Sweets & Desserts

Sweet & Salty Cranberry Bars

I took these to my first Christmas party this season – they were a hit. I found it in the Taste of Home Christmas 2013 cookbook that I just got in the mail. (There are many great recipes here – can’t wait to try more.)

“Loaded with sweet and salty ingredients, these chunky bars make irresistible pop-in-our-mouth treats. They’re perfect after a casual holiday lunch or dinner.  –Kara Firstenberger  Cardiff, California”

Prep: 15 min.

Bake: 30 min. + coolingsweet & salty bars

Makes: 2 dozen

  • 1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cashews
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  1. In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, egg and butter until combined. Press into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the dried cranberries, cashews, butterscotch chips and chocolate chips over the warm crust. Drizzle with the sweetened condensed milk. Bake 18-20 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Zucchini Bars

This recipe has been a family favorite and one that gives a tasty use for zucchini.  (Colleen)

  • 3/4 cup butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup flour (all purpose)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Mix all ingredients together and pour into 15x10x1 1/2 inch baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes in 350º oven.


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Beat all ingredients together and spread over bars while still warm.

Louisburg Cafe Bread Pudding

One of my favorite hand-me-downs were the recipes saved by my grandmother. Some are handwritten and fading; others were clipped from magazines or newspapers. All were enjoyed by those who were blessed to be around at mealtimes.

This week’s recipe was cut from Taste of Home magazine – date unknown ( not saved in clipping). I did find the same recipe online here. Comments include some variations or adjustments.

The ingredients are few, often on hand, and quick to throw together for a special treat. The recipe below is included as written in clipping:

‘I Wish I had That Recipe…;

LOCALS AGREE that the Louisburg Cafe in Louisburg, Minnesota serves up the best bread pudding there is!

Taste of Home editors convinced the cafe’s owner, Emily Hansen, to share her recipe with our readers. We hope you try it in your home soon.


    • 6 eggs, beaten
    • 6 cups milk
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 cup raisins
    • 10-12 cups broken bread or rolls or doughnuts

Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl. Blend in pieces of bread, rolls or doughnuts. Pour mixture into a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until set.

Yield: 24 servings.

This recipe doesn’t call for a topping, but many can be found online or in cookbooks if you want to add one.

Mom’s Ice Cream Dessert

We tried this dessert at our most recent “Ruth” bible study – and it was a hit. Very easy to make–even though it takes some advance time,  it is well worth it.  After tasting the homemade fudge sauce, I may never buy commercial again – so tasty and quick. (Colleen)


  • 24 Oreos© (regular, not double stuffed)mom's ice cream dessert
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
  • 1/2 gallon good vanilla ice cream, softened


Crush Oreos in food processor. Melt butter and stir into crumbs. Press down into 13×9″ pan and freeze about 30 minutes. Take out of freezer and spread ice cream on top. Put it back in freezer for an hour or more.

You can then spread commercial fudge sauce over it, but the homemade one is best and easy.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 5-oz. can evaporated milk

Melt 2 tablespoons butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips with 5 oz. evaporated milk in a pot. Cook gently and whisk until it is all melted and bubbly. Then let cool. Pour it over the frozen ice cream/ Oreos and put back in the freezer. The longer it stays in teh freezer, the better. Serve and enjoy.

Strawberry Angel Squares

Betty Crocker© recipestrawberry angelfood cake

  • 1 package Betty Crocker© white angel food cake mix
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 package (3 ounces) strawberry-flavored gelatin
  • 1 can (15 1/4 ounces) crushed pineapple in juice, drained (reserve 1/2 cup juice)
  • 1 cup low-fat creamed cottage cheese (small curd)
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen sweetened strawberries, thawed, or 1 cup sweetened sliced strawberries

Bake and cool cake as directed on package. Cut cake vertically into halves. Freeze one half for future use. Remove crust from other half; cut into about 1-inch cubes.

Pour boiling water on gelatin in large bowl; stir until gelatin is dissolved. Stir in reserved pineapple juice.

Place cottage cheese in blender container. Cover and blend on medium speed, stopping blender frequently to scrape sides, until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add gelatin mixture. Coer and blend on medium speed until smooth, about 15 seconds.

Return mixture to large bowl. Stir in pineapple, strawberries and cake cubes. Pour into square baking dish, 8x8x2 inches.

Refrigerate until firm, at least  ours. Garnish with fresh strawberries if desired.

9 servings.


jesus birthday cake

Make a white cake following the descriptions below and attach the following to explain and discuss the true meaning of Christmas.

  • The cake has three layers to symbolize the trinity.  White icing speaks of the purity of the Savior.
  • The yellow sugar sprinkles on top of the cake form a star to remind us of the star that led the wise men to Christ.
  • Twelve red candles signify God’s presence with us during the 12 months of the year.  Red speaks of Jesus’ blood shed to save us.
  • Evergreen sprigs around the cake symbolize the eternal life Jesus made available to us when He died on the cross.
  • An angel figure on top of the cake represents the angels who announced the Savior’s birth

According to my recipe, this cake idea is credited to Pat Zabriskie.


(Colleen’s mom’s recipe)

Combine in order:coconut pie

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

pour into greased 10 inch. pie pan and bake at 350° oven for 45 minutes or golden brown.  Cool and serve.

(However, it is really good when warm !!)

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