- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 16, 2008

DALLAS (AP) — A Gaithersburg homemaker yesterday took the $1 million grand prize in the 43rd “Pillsbury Bake-Off.”

Carolyn Gurtz, 59, won with her double-delight peanut butter cookies. The cookies had finished first in the Sweet Treats category, making her one of five contestants eligible for the grand prize.

“They’re crunchy and sweet on the outside, creamy on the inside,” she said.

Along with the grand prize, she won the Jif Peanut Butter Award and an additional $5,000 for having the best recipe using at least 1/4 cup of Jif peanut butter.

Mrs. Gurtz said her husband, a financial planner, already has investment plans for the $1 million, which is disbursed in 20 annual payments of $50,000. The couple has two grown sons.

“But I had already promised some to my church,” Mrs. Gurtz said. “And, of course, I plan to give some to my grandson. He’s only 1½ , but some day, he’ll be going to college.”

Mrs. Gurtz thought she might have a winning creation when one of her sons kept coming back for more, telling her: “Mom, these are winners.” But the clincher was when her “mixed golden retriever” named Tucker could not get enough of them.

Mrs. Gurtz had entered the biennial contest over the past 10 years but until 2008 had never been chosen as a finalist.

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