To lay the foundation for this crafty birthday confection, our kitchen staff turned first to a deliciously simple pound cake recipe supplied by subscriber Ethel Ledbetter of Canton, North Carolina. It's texture was just right for building the blocks. "The secrets in the cream cheese I added to the recipe," confides Ethel. "That's what makes my cake firm for cuttingand easy to frost, too." What'll bring even bigger grins is the fact that the cake can be baked ahead and frozen, then thawed before the party and decorated, leaving you with plenty of time for other preparations. Ethel Ledbetter, Canton, North Carolina
These spiders will spin plenty of excitement into your festivities. For more fun, just make the pudding ahead of time, then let your party guests decorate their own spiders. Lorna Schledorn, West Columbia, South Carolina
The mold I'd used to make Jell-O treats at Easter inspired me to include these unusual fun green "dinosaur eggs" on the party lunch menu. Instant pudding and cinnamon give the eggs a creamy look with speckles.
Robin Werner, Brush Prairie, Washington
A peanutty crust and three deliciously different creamy layers form a tempting treat you'll be proud to prepare and share. I usually draw a crowd when I set out this mouthwatering tort.Inez Orsburn, De Motte, Indiana
My soft, not-too-sweet chocolate cookies are filled with a heavenly cream filling. Kids of all ages devour them! Whenever my family comes to visit, these are the treats they always requests.Salvatore Bertolino, Indiana, Pennsylvania
On a bake sale table or alone at home, these feline treats won't last nine lives! The cute candy faces will catch attention fast...and the tasty orange-coconut cake from Doris Barb if El Dorado, Kansas will have folks snatching seconds.
FIGURE on these sweet treats winning lots of smiles! The graceful goodies are perfect for a wintertime birthday bash, a school classroom or anytime you'd like to surprise your family. To create the confections, Crafting Traditions' cooks put a sporty spin on Kathy's rich brownie recipe. They cut out skate shapes, dipped them in chocolate and attached candy-cane blades. Pair mugs of cocoa with the desserts or serve them all by themselves. Folks will jump at the chance to eat them!