At the downtown Chicago law firm where I work, we often bring in goodies for special occasions. When co-workers hear I've baked these melt-in-your-mouth cookies, they make a special trip to my floor to sample them. Best of all, these crisp, buttery treats can be made in no time. —Janis Gruca, Mokena, Illinois
Set out a basket of these pleasing "lollipops" at your next bazaar or family event and watch them disappear! You can easily create characters by icing the cookies with store-bought frosting like the CT home economists did here or serve them plain just as Jan Cassidy of El Reno, Oklahoma often does. "Our children love eating cookies either way," Jan details. "What I enjoy is the fact that serving the sweets on sticks like this keeps messy hands to a minimum."—Jan Cassidy, El Reno, Oklahoma
The variations on this original recipe are almost endless. For double chocolate puddles, use semisweet chocolate chips for the vanilla chips. Or make peanut butter puddles by substituting peanut butter chips and peanuts for the vanilla chips and mixed nuts.
My 17-year old son calls me a gourmet cook whenever I make his favorite crepes. Sometimes, for a change, I substitute apple pie filling for the cherries and top the golden crepes with warm caramel sauce.
Bound to impress, this dessert features velvety cream cheese, fresh red strawberries and a drizzle of fudge atop a crunchy chocolate-almond crust. It’s too gorgeous to resist! —Priscilla Yee, Concord, California
Cornmeal adds a rustic quality to this delicate dessert flavored with citrus and almond. It’s sure to be a staple in your recipe collection and also makes a great holiday party hostess gift. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
I combined the tangy taste of lime and cilantro with cream cheese for this unusual berry pie that showcases seasonal fruit. The ginger cookies add zip to the crust. —Anneliese Barz, Fort Mill, South Carolina
I first prepared an Italian-style cheese pie years ago. When I added a chocolate-hazelnut topping, it proved so popular that I had to give out copies of the recipe.—Steve Meredith, Streamwood, Illinois