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
This moist and tender pecan upside-down 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
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!
We have a lot of church socials and I'm always looking for something new and different to prepare. These brownies, drizzled with a sweet maple sauce, are a sure hit…with or without the ice cream. —Pat Parker, Chester, South Carolina
Thanksgiving dinner at our house includes an average of 25 guests and a dozen different pies. This one has all the luscious flavor of German chocolate cake. A friend who tried it told me he wanted it to be his birthday pie from now on.—Debbie Clay, Farmington, New Mexico
This slimmed down version of the classic uses unsweetened applesauce instead of butter. The amount of sugar is also decreased, too, by adding a little honey and using more banana. No one will ever guess this bread is low in fat!—Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin
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.
Meet the Cook: Whether I've served this pie at family meals or club luncheons, I have never met a person who didn't enjoy it. It is easy to prepare, tasty and very pretty. I'm a widow with six married children and 20 grandchildren.
-Florence Robinson, Lenox, Iowa