We’re all so busy and pressed for time that I find myself creating recipes that are generally fast to prepare, proving that you don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen to obtain fabulous results. Here’s a favorite of mine that combines crunchy M&M's and gooey chocolate all nestled into a flavorful blondie.—Averie Sunshine, San Diego, California www.averiecooks.com
I use homegrown cherries in this bountiful pie with its unique crunchy coconut topping. But I've found that purchased tart cherries yield a dessert that's nearly as delicious. I always bake this pie around Presidents' Day or Valentine's Day, but it's popular with my family in any season.
Our home economists took advantage of convenient refrigerated cookie dough to create the crust for this fresh fruit pizza. Easily arranged berries give it an appealing patriotic appearance.
-Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin
I make these cookie pops often during the year. In the spring, I cut them into flower shapes and insert the pops into a block of foam fitted into a basket or bowl. You can cover the foam with tissue paper or cellophane. Add a bow if you like. They make a great centerpiece or hostess gift. Not only do the cookies look pretty, they taste good, too. —Krissy Fossmeyer, Huntley, Illinois
This refreshing gelatin mold is delicious and always a big hit! For a patriotic buffet, I add a scoop of frozen whipped topping, then place a fancy-cut strawberry and a sprinkling of blueberries for festive, red-white-and-blue color. —Anne Marie Papineau, Hanover, Connecticut
When strawberry season arrives, folks who know me anticipate this flavorful fruity dessert. It's very pretty and always gets lots of compliments whenever I take it. —Amy Murdoch, Union Grove, Wisconsin
A neighbor shared this pie with me years ago, and now it has a big fan club. I'm always looking for new treats to bake for my family, but this is one I turn to again and again, especially in summer. —Wanda Van Voorhis, Plain City, Ohio
I make a Black Forest cake the easy way: Dump everything into a dish and let the magic happen. Give it a cherry topping by reserving two tablespoons of juice from the canned cherries and stir into whipped cream. —Meghan McDermott, Springfield, Missouri