Michael Minden of Michael V’s Restaurant & Bar in Tulsa, Oklahoma wowed our Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest judges this past year with his Butterfinger Cream Cheese Brownie Pie. In addition to winning the dessert category, he went on to capture 1st place overall in the 2017 contest and earn a $15,000 cash prize.
Today, Michael continues to bake up amazing, decadent desserts at his popular restaurant he runs with his wife Carol where they pride themselves on serving classic cuisine with a creative twist. Many of their desserts reflect just that. For instance, Michael is currently working on a new dessert that pairs pumpkin pie with a chocolate brownie base.
Often using Gold Medal baking mixes as a foundation, Michael likes to experiment with different ingredients such as cookies and candy to add texture and crunch.
“I like to fool with them a bit, but I appreciate how the mixes offer consistency, and I never have to worry about the results,” said Michael who is already brainstorming new desserts for the 2018 Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest. We can’t wait to see what he comes up with!
In the meantime, Michael shared an update on life after the 2017 contest.
General Mills: How has winning the contest impacted you and your restaurant?
Michael Minden: We are still riding the coattails of winning first place! In fact we were just at a local food show and we had people coming up to us to congratulate us. Right after we won, people were calling to congratulate us and ask, “can we get the award-winning dessert?”
GM: Are you still serving your award-winning recipe?
MM: Yes, the pie is still very popular. It even beat out our famous Coconut Cream Pie for a month after the contest. We make about 12 pies every couple of days. Some of customers are buying whole pies.
Michael Minden’s Butterfinger® Cream Cheese Brownie Pie includes a brownie crust baked with Butterfinger® and Oreo® pieces topped with a peanut buttery cream cheese layer topped with chocolate ganache and more bits of candy.
GM: Did you do anything fun with your $15,000 prize?
MM: Carol and I typically put everything back into the restaurant and never put ourselves first. This time, we decided to have some fun with the money! I had my eye on a convertible and ended up buying a silver Volvo C70. Carol and I also treated ourselves to new iPads, she got a pair of nice sunglasses and we did buy a few things for the restaurant, too.
Michael purchased a convertible with part of prize winnings. He named the car Butterfinger after his award-winning recipe.
GM: What else is new at the restaurant?
MM: We are getting ready for the hustle and bustle of the holidays and will make a gigantic gingerbread house which will be on display for guests to enjoy throughout the season.
Looking to expand your dessert offerings for the holidays? Check out our most popular holiday recipes using Gold Medal Mix—plus free, downloadable packaging for festive grab ‘n go desserts!
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