Desserts

Crumb Cake

Crumb Cake3

Crumb Cake is great for breakfast potlucks!  You can make it the day ahead and it is great served warm or room temperature.

This recipe is from the Joy of Cooking cookbook.  The version pictured above does not include the coconut, but I have made it both ways and both are wonderful.

Ingredients for batter:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup white sugar

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

2 T. vegetable or canola oil

2 tsp. vanilla

Ingredients for topping:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or shredded coconut

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 cup butter, melted

To make the batter:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cardamom.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, oil, and vanilla. Fold the dry ingredients into the liquid ingredients until well combined.

Grease and flour a 9 x 13″ pan.  Drop the batter in dollops into the pan.  Smooth the top and set aside.

To make the topping:

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl until combined.  Add the melted butter and toss until large crumbs form.

Sprinkle the crumbs over the batter.  Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.  Cover with foil or plastic wrap until potluck time.  Can be made a day ahead.

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars with cream cheese and Heath Bar bits!  These moist, chocolately bars are simple to prepare.  The combination of pumpkin, spices, and chocolate chips make these perfect for any Fall-themed or holiday potluck dessert.

Joanna brought these yummy treats to a work potluck and they were a total hit.  Her addition of the cream cheese and Heath Bar to the original recipe puts these bars over the top (genius!).

Ingredients:

1 box of spice cake mix (dry)

1 – 15 oz. can of pumpkin

1 cup chocolate chips (I can’t lie. I added a little more than this.)

1 bar cream cheese, softened

1 bag of Heath Bar bits

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl with a mixer.  Don’t worry if there are some chunks of cream cheese after your finished mixing (bonus bites of cream cheese in these bars is a good thing!)

Grease a 9 x 13″ pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.  Let cool completely.  Cut into squares and store in an airtight container until potluck time!

Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark

One of my favorite holiday candies (I love everything candy cane!), this peppermint bark is ridiculously easy to make.  The double layers of white chocolate, crushed candy cane, and the soft peppermint chocolate center make these delectable treats a festive addition to the potluck table!

Having just purchased a few 10 oz. bags of Atkinson’s Crushed Peppermint Candy for Baking (I will never crush my own candy cane again!) at World Market, I needed to make up some quick holiday treats and didn’t want to make a trip to the store for supplies.  Since I had an excess of white chocolate chips and all of the other ingredients on hand, I decided to attempt Peppermint Bark.

This is a variation of the recipe listed on the back of the crushed peppermint candy bag.

Ingredients:

3 – 10 oz. bags of white chocolate chips

1 – 12 oz. bag of semisweet chocolate chips

6 T. heavy cream

1 tsp. peppermint extract

1 cup crushed candy cane

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.  Using a double boiler with barely simmering water, melt 1 1/2 bags of white chocolate chips until smooth.  Spread as evenly as possible on the foil (don’t worry each layer will be a little uneven and that’s fine).  Top with 1/2 cup of crushed candy.  Then, chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

While the first layer is chilling, melt the semisweet chocolate chips, heavy cream, and peppermint extract in a double boiler also with barely simmering water.  Set aside and let cool for 5 minutes.  Spread evenly over the chilled white chocolate/candy cane layer and then put it back into the fridge for 30 minutes or until set.

Melt the remaining 1 1/2 bags of white chocolate chips over the double boiler (again with barely simmering water) until smooth.  Let cool for a few minutes.  Spread evenly over the semisweet chocolate layer.  If the white chocolate melts the semisweet chocolate a bit and it swirls, that’s fine.  Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of crushed candy cane.

Chill in the fridge until set.  Trim off the edges of the bark and cut into squares.  Store in the fridge in an airtight container.  Serve the bark at room temperature.

 

Quick and Easy Chocolate Oreo Truffles

Quick and Easy Oreo Truffles

Only 3 ingredients are needed for these Quick and Easy Chocolate Oreo Truffles!  You can keep it simple by rolling them in powdered sugar or get fancy with crushed candy, coconut, sprinkles, or nuts.

This recipe was provided by Sam from the Sugar and Sam Blog.  She and I share an affinity for chocolate and Cadbury Mini Eggs and I love her blog!  She has tons of fun recipes, so check out it out at http://sugarandsamblog.com.

Ingredients:

1 box of Oreos

3/4 cup (or 6 ozs.) of cream cheese, softened

Powdered sugar, nuts, crushed candy, or other ingredient of your choice, for rolling

Put all of your Oreos into a really good blender or food processor and blend until most of the big chunks are gone.  If you don’t have a blender or food processor, put them in a large ziploc bag and crush them using a rolling pin or the smooth side of a meat tenderizer.  Pour the crumbs into a large bowl.

Cut the cream cheese into small cubes and pour in the bowl with the crumbs.  Mix together until smooth.  Measure out approx. 1/8 cup (or use a melon baller) and roll into small balls.  Place them on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper.  Once they’re all rolled out (it should make approx. 24 balls), then roll them in powdered sugar or your favorite ingredient.

Place in an airtight container until Potluck Time!

 

 

 

Mini Lemon Tarts

Mini Lemon Tarts

These Mini Lemon Tarts are scrumptious with a sugar cookie crust, lemon pie filling, and topped with a dollop of Cool Whip!

Ariel brought these to a potluck at my house recently.  Since then, I have made them a few times for neighbors and everyone has asked for the recipe.  Thank you, Ariel, for sharing this recipe!

Ingredients:

Lemon pie filling (If you can’t find it pre-made, then make a batch of Jell-O Lemon Pudding and Pie Filling. You will need white sugar, eggs, and water if you do this)

Sugar cookie dough (You can buy a pre-made dough, make a box dough, or make your favorite recipe from scratch)

Cool Whip

Butter a mini muffin pie tin.  Put a heaping tablespoon (or a melon baller scoop’s worth) of cookie dough in each tin.  Press the dough up the sides of each tin and make sure there is a little indentation in the middle for the pie filling.

Put a heaping teaspoon of lemon filling in each crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until the edges are golden.  Let cool completely.

Top each tart with a dollop of Cool Whip.  Store in the refrigerator until Potluck Time!

Honey Cookies

Honey Cookies2

As a kid, I loved coming home to these Honey Cookies on a rainy day!  Today, it’s no different.  Both chewy and crispy, they are totally addicting.  I always think to make these for fall and winter potlucks, as they are the ultimate cookie comfort food.  But, really, they are good any time of the year.  And they make a big batch!

I have also made them gluten and dairy free* by substituting the flour for the Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour and they were just as amazing!

This recipe has been a favorite in my family for years.

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil

2 cups white sugar, plus extra for rolling

2 eggs

1/2 cup honey

2 tsp. vanilla

4 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

4 cups flour

Mix together the oil, sugar, eggs, honey, and vanilla in a large bowl.  Add the baking soda, salt, and flour and mix until well combined.

Roll the dough into one inch balls and then roll them in sugar.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

* Note:  Typically, all of the other ingredients in this recipe are gluten-free, but make sure to double check all of your labels, to be safe!

Strawberry Dream Cake

Strawberry Dream Cake

Strawberry Dream Cake is luscious, sweet, moist, light, and absolutely delicious!  EVERY time I make this cake, everyone goes crazy for it.  It is one of my favorite cake recipes and is perfect year round for any potluck, but I especially like to make it for spring and summer occasions.

Mary Lou, a former co-worker, gave this recipe to me years ago and it has been a staple in my recipe book ever since.

Ingredients:

1 package white cake mix

1 small box strawberry Jell-o

2 T. flour

3 eggs

1/4 cup water

10 oz. box frozen strawberries, thawed (I have only ever been able to find a 16 oz. container of frozen strawberries.  Make sure you buy the kind with sugar added.)

2/3 cup canola or vegetable oil

1/4 cup softened margarine (I haven’t tried this with butter yet.  So, if you do and it works out, please let me know!)

3 cups powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Beat the cake mix, Jell-o, flour, eggs, and water in a large bowl on medium speed for two minutes.  Add 6.5 oz. of the strawberries including liquid (I use my glass measuring cup that has cups and ozs.) to the mix and beat 1 more minute.  Add the oil and beat 1 more minute.

Put the batter in a greased and floured 9 x 13″ pan. Bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  It will get golden brown on top and that’s normal. Let cake cool completely.

To make the frosting, mix the margarine, powdered sugar, and 3.5 oz. of strawberries including liquid until well blended.  This frosting is in somewhere in between a glaze and a frosting, so you may need to add a little more powdered sugar to thicken it up.  Frost the cake, cover it, and immediately put it in the fridge.

An hour of so before potluck time, take it out of the fridge and serve it at room temperature.

* Alternate serving suggestion:  Make them as cupcakes.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean!

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake

This is a twist on our classic Ice Cream Cake recipe using Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches and Andes mints. This version is a fun dessert for a St. Patrick’s Day potluck, but you can serve it anytime of the year. It’s super yummy and it literally takes five minutes to make!

Ingredients:

2 boxes (12 each) of mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches

2 small containers of plain Cool Whip (or 1 large container; you may not need it all but it’s better to have too much than not enough)

2 – 4.67 oz. packages of Andes Creme De Menthe Thins, unwrapped from individual wrappers and then crushed (this is the most difficult part of making this cake)

Unwrap the ice cream sandwiches.  Assemble one layer of sandwiches in the bottom of an ungreased 9 x 13″ glass pan.  Assemble a second layer of sandwiches on top of the first.  Spread Cool Whip on top of the sandwiches.  Sprinkle the crushed Andes Mints on top of the Cool Whip. Cover the cake with foil and gently press the mints into the Cool Whip.

Put the cake in the freezer until potluck time.  It can be made a few hours before, but also keeps in the freezer for several days (and so do the leftovers if you’re lucky enough to have any!).

Classic Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

This classic lemon bar recipe has been in my recipe book for years.  The combination of the fresh lemon juice and zest give the filling a luscious lemon taste along with a buttery shortbread crust.   This is great potluck dessert for any occasion and for any season!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar plus a little extra for the top

3/4 c. butter, softened

4 eggs

1 1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

2 T. flour

2 to 3 tsp. grated lemon peel

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with parchment paper, extending up the sides of pan.

Combine the 1 1/2 cup flour, powdered sugar, and butter with a mixer on low speed until crumbly.  Press the mixture evenly into the pan.  Bake for 20 minutes or until very light brown.

Using the same mixer and bowl (no need to wash or rinse them!), beat together the eggs, white sugar, 2 T. flour, and lemon peel until well blended.  Pour over the warm crust and return to the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the filling is set and the bars are just beginning to brown around the edges.

Let the bars cool completely.  Lift the edges of the parchment and place on a cutting board.  Cut into bars.

Store in an airtight container (in the fridge if you’re making them the day or two before).  Dust them with sifted powdered sugar right before potluck time!

Sweet and Saltines – Holiday Version

Sweet and Saltines - Holiday Version

 

This is our holiday version of Sweet and Saltines.  You can use white chocolate or semisweet chocolate.  And they taste as lovely as they look!

Ingredients:

35 to 40 Saltine Crackers

2 sticks (1 cup) butter

1 cup light brown sugar

8 ozs. semisweet or white chocolate (I used chocolate chips)

Crushed candy cane

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line 1 large or 2 small jelly roll pans with aluminum foil, spray with nonstick spray and arrange the saltines salt-side down in a single layer.

In a medium pan, melt the butter and brown sugar together and boil until it turns a caramel color, a few minutes.  Remove from the heat and pour over the crackers, covering them evenly.  Put the jelly roll pan into the oven and bake for 3 to 5 minutes or until just bubbly, watching carefully.  Remove from the oven and pour the chocolate chips over the crackers.  When the chips melt a bit, spread them over the crackers with a knife. Then sprinkle candy cane on the top.

Transfer the pan to the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until completely cold.  They will form one big sheet.  Break up into pieces.  Store in an airtight containe