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Augusta Woman Wins Overall Prize in Vidalia Onion Cookoff

Augusta Woman Wins Overall Prize in Vidalia Onion Cookoff Augusta Woman Wins Overall Prize in Vidalia Onion Cookoff

A first-time entrant from Augusta won top honors in the Vidalia Onion Recipe and Public Tasting Contest Saturday during the Vidalia Onion Festival. Deborah Wakefield went home with the Overall Prize for her Vidalia Onion Danish. She also placed first for the dish in the Miscellaneous category.

Wakefield’s recipe was inspired by one that she found in the original Vidalia Onion Festival Cookbook published by the Chamber of Commerce. She combined two recipes to come up with her winning entry. A native of Toombs County, Wakefield is the sister of Peggy NeeSmith, Director of The Dream Center in Vidalia. Wakefield asked her sister and a few other volunteers to sample some of the dishes she selected to prepare for the contest. She made six dishes, two for each of the three categories that she planned to enter, and let her “committee” of tasters select the entries.

Wakefield was amazed at how good the Danish was. “It’s sweet and I would serve it right alongside a cherry or apple Danish.” Wakefield recently retired from a position with the Veterans Administration and loves to cook. In the past, she has been unable to participate in the cookoff, but 2021 turned out to be her year.

In all, 16 dishes were submitted in three categories: Appetizers, Side Dish and Miscellaneous.

Other winning recipes in Saturday’s Onion Recipe Contest were: • 1st Place Side Dish,

Jerrie Mckenzie — Smokey Vidalia Onion Dressing

• 1st Place Appetizer, Todd Helms – Vidalia Onion Bruschea

Winning Recipes

Sweet Onion Cheese Danishes


1 roll Crescent Rolls

Flour, just for dusting


4 ounces soft cream cheese 1 cup sugar splash vanilla Sweet Onion Topping

1/4 cup butter 1 tbsp. honey 2 medium Vidalia Onions, sliced or diced 1/4 cup sugar Glaze

1/3 cup powdered sugar

2 tsp. milk Open container of rolls and do not unroll them. Use a sharp, serrated knife to cut through them like slice/bake cookies. Make 10 slices. Lay each slice on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Use a measuring cup to flatten each rollout and build a small wall around the edge. Use a drop of flour to prevent sticking and press with your fingertips, too. Cream Cheese Filling

Electric mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Dollop a small amount into each “danish.”

Onion Topping

Sauté onions in butter until tender. Add sugar and honey. Add a teaspoonful of topping on top of cream cheese filling. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. Let cool and add a drizzle of glaze.


Combine milk and sugar and drizzle on danishes. Can use a pastry bag if desired. Deborah Pittman Wakefield

Smokey Onion Dressing

5 medium Vidalia Onions, smoked and cooled 2 cups Mayonnaise 2 cups Sour Cream 1 cup Buttermilk 1 tbs. Fresh Dill 1 tbs. Garlic 2 tbs. Worcestershire Sauce 1 tbs. Hot Sauce 1 tbs. Onion Powder 1 tsp. Chives Juice and Zest of 1 Lemon 1 Small Vidalia Onion, grated Salt and Pepper to taste Blend onions until smooth, mix mayonnaise, sour cream, and buttermilk with onions. Add the rest of the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate. Dressing is better after refrigerated for 3-4 hours or overnight.

Jerrie Mckenzie

Onion Bruschetta

1 Baguette, sliced Olive Oil 2 cups Ricotta Cheese 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg 1/2 tsp. Salt 1 tbs. Chives 1/2 tsp. Onion Powder 1 cup Goat Cheese Mousse Pickled Onions Slice baguette and brush with olive oil and then toast. Mix ricotta cheese, nutmeg, salt, chives, and onion powder. Spread over toasted bread. Top with dollop of goat cheese mousse and a piece of pickled onion.

Todd Helms

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