With the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest officially back in action, one of the competition’s very first winners reflected on the time she won nearly 50 years ago — by celebrating her centennial birthday with the iconic Doughboy.
Laura Rott of Naperville, Ill., earned second place in the competition's inaugural year in 1949 when she was just 31-years-old. Her “Starlight Mint Surprise Cookies” earned her a whopping $10,000 prize, or roughly the equivalent of a decade's salary at the time, according to a press release.
In fact, former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt attended the 1949 competition as a guest of honor, and later wrote that Rott was "speechless" after earning the title of runner-up, the Daily Meal reported.
Rott used her winnings to help buy the home she still lives in today, and she even kept the original stove she used to cook her award-winning cookies.
So, in honor of her milestone birthday, it only made sense that Pullsbury would send over its iconic Doughboy to celebrate with Rott's family and friends on July 31.
News of Rott's birthday comes just as the 49th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest kicks off on Wednesday, with the contest currently accepting entries in the categories of Cozy Weekend Breakfasts, Appetizers for Any Party, Winning Weeknight Dinners and Sweet + Simple Desserts.
The four category winners will be announced in January and flown out to New York City, where they will appear on Food Network’s, “The Kitchen.” The grand prize is $50,000 in addition to a kitchen suite of GE Appliances. The winner will be revealed in February.
Each category winner will be featured in Food Network Magazine, receive a kitchen suite of GE Appliances and $5,000 in cash.