Winner Winner Easy Bake Dinner

Proud to tell you that Team YourKindofSalad brought home first place Tuesday night in the Easy Bake Oven Bake Off hosted by Joseph-Beth Booksellers  to celebrate  the launch of “Light Bulb Baking: A History of the Easy Bake Oven” by Todd Coopee.

Competition was fierce. Dishes included a Chocolate Bourbon Cake with Salted Caramel (from Team Joseph-Beth), Chocolate Layer Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese frosting (from Team Cincinnati Magazine) and Chocolate Chip Cherry Cookies (from Team Spelman).

Despite the expectation to make a sweet, our team went the savory route. We thought it would be unusual and a fun change from all the cakes and cookies I was sure would be there.

My winning dish? “Easy Bake Oeufs” or Baked eggs with Caramelized onions, Gruyère cheese, topped with Crème fraîche and Chives.

Yes, this was made in an EASY-BAKE OVEN.

Like most things in my life; I went at this full-force. I bought an Easy-Bake Oven to practice with;  had some friends over for a taste-testing, and designed a table set-up and uniform.

IMG_7865What commitment looks like.

IMG_7859I corralled my dear friends PJ and Meredith into being my team (naturally they adhered to the uniform of white shirt /black pants with (supplied) apron).

Turns out? I’m kind of a hard-ass when it comes to competitions. I think at various points the words “I’m scared of Anne” were uttered. We were here to win, darn it!

IMG_7872Tood Coopee, the author, had graciously  supplied ovens from his collection of vintage Easy Bake ovens. I was SLIGHTLY nervous since I had only practiced on the most modern oven; but Todd assured me the ovens got up to 350 degrees, so all should be well. I was banking (baking?) on it.

The other competitors filed in; and we all took our places at an oven.  Knowing that my Oeufs would take a WHILE to bake; we immediately set up and got to prepping.

IMG_7866Carefully watching how Meredith is grating the Gruyère…I’m not dying to rip that cheese grater out of her hand or anything…

IMG_7867All smiles (for the camera…)IMG_7868More prep work: beating eggs, snipping chives, stirring in onions, adding seasoning….

IMG_7882Carefully pouring the mix into the tiny, teeny, Easy Bake molds provided. IMG_7870Ready to bake!

IMG_7871 First dish into the oven. Cheers to Meredith who handled the Easy Bake “Pan Pusher” like a pro. Meredith is an expert pusher.  IMG_7873While the Oeufs were baking (18 minutes per tray, yes, I clocked it exactly…) we checked out the other teams’ progress. IMG_7874There was definitely some trash-talking going on (especially with Team Joseph-Beth, Kim and Eli were worthy adversaries, and a blast to cook next to!) IMG_7875After precisely 18 minutes; we had a gorgeous, fragrant little egg dish.IMG_7876 A quick running of the knife around the edge….

IMG_7877and out it popped!

While the final cooking was happening, Todd did a reading and short retrospective of the Easy Bake Oven. Its fascinating how a simple “toy” has so greatly impacted people in the past 50 years.  I remember that my sister and I didn’t have an Easy Bake Oven, but my friend Elisabeth did; and man, I was JEALOUS. Also, Cincinnati fun fact: The Easy-Bake Oven was introduced in 1963 by Kenner Products, a Cincinnati, Ohio based toy company – thanks Wikipedia! Todd’s book “Light Bulb Baking: A History of the Easy Bake Oven” has a much more in-depth look at the history of this fun little gadget. IMG_7883
Finally, time to assemble! I cut the little round into fourths; adding a dollop of Crème fraîche on one wedge…IMG_7884And firmly placing the second wedge on top…

IMG_7886…and piping on another dollop of Crème fraîche. A sprinkle of  (unpictured) fresh chives and black pepper and it was off to the judges! IMG_7889 Along with Todd, one of the Pastry Chefs at Bronte and a former Kennar VP who had managed the Easy Bake product were the official judges.

We nervously awaited the results….(ok, we’re just goofing for the camera here) IMG_7892and then it was final comments and judging time…..


Drum Roll…..

IMG_7894 YourKindofSalad came away with First place and Best Recipe prizes! Todd and the judges were incredibly kind about my recipe and I was glad (it actually baked) and they liked it so much!

The other teams rocked it out as well: Team Spelman came away with “Most Promising Pastry Chef”, Team Cincinnati Magazine came away with “Most Resembling a Real Cake” and Team Joseph-beth came away with “Most Creative Recipe.” After the judging, we prepped a few samples to taste-test with the audience (I’m sorry to say, we ran out before we got to everyone!)

Overall, this was an incredibly fun event hosted by the awesome team at Joseph-Beth and the lovely Mr. Todd Coopee.

Cheers to all who participated and especially to my awesome Easy Bake Partners, PJ and Meredith.

IMG_7897 Who knew a night of thirty-somethings using an Easy Bake Oven could be so fun?
Easy Bake Oeufs
Baked Eggs with Caramelized Onions & Gruyere,
topped fresh Chives & Creme Fraiche

4 – 5 large yellow onions, peeled and sliced
1 bs butter
4 eggs
2oz Gruyere cheese, grated
a dash of cayenne pepper
Sea Salt, Black Pepper
2 tbs fresh chives, diced
1/4c. Creme Fraiche
* Makes 4 Easy Bake round tins or 1 ( 8″) Cake Pan

Pre-heat oven to 350 (regular or Easy Bake).
Thoroughly spray cooking tins with cooking spray.

Caramelized Onions: In a deep skillet over low-medium heat, melt butter. Add onions. Add a bit of sea salt; and cover. Allow onions to cook down, occasionally stir to keep from sticking. Should take 45 min for onions to be soft, luscious and a beautiful golden color.
Allow to cool slightly before using. . This recipe makes more than the Oeufs call for; but these are so delicious, you’ll want to throw the extra into soup, mashed potatoes or a sandwich. These can be made 1-2 days in advance. You will need 3-4 tbs for the Oeufs.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs with a bit of sea salt and black pepper. Once the eggs are foamy; add onions (3-4 tbs) and grated cheese. Stir thoroughly to combine. Add a dash of sea salt and a dash of the cayenne pepper, stir in completely.

Gently pour the mix onto the prepared tin(s).  Bake for 18 mins (Easy Bake Oven), 22-28 mins (regular oven). Watch closely in a regular oven; the dish is done when the eggs are set and the middle doesn’t look wet.

To serve, slice into wedges and dollop (or pipe) Creme Fraiche on top. Sprinkle with freshly snipped chives and a bit more black pepper. You can also serve the wedges  in two layers with a bit of Creme Fraiche in the middle and on top, as I did for the Easy Bake version.  Serves 2-3.

All Photo Credits to PJ, Easy Baker Superstar


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