Woman completes bucket list item with cooking competition win

Mary Boury returned to the N.C. State Fair to mark something off her bucket list – competing in the Special Cooking Contests .  It paid off on opening day with a first-place win for the N.C. Peanut Growers Association recipe contest and a third-place win in House-Autry Mills Cornbread Challenge.

Boury is originally from Girard, Pa. She moved here years ago because her daughter lives here and she became a regular at entering cooking competitions at the fair. “Mary moved back to Pennsylvania a few years ago,” said Lisa Prince, special cooking contest superintendent. “We haven’t seen her in the shows for a few years. When I saw her name back among the recipes we were so excited. That’s when she told me it was on her bucket list to come back one more time.”

Her Peanut Butter Cup Greek Baklava was a favorite with the judges and earned the $200 and blue ribbon. Each recipe had to put a creative spin on an international dish, using at least a half-cup of peanut butter and/or fresh peanuts.

Check out Mary’s first-place recipe below:

Peanut Butter Cup Greek Baklava

  • 1 ½ cups of finely chopped peanuts
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup of mini chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter melted
  • 8 ounces of Phyllo dough, thawed as directed on package
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • Mini peanut butter cups for garnish
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line a 10×10 cake pan with parchment paper. Mix together the first four ingredients and set aside.
    2. Unroll Phyllo dough and cut it to fit the pan and cover sheets with wax paper and a damp cloth.
    3. Place a sheet of Phyllo dough in the pan, brush with melted butter and repeat until you have a stack of five sheets of dough. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the nut mixture.
    4. Repeat with melted butter on each sheet of Phyllo two more times. Top it with five sheets brushed with butter. Cut through all of the layers in a diamond shape.
    5. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes until brown.
    6. While baking, prepare the syrup. Place the sugar, water and cinnamon stick in a small pan. Boil these items for 15 to 20 minutes.
    7. Remove the syrup from the heat and add honey, vanilla and peanut butter.
    8. Pour syrup over the hot baklava. Let cool then place mini peanut butter cups on each slice.




About Funhouse

On the blog I go by Fun House (AKA Heather Overton). At the Fair you'll find me checking out the blue ribbon winners or hanging out in Heritage Circle. It would be hard for me to pick a favorite part of the Fair, but I can tell you one thing I hate - leaving it on the last day. I can't wait for opening day!

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