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August 15, 2013

Lawrence County Fair: Chocolate pairs with raspberry, peanut butter for winning creations

NEW CASTLE — Finding ingredients with “PA Preferred” labels posed a challenge for fair baking contest winners this year.

Competitors in the Pennsylvania Preferred chocolate cake and cookie contests at the Lawrence County Fair were required to bake their entries using at least two Pennsylvania Preferred products in their recipes, and provide the labels for those items as proof for the judges.

The logo indicates the ingredients were produced in Pennsylvania.

The products and locations where Pennsylvania Preferred items are sold are listed online at

Pennsylvania Preferred is a public-private partnership between the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and various companies throughout the commonwealth. The program is working with thousands of companies and stores to support and promote Pennsylvania products, according to information from the website.

The two chocolate baking contests — the cake competition for adults and the cookie competition for youths — were sponsored by state department of agriculture’s PA Preferred program.

The first-place winners are eligible to attend the state Farm Show in January and compete in those baking contests.

“I thought the chocolate cakes this year all were exceptional,” commented Lori Hites, the fair’s home economics director. “They really stood out. There were a lot of different ones. There were coconut, peanut butter, some maraschino cherries.”

Hites was particularly taken with the blue ribbon winner, a Chocolate Raspberry Cake, which had chocolate raspberry frosting. The cake was baked by Chelsea Glaister of New Castle, who was one of nine competitors.

The winning recipe for chocolate cookies — Peanut Butter Munchies — was baked by Brendan Clark of New Castle, who was one of only two entrants.

Lisa Norden of Volant was the blue ribbon winner in the fair’s special baking contest, sponsored by Hites’ family in memory of Virginia Worrell. This year’s recipe, which all contestants were required to make, was Sugar and Spice Cake.

Following are Gleister’s and Clark’s blue-ribbon-winning recipes:

Chocolate Raspberry Cake

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