Prizes can be anything from a few dollars to a get out of a chore free coupon. You can even decide on several prizes, one for each family member, so that everyone goes away with something. Just have several awards -- for example, most beautiful, most imaginative, best use of chocolate or whatever is appropriate.
Picking something specific for your family bake-off is usually easier than leaving it open-ended. Keep the ages of your children in mind, and choose something they can succeed at making. Cookies and cupcakes are popular with everyone and don't take much time to make. Or, just choose an ingredient that must be included and let the contestants decide how to implement it in their creations.
Decide how long the competitors have to create their own brand of magic in the kitchen. Usually, an hour to an hour and a half is about right. This gives them plenty of time to mix, bake and decorate most cookies or cupcakes. Adjust the time as needed for more complex recipes.
Place the finished entries on the table or counter for tasting and judging. Be sure that everyone's entries are tasted and that something positive is said.
Your family may like bake-off night so much that it becomes a frequent activity, so keep cupcake liners, sprinkles and other ingredients and supplies on hand. That way, you can call a family bake-off at a moment's notice.
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