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Crock’n it contest winners

Cobbler recipe wins Alabama Living crockpot contest

A close-up of Kendra Lausman’s winning entry, Lausman’s Berry Delicious Crockpot Cobbler.

Kendra Lausman started using crockpots years ago when she was working full-time and raising four teenagers. Now retired, she still likes coming up with creative crockpot recipes, though she’s had to downsize the amount of food she makes.

Lausman, who lives in Montgomery, won $500 in the “Crockin’ It! with Alabama Living” contest at the Alabama National Fair in October. Lausman’s Berry Delicious Crockpot Cobbler took the top honors in the field of 24 dishes, judged by a panel that included several Alabama Living staffers.

Lausman says she has at least 300 cookbooks at home, and over the years each one has grown to include her hand-written notes and ideas. “I just keep experimenting until I get the taste I want.”

She didn’t expect to win, and was genuinely surprised when her name was called as the winner. “Everything that could go wrong did,” she says. But the judges like the creativity of her recipe, and the flavors of the berries meshed well with the cookie dough, which made up the dough part of the cobbler.

Recipes were required to include at least one Alabama product.

The magazine also sponsored “Alabama’s Best Cake” competition, which drew nine entries. Olivia Belle’s Southern Pecan Pie Cheesecake, made by Gretchen Loftin of Prattville, won first place and $125. We hope to continue our partnership with the Alabama National Fair in the coming years and will continue to share the winning recipes. – Allison Griffin

Crockin’ It with Alabama Living winning recipes

Berry Delicious Crock Pot Cobbler


Kendra Lausman, Montgomery
First place

  • 21 oz. strawberry pie filling
  • 12 oz. frozen blackberries
  • 12 oz. frozen raspberries
  • 21 oz. blueberry pie filling
  • 1/4 cup V8 Fusion strawberry/banana juice
  • 1 tablespoon strawberry extract
  • 1/4 cup Alaga Yellow Label syrup
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 16-ounce package Pillsbury sugar cookie dough
  • Butter-flavored cooking spray
  • Optional: fresh berries and powdered sugar for topping

Spray butter-flavored cooking spray into large crockpot. Add strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. Add pie fillings, V8 juice, strawberry extract, Alaga syrup and cornstarch. Mix well. Place sugar cookie dough over the top evenly. Cook on low for 5-6 hours until berries are thick and the topping is crispy. When cool enough to serve, garnish with fresh berries and powdered sugar. Can also serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Crockpot Chocolate Raspberry Mason Jar Brownies


Nicole Penn, Montgomery
Second place

  • 1/2 cup butter, sliced
  • 2 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Alaga Yellow Label syrup
  • 1/3 cup + 6 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 half-pint Mason jars
  • Non-stick cooking spray


  • Fresh raspberries, whipped cream, finely chopped walnuts

Melt butter and chocolate together in a saucepan on low. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, 1/3 cup of jam, vanilla and eggs. Add flour and baking powder, combining well. Divide batter among sprayed jars and add 1 teaspoon each of the remaining jam to tops of each jar. Cover each jar with foil and place in slow cooker. Pour enough water into the slow cooker until it comes about halfway up the jars. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm with whipping cream and fresh raspberries.

Cream cheese, Havarti and corn fiesta dip


Dennis Itson, Montgomery
Third place

  • 32 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cans Rotel tomatoes
  • 4 cans whole kernel corn, drained
  • 8 oz. Havarti cheese
  • 11/2 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup Barber’s milk
  • Golden Flake tortilla chips

In a crockpot add cream cheese, Rotel, Havarti cheese, butter and corn. Start the pot on low until the key ingredients melt. Mix well, then turn on high to thicken right before serving. Add milk to taste and if it seems to thicken too quickly. Dip with Golden Flake tortilla chips.

Alabama’s Best Cake

Olivia Belle’s Southern pecan pie cheesecake

Gretchen Loftin, Prattville
First place


  • 1 3/4 cup vanilla wafers, crushed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • Pie filling:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla


  • 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla


  • Caramel
  • Toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For the crust, combine wafers and brown sugar. Add butter, using a fork to blend. Press into a 10-inch spring cake pan, pushing crust mixture up sides of pan. Place on baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Turn oven down to 325 degrees. To make the pie filling, combine those ingredients above in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer, stirring constantly for 8-10 minutes to thicken. Pour into crust. To make the cheesecake, slowly mix cream cheese till creamy. Add sugar and blend. Add eggs one at a time blending after each. Add flour and blend. Stir in heavy cream and vanilla, then pour on top of pie mixture. Bake for one hour on 325 degrees and do not open the oven. Turn off oven, leaving cake in for an additional hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Place in fridge overnight. Remove from pan. Drizzle with caramel and sprinkle with toasted pecans.