar person. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer human being.”

Click here for the recipe.

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