Pumpkin is the key ingredient in Junior Woman’s contest

Jerilyn VanDeWoestyne
The Geneseo Junior Woman's Club sponsored its second annual pumpkin dessert contest on Oct. 25. With club member Kim Schwarzkopf, right, are judges Bill Lanphere, left, and Bud Leonard.

The Geneseo Junior Woman’s Club held their second annual Pumpkin Dessert Contest and Bake Sale in conjunction with Boo-tiful Saturday on Oct. 25 in downtown Geneseo.

Judges for the contest were Bill Lanphere, Bud Leonard and myself.

Kim Schwarzkopf, Helen Steadman, and Taunya McGee, co-chairs of the Geneseo Junior Woman’s Club Arts Committee, organized both the Pumpkin Dessert Contest and a bake sale that was held at the same time.

“We  were pleased with the number of entries we had in the pumpkin dessert contest,” Kim said, adding they are planning on making the dessert contest an annual event.

First place in the pumpkin dessert contest went to Lynette Owens for her  Pumpkin Apple Strudel Muffins and second place went to Dixie Wirth’s Pumpkin Pie Squares.

Lynette Owens said she entered the contest because she really enjoys baking and she also saw it as a way to help support the Geneseo Junior Woman’s Club. “The Geneseo Junior Woman’s Club is a wonderful organization and they do a lot to help the community so I saw this as a way to give back,” she said.

Lynette is a member of the Junior Woman’s Club, having served as president and vice president of the organization.

When trying to decide what to enter in to the contest, Lynette said she turned to one of her favorite cookbooks, St. Anthony’s Recipes and Recollections, for the recipe. “Actually the recipe I used for the muffins was one submitted to the cookbook by Fr. Fitzpatrick and this was the first time I had tried that particular recipe,” she said.

“I had made a pumpkin tarte for the contest also and had some leftover pumpkin, along with some apples, so I thought I would try that muffin recipe since it called for both those ingredients. I was happy with the results.”

Lynette is a patient accounts representative at Hammond-Henry Hospital in Geneseo and resides in rural Atkinson.

Dixie Wirth of Geneseo who entered the second-place prize-winning Pumpkin Pie Squares, said the main reason she entered the contest was also to help support the Junior Woman’s Club. “I’m a past president of the Jr. Woman’s Club and I thought this would be a good way to show my support for their projects,” Dixie said.

The recipe she used was found in one of her cookbooks and she admits to trying it for the first time when entering the contest. “I thought it looked like it set up well when I took it out of the oven the morning of the contest — but I hadn’t tried it before so I really didn’t know for sure,” she said.

Dixie added there are a group of past presidents of the Jr. Woman’s Club who meet four times a year. “We have potlucks three times a year in each other’s homes and then once a year we take the immediate past president out to dinner,” she said. “There are all ages in our group and it is a nice social time for us.”

Entries in the contest were judged on flavor, texture, originality and creative use of pumpkin, and presentation.

Proceeds from the Geneseo Junior Woman’s Club bake sale that was held during Boo-tiful Saturday will benefit the young and old in the Geneseo community, with opportunities to appreciate and participate in the fine arts, according to Kim.

Participants in the second annual pumpkin  contest held in conjunction with Boo-tiful Saturday in Geneseo on Oct. 25 and sponsored by the Geneseo Jr. Woman’s Club share their prize winning recipes.

Pumpkin apple strudel muffins

Lynette Owens, first-place entry

2-1/2 C. flour

3/4 C. brown sugar

1/2 C. granulated sugar

1/8 t. cloves

1/2 t. cinnamon

1 t. baking soda

1 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

2 eggs

1 C. solid pumpkin

1/2 C. oil

2 C. chopped apples


1/2 C. flour

2 T. margarine

1/4 C. sugar

2 T. brown sugar

cinnamon to taste

Mix all dry ingredients. Blend in eggs, oil and pumpkin, then fold in apples well.

Sprinkle topping on muffins and bake in greased muffin tins or muffin liners at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until tested done.

Pumpkin pie squares

Dixie Wirth, second-place entry


1 C. sifted flour

1/2 C. quick cooking oatmeal

1/2 C. brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 C. butter

Mix these ingredients until crumbly, using electric mixer on low speed.

Press into 9x13” pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.


1 (1 lb.) can pumpkin

1 (13 oz.) can evaporated milk

2 eggs

3/4 C. sugar

1/2 t. salt

1 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. ginger

1/4 t. cloves

Combine all ingredients and beat well.

Pour onto baked crust and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.


1/2 C. brown sugar

2 T. butter

1/2 C. chopped pecans

Combine these ingredients and sprinkle over filling. Bake 15 to 20 minutes.

Cool and cut into 2 inch squares. Serve with whipped cream.

Pumpkin cranberry walnut muffins

Rayanne Burrack

2-1/4 C. all-purpose flour

1 t. baking soda

1-1/2 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. ginger

1/2 t. nutmeg

1/2 t. ground cloves

1/2 t. salt

2 eggs

1-1/2 C sugar

15 oz. canned pumpkin

1/2 C. vegetable oil

1 C. dried cranberries

3/4 C. chopped walnuts

In a bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar, add the pumpkin and oil and mix well.

Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in the cranberries and walnuts.

Fill the foil or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full.

Bake at 400 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool for five minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Pumpkin tarte

Lynette Owens

24 graham crackers (crushed)

1/3 C. sugar

1/2 C. soft butter

Mix and press into 9x13 inch pan.

2 eggs, beaten

3/4 C. sugar

8 oz. soft cream cheese

Beat together and pour over crust. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

2 C. pumpkin

1/2 C. milk

3 egg yolks

1/2 C. sugar

1/2 t. salt

1 t. cinnamon

Cook until thick - remove from heat.

Add 1 envelope unflavored gelatin dissolved in 1/4 C. cold water.


Beat three egg whites and 1/4 C. sugar until stiff. Fold into pumpkin mixture. Pour over cooled crust.

Top with Cool Whip.