When baking this chocolate chip cookie recipe, I am a stickler for using one stick of butter and one stick of margarine—the combination of fats gives the cookies terrific texture. And do not use a scooper—the tool compacts the cookies too much. —Lee Ann Miller, Millersburg, Ohio
Pecan lovers have lots to cheer about with these flavorful cupcakes. I created the recipe for my best friend, Ann, who said she loved Italian cream cake but didn't want a whole cake. They have a wonderful aroma and fabulous flavor. —Tina Harrison, Prairieville, Louisiana
I first prepared this pie at Thanksgiving to share with my co-workers. It was such a success! Now I freeze cranberries while they are in season so that I can make it year-round.
-Dawn Liet Hartman
Friends with whom I've shared this recipe say it's their favorite way to serve sweet potatoes. I like to make it for brunch as a colorful go-with dish. The mingled sweet, tart and salty tastes are an unusual treat. —Sue Mallory, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Brownie mix and instant pudding hurry along the preparation of this scrumptious layered dessert from Opal Erickson of Branson, Missouri. "My family asks for this rich treat for birthdays instead of cake," she notes.
This moist and tender cake is packed with pecans and sweetness. Although still not a "light" dessert, it has nearly a third fewer calories and 43 percent less fat than the original!
Mae Johnson - De Ridder, Louisiana
When I was a teacher, this recipe was recommended by one of my student's parents. I've made it so many times, I can't imagine hosting a brunch without it. Chocolate chips add sweet bursts of flavor to the rich and tender coffee cake. —Michelle Krzmarzick
A cousin gave me this carrot cake recipe. It's a wonderful potluck pleaser with its "surprise" cream cheese center. My husband and our two young children love it, too! —Lisa Bowen, Little Britian, Ontario
Since my husband farms, I try to have simple meals and snacks available, as I never know when he and his father will come in from the fields. These cookies have a distinct maple flavor and stay moist and soft, although they're never in my cookie jar for long!
When I mentioned the recipe contest to my husband, he immediately suggested I enter this extra special cake. Packed with ripe bananas and white chocolate in the batter, it tastes wonderful even without the frosting.