Published October 19th, 2016
Thoughtful Food
By Susie Iventosch
Kelly Clancy
Recipe contests are fun and creative endeavors, encouraging contestants to come up with novel uses of this or that ingredient. This year's Moraga Pear Recipe Contest was no exception and provided some interesting and delicious recipes.

This year's top choice was awarded to Kelly Clancy, an eight-year veteran of the Town of Moraga planning department, for her Pear Puffs. These little treats won both the appetizer and the overall division and Clancy was very pleased about the outcome.

"When I found out that I'd won, I was really excited, because I'm super competitive and really wanted to win!" Clancy declared. "My boss and I both entered the contest, but vowed not to submit for the same category."

When Clancy was deciding what dish to submit, she originally thought about a pear and brie pie, but then realized she's not much of a baker.

"It's too restrictive," she said. "So, instead I decided to do these pear puffs."

Known as the "go-to" appetizer person among her friends, Clancy often makes puff pastry hors d'oeuvres either with sautÇed mushrooms or with brie and dried cranberries. For this contest, she thought that pears would go well with Cambozola cheese. And, the judges must have agreed!

Clancy loves to cook and makes dinner for her family and friends every Sunday night at her parents' house. They have a nice big kitchen with all the necessary tools and equipment. While she is there, she often prepares meals for her friends to pick up for the remainder of the week.

She is just the kind of relative or friend we all would love to have in our lives. I thought maybe she could adopt me for a few years.

Clancy is already thinking about next year, and also looking for other recipe contests to enter, perhaps the Alameda County Fair. In the meantime, she's planning a trip to Crate & Barrel to spend her winning gift certificate.

"I've been looking online, and think I'd like to get a cute baking dish," she mused.

Other winners include Olivia House, Youth Division, for her Pear Cream Chocolates; Elaine Cable for her Savory Pear Pasties with Sausage and Leeks; and Lindsay Carr, for her Gluten-Free Pear Almond Cake. All of these recipes can be found on our website at

Pear Puffs

Kelly Clancy, 2016 Adult Appetizer Winner


1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed

1/2 lb. Cambozola Cheese (one wedge)

2 pears, diced


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Use a rolling pin to roll out one sheet of the pastry dough, just a little thinner

3. Use a knife to cut dough into squares or a biscuit cutter to make rounds

(I've also used a pint glass)

4. Spray mini muffin tin with cooking spray, press each square or circle into muffin cups

5. Cube the Cambazola into pieces that will fit inside the pastry cups

6. Top cheese with diced pears

7. Sprinkle pears with a little Himalayan pink sea salt

8. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown

9. Let cool before removing from tray

10. Enjoy!

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Copyright Lamorinda Weekly, Moraga CA