Three "GMA" viewers shared their best desserts for the Sweet Treat Showdown and Food Network host Clinton Kelly named a cookie cheesecake collaboration the winner.
Kelly, the host of "Spring Baking Championship" on Food Network, tasted and judged all three sweet treats. But he honed in on a dish that utilized an unexpected special ingredient.
"A dessert really does have to be beautiful as well as delicious because we really do eat with our eyes," Kelly said on "Good Morning America."
Ultimately he decided that "the delicious marriage between the cheesecake and the chocolate chip cookie" was his favorite of the morning.
Check out the full descriptions and recipes for each contestant concoction below.
Winner: Chocolate Chunk Skillet Cheesecake
Sharon Zelen, a wife and mom from Long Island, New York, has made her decadent dual recipe for years in honor of her dad who loved cheesecake and chocolate chip cookies.
"This recipe actually shares a special place in my heart because my dad loved cheesecake and he loved my chocolate chip cookies," Zelen said. "So a couple of years ago, I allowed these two worlds to collide."
Kelly noted that he loved the presentation in the oversized skillet!
1/2 cup pecan or walnuts halves, coarsely chopped
2 pounds of your favorite chocolate chip cookie dough
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
Fresh strawberries for garnish (optional)
Vanilla ice cream (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Coarsely chop pecans. Divide dough into three equal portions. Press two portions of the dough into the bottom of a 12-inch skillet that is oven safe. Crumble remaining dough into a one-quart bowl. Add pecans, mix lightly and set aside.
In a two-quart bowl, whisk cream cheese until smooth. Add egg, sugar and flour, whisk until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture over dough in pan. Sprinkle pecan mixture evenly over filling. Bake 30-32 minutes or until topping is golden brown and center is slightly puffed.
Meanwhile, place chocolate morsels in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave uncovered on high for 30-60 seconds or until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir after 20-second intervals. Drizzle melted chocolate over tart.
Serve slightly warm or at room temperature with ice cream, if desired.
Runner Up: Chocolate Guinness Cake
The Scottish mother-daughter duo Lauren and Gillian Cursiter love to try new recipes together and added an Irish stout to give their cake more depth to its already rich flavor.
1 cup Guinness Stout
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 scant cup cocoa powder
2 cups caster sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 scant cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
For the icing: 10 ounces cream cheese
1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons corn starch
5 ounces or 3/4 cup double cream (or whipping cream)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and butter and line a 9-inch springform tin.
Pour the Guinness into a large wide saucepan, add the butter - in spoons or slices - and heat until the butter's melted. Whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and then pour into the brown, buttery, beery pan and finally whisk in the flour and bicarb.
Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack, as it is quite a damp cake.
When the cake's cold, sit it on a flat platter or cake stand and get on with the icing. Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, sieve over the icing sugar and cornflour and then beat to combine.
If using double cream, add it and beat until you have a spreadable consistency. If using whipping cream, whisk first to soft peaks, add a couple of spoonfuls into the cream cheese mixture and once this is combined, fold in the rest.
Ice the top of the black cake so that it resembles the frothy top of the famous pint.
Runner Up: A Bite Of Home Cookies
Cesar Caciano created a unique cookie that's a healthier alternative to the traditionally sugar-filled treat. His version is gluten- and sugar-free.
3 cups of almond flour
1 cup coconut cream
1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup of melted vegan butter
1/2 tsp of baking powder
3/4 tsp of baking soda
1/4 cup of organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 pitted medjool dates, sliced
1/2 tbsp of cinnamon
1/4 tbsp of nutmeg
1/2 tsp of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter vegan the baking tray.
In a bowl add all of the dry ingredients and make sure to mix them together.
Mash the banana and mix it in the bowl. This is the binding agent.
Pit the medjool and thinly slice them.
Next, add the vanilla extract, the melted butter (vegan), water, vanilla extract and dates into the bowl and whisk or mix it all together.
By now the dough is formed and it is sticky but malleable. Size them in your preference, pop them into the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes or until they are golden brown around the edges.
Cool the cookies down and enjoy them fresh!
The new season of "Spring Baking Championship" premieres Monday, March 18, on the Food Network.