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1/12/2013 7:00 AM
By Anne Harnish Food and Family Features Editor

Kids' Baking Skills are Tops at Farm Show

HARRISBURG, Pa. — “Wonderful!” is what judge Terry Etherton said about the tastes of the kids’ cookie/brownie/bar contest last Saturday afternoon at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg. (Etherton is also the head of Penn State’s animal science program when he’s not judging baked goods.) With 70 entries baked with PA Preferred ingredients when possible, the under-18 crowd at the Farm Show dazzled the adult judges with the taste and eye appeal of their treats.

“Given the age range, the finalists are phenomenal,” Etherton said.

Miranda Getz, 16, of Lititz, Pa., snagged the blue ribbon and a special prize for her Peanut Butter Cup S’more Bars. She won $250 and two tickets to see country music star Luke Bryan in concert. The concert tickets were a last minute surprise donated by judge “Chachi” Angelo of Z-Country 106.7 FM.

Getz is following in her mom, Dolly’s, footsteps.

“It’s usually my mom who enters (the baking contests),” she said. Her mom also won the first-place prize at the Farm Show’s chocolate cake contest the first year it was held, many years ago.

Miranda Getz found her recipe online and made it for the Elizabethtown Fair this season where she won first place. Getz has been entering the kid’s baking contest since she was 8 years old, her mom said.

“It’s fun,” Miranda said, smiling.

A 13-year-old from Berks County, Cecelia Weiss, won $100 for her entry that took second place. Her mom bakes cakes, she said, and it inspired her. Weiss entered the contest last year, but didn’t win. But she was happy and excited this time around.

Adrianne Jackson, 18, of Nazareth, Pa., who won fourth place, is a second-time winner, taking the top prize three years ago as well. It makes sense, because she bakes and cooks “all the time,” according to family members. Jackson said her mom and grandmother often get together to cook, which is how she’s learned. This year her Orange Cream Brownies appealed to the judges, who were looking for visual appeal as well as top-notch taste, texture and creativity. Jackson is looking forward to college and wants to major in nutrition.

The other cookie/brownie/bar prizes went to Berks County’s Jon Kerschner, who earned $50, and Huntingdon County’s Merritt Leidy, who was awarded fiftth.

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