Treat your family to a fruity, nutty tart that starts with convenient store-bought pastry. Festive ruby-red
cranberries, succulent pears and the added touch of crunchy hazelnuts make this dessert unforgettable. —Shelisa Terry, Henderson, Nevada
Oregon has an abundance of nuts, and these nutty cookies are popular with the ladies at my craft club. Growing up during the Depression, my mother taught us to use what was available and said, "It doesn't have to be expensive to be good." She was right! —Selmer Looney, Eugene, Oregon
Meet the Cook: Our brood - five children from 16 to 23 - says it's not Christmas here until I make this. I usually double the recipe so I can put some in tins or baskets for hostess gifts when we're invited out.
As long as it's kept in a dry place, Popcorn Nut Crunch will last - up to 3 weeks if you seal it in a tin.
-Midge Stolte, Blackfalds, Alberta
Presents from the pantry are a tradition with me-and this crusty coffee "dunker" is a favorite! Stuffed with fruits and nuts, it freezes well and can be made a month ahead of busy holidays. Dried cranberries can be substituted for cherries.
"We make maple syrup, so we often use it in recipes," writes Lillian Marcotte of Hartland, Vermont. "Consider using mini muffin tins," she suggests. "Served with the maple butter, the sweet bites are perfect with tea.