Mary Jane from Eau Claire, WI (All Ten Challenges)


Mary Jane


Eau Claire, WI

Baking Challenge

Star Baker

What was the most difficult challenge that you faced during any bake? And how did you overcome it?

The most difficult challenge that I faced during the baking challenge was the Celebration Picnic. I made the five items requested. It took more time than I had planned. I also modified the recipes and made appetizers size proportions except for the cake. So I had to figure out how to make the sausage rolls, quiches and scones into appetizer size.

I overcame the difficulty of making smaller proportions by using my math skills and sticking with the baking challenge. I did not give up. I knew there was a way to do it and all I had to do was to figure it out.

Which Wisconsin twist were you most proud of, and why?

I was most proud of the Celebration Picnic challenge because I found myself using more WI products than when I first started the WPT Baking Challenge. I went to the farmers’ market and bought quite a few of my supplies for the challenge. When I went to the store, I found myself reading labels to see if the item was made in WI. I tried to use local products. I chose recipes where local products and made in WI products could be used.

If you were to draft a baking challenge for Wisconsin bakers, what would you like them all to make? And what would you be looking for if you were the judge?

If I was to draft a baking challenge for Wisconsin bakers, I would have them make two items. One recipe would be simple but still challenging and another more difficult recipe. The simple recipe would be dessert kolaches. They can be filled with fruit or cheese. I have seen kolaches made several different ways. Kolaches are a Czech/Slovak dessert. Since I am 100 percent Bohemian, I have found that kolaches can be hard to make. My difficult challenge would be the French dessert – Dacquoise. It can be made several different ways but it does take time to make. One step to making this dessert can take up to 4 hours in the oven.

How did you do?

I participated in all 10 Great Wisconsin Baking challenges this summer – I’m a Star Baker!