Black Forest Pie

1 Ready Crust Graham Cracker Pie Crust
1 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Hershey's cocoa
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup nondairy whipped topping, thawed
1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling, chilled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cream cheese until fluffy; add sugar and cocoa, mix well. Add egg and almond extract.

With a spatula, scrape filling into crust, spread evenly.

Bake 35 minutes. Cook and refrigerate. Just before serving top with nondairy whipped topping and cherry pie filling.

Fudge Topped Peanut Butter Pie

1 Ready Crust Graham Cracker Pie Crust
1 package (4 serving size) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
1 8 ounce container sour cream
3/4 cup milk
1 package Reese's Peanut Butter chips divided
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 12-ounce jar chocolate fudge topping

Whisk together the pudding mix, sour cream and milk in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Place 1-1/3 cups peanut butter chips and oil in microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high 45 seconds or until smooth. Using hand mixer, gradually add to pudding mixture; spread evenly into crust.

Spread chocolate fudge over top of pie; cover and refrigerate 3 hours. Prior to serving top with remaining peanut butter chips.

Key Lime Pie

1 box (0.3 ounces) sugar-free lime-flavor gelatin
1/4 cup boiling water
2 containers (8 ounces each) key lime pie-flavor light yogurt
1 contained (8 ounces) frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
1 prepared 9" reduced-fat graham cracker pie crust

In a large heat-resistant bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. With wire whisk, stir in yogurt; with wooden spoon, fold in whipped topping.

Transfer mixture to a prepared crust. Refrigerate overnight or at least two hours.

Weight Watchers – 3 -points per serving (Makes 8 servings)

German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake with Coconut-Pecan Filling

When you assemble the cake, the filling should be cool or cold (or room temperature, at the very warmest). To be time-efficient, first make the filling, then use the refrigeration time to prepare, bake, and cool the cakes. The toasted pecans are stirred into the filling just before assembly to keep them from becoming soft and soggy.

Serves 12 to 16


4 egg yolks
1 can evaporated milk (12 ounces)
1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar (1 3/4 ounces)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into 6 pieces
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups sweetened shredded coconut (7 ounces)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans (6 1/2 ounces), toasted on baking sheet in 350-degree oven until fragrant and browned, about 8 minutes


Whisk yolks in medium saucepan; gradually whisk in evaporated milk. Add sugars, butter, and salt and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is boiling, frothy, and slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl, whisk in vanilla, then stir in coconut. Cool until just warm, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cool or cold, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. (Pecans are stirred in just before cake assembly.)


4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate , chopped fine
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa , sifted
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces), plus additional for dusting cake pans
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar (about 4 3/4 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon table salt
4 large eggs , room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream , room temperature

2. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to lower -middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine chocolate and cocoa in small bowl; pour boiling water over and let stand to melt chocolate, about 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth; set aside until cooled to room temperature.

3. Meanwhile, spray two 9-inch-round by 2 -inch-high straight-sided cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray paper rounds, dust pans with flour, and knock out excess. Sift flour and baking soda into medium bowl or onto sheet of parchment or waxed paper.

4. In bowl of standing mixer, beat butter, sugars, and salt at medium-low speed until sugar is moistened, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium high and beat until mixture is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula halfway through. With mixer running at medium speed, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down bowl halfway through. Beat in vanilla; increase speed to medium-high
and beat until light and fluffy, about 45 seconds. With mixer running at low speed, add chocolate, then increase speed to medium and beat until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl once (batter may appear broken). With mixer running at low speed, add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream (in 2 additions), beginning and ending with dry ingredients, and beating in each addition until barely combined. After final flour addition, beat on low until just combined, then stir batter by hand with rubber spatula, scraping bottom and sides of bowl, to ensure that batter is homogenous (batter will be thick). Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans; spread batter to edges of pans with rubber spatula and smooth surfaces.

5. Bake cakes until toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto greased wire rack; peel off and discard paper rounds. Cool cakes to room temperature before filling, about 1 hour. (Cooled cakes can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.)

6. TO ASSEMBLE: Stir toasted pecans into chilled filling. Set one cake on serving platter or cardboard round cut slightly smaller than cake, and second cake on work surface (or leave on wire rack). With serrated knife held so that blade is parallel with work surface, use sawing motion to cut each cake into two even layers. Starting with first cake, carefully lift off top layer and set aside. Using icing spatula, distribute about 1 cup filling evenly on cake,
spreading filling to very edge of cake and leveling surface. Carefully place upper cake layer on top of filling; repeat using remaining filling and cake layers. If necessary, dust crumbs off platter; serve or refrigerate cake, covered loosely with foil, up to 4 hours (if refrigerated longer than 2 hours, let cake stand at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes before serving).

America's Test Kitchen

Red Velvet Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Makes 16 servings

2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 bottle (1 ounce) McCormick Red Food Color
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on high speed 5-7 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time.

Mix in sour cream, milk, food color, and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until blended. Do not over beat.

Pour batter into two greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.

Bake in preheated 350 Degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack. Fill and frost cake layers with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter and 2 tablespoons sour cream in large bowl until smooth. Mix in 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract. Gradually beat in one package (16 ounces) confectioners' sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Pineapple Angle Cake

1 package (4-serving size) Jell-O Vanilla flavor instant pudding and pie filling
1 can (20 ounces) Dole Crushed Pineapple in juice, undrained
1 cup thawed Cool Whip
1 package (10 oz) prepared round angle food cake
10 small strawberries

Mix dry pudding mix and pineapple with juice in a medium bowl. Gently stir in the whipped topping.

Cut cake horizontally into 3 layers.

Place bottom cake layer, cut side up, on serving plate. Spread 1-1/3 cups of the pudding mixture onto cake layer; top with middle cake layer. Spread 1 cup of the pudding mixture onto middle cake layer; top with remaining cake layer. Spread with remaining pudding mixture. Refrigerate at least one hour or until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh strawberries. Store in refrigerator.

German Plum Tart

1 1/2 cups enriched flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick VERY COLD, cut into small squares–a rough cut will do)

In separate small bowl, mix one egg yolk with 2 T. milk. Add to above mixture. Stir with fork until dough holds together and egg is totally mixed, but don't over mix.

Press dough into bottom and sides of ungreased 11" tart pan (with removable bottom).

Sprinkle dough with 1/4 cup graham cracker or plain (non-seasoned) bread crumbs and place in refrigerator. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wash and dry about 25 fresh prunes. Cut in half. Pits will come out easily. Sprinkle prunes with 1 T. fresh lemon juice. When ready, remove tart dough from refrigerator. Lay prunes in circular fashion, starting from the center, overlapping if they are large. Sprinkle fruit with 1/2 cup sugar mixed with 1 tsp. cinnamon. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or when dough has gotten puffy and brown, and the prunes are a nice brown color. (It is better to overbake a bit than to have a raw middle!)

From Larissa Looby, St. Mark's Church, Bethesda, MD

easter cheese pascha (simplified)

4 8-oz. packages cream cheese (softened)
1/2 pound sweet butter (softened)
1-1/2 cups sugar (I use powdered)
Vanilla flavoring to taste
Grated lemon peel to taste
Citron and candied cherries and fruits (Save a few for garnish)
Slivered almonds

Beat cream cheese, butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add flavoring and
fruit and almonds. Pour into a mold or a bowl and refrigerate, at least
overnight, but longer if able.

To serve, unmold and decorate with remaining candied fruits and cherries.

adrienne’s chocolate christmas candy

Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with foil. Sprinkle with ground nuts. Arrange Hershey bars on top of nuts, writing side up (it takes about 8 candy bars). Have the same amount of ground nuts, and the same number of unwrapped candy bars standing by.

In a skillet, cook 2 sticks of butter and 1 cup of sugar for about 15 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is dark (or at the hard boil stage). Pour on top of candy bars. Top with remaining candy bars, writing side down, and then the nuts. Let cool completely and cut or break into pieces. Yum.

betsy’s blond brownies

1 Stick Softened Butter
2 Eggs
2 Tablespoons Vanilla
1and 2/3 Cups Dark Brown Sugar
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1and1/3 Cups plus 2 Tablespoons Flour
1and 1/2 Cups Chopped Walnuts
Chocolate Chips (optional)

Cream butter, add sugar and cream until fluffy, add eggs and vanilla, cream until the consistency of whipped cream. Blend in flour and baking powder and mix until totally blended. Finally stir in nuts until evenly distributed and choc chips if desired. (I use a cup each of semi-sweet choc and white choc chips) Pour batter into a 13 X 9 inch pan. Bake for 30 minuters. Cool before cutting.

From my sister Nancy.