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Wichita Eagle Holiday Cookbook 2012 Desserts

  • Published Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, at 12:15 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, at 5:25 p.m.

First place

Makes 6 dozen.

BEST CHOCOLATE MINT COOKIES

¾ cup butter

1½ cups brown sugar

2½ tablespoons water

2 cups (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

2 eggs

2½ cups flour

1¼ teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 pkgs. Andes creme de menthe wafers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In large saucepan over low heat, cook butter, brown sugar and water until butter is melted. Remove from heat, add chocolate chips and stir to melt. Pour into large bowl and let stand 10 minutes to cool. With mixer at high speed, beat in eggs one at a time. Reduce mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients, mixing just until blended. Chill dough at least 2 hours. Line cookie sheet with foil. Using scoop or teaspoon, roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on foil 2 inches apart. Bake 13 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately place 1mint candy on each cookie. After a minute or so, spread softened mint over cookie. Refrigerate to harden chocolate or allow to cool at room temperature.

This has been a favorite family recipe, and I have made these every holiday season for more than 25 years. If you like chocolate and chocolate mint, you will love these cookies.

Marilyn Wright, Wichita

Second place

SPICY TRUFFLE COOKIES

Makes 18 medium cookies.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon sweet wine

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1½ teaspoons ancho chili powder

¾ cup flour

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips or 3 oz. dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter and chocolate together in bowl in microwave or pot on hotplate. Mix in both sugars until smooth. Add egg, vanilla and wine. Add baking powder and salt; make sure there are no lumps. Mix in cocoa powder, cinnamon and chili powder. Stir in flour and chocolate chips. Drop onto buttered or foil-lined cookie sheet.

Bake on center rack for about 10 minutes. For small, bite-size cookies bake about 7 minutes. They’ll still be soft when you take them out and will look underdone. But let them cool for 2 to 3 minutes, and they’ll hold together enough then to be taken off the tray with a spatula.

This cookie recipe was born of a desire for an extremely rich cookie that contained every possible form of chocolate. It’s very easy and quick to make, and clean-up is a cinch because it can all be done in one bowl. For gooey cookies, use ½ cup of flour but increase the baking time to 15 minutes.

Joanna Behrman, Wichita

Third place

SPICY CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

CHEESECAKE FILLING:

1pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese

1egg

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

CAKE:

1¾ cups sugar

2 cups flour

¾ cup Ghirardelli high-fat cocoa powder

1¼ teaspoons baking powder

1¼ teaspoons baking soda

1½ teaspoons cinnamon

1½ teaspoons cayenne pepper

¾ teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

¾ cup boiling water

DARK CHOCOLATE GLAZE:

½ cup oleo

1 (4.5 oz.) Hershey’s dark chocolate candy bar

1 tablespoon corn syrup

For filling, mix together all ingredients until smooth. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For cake, spray 10 to 12 cup tube pan with cooking spray that includes flour. Mix all ingredients together, then slowly add boiling water and beat until smooth. Layer cake batter and cheesecake filling in pan, starting with cake batter and ending with cake batter; 3 layers of cake batter and 2 layers of cheesecake filling. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Invert on serving plate. Let cool for 1 hour before glazing.

For glaze, melt oleo and candy bar together, add corn syrup and whisk together until smooth. Let stand for 1 to 2 minutes to allow glaze to thicken slightly before drizzling over cake.

Sharlie Henry, Haysville

Honorable mention

COCOA CREAM PIE

3 cups whole or 2 percent milk

½ cup minus 1 tablespoon cocoa

1¼ cups sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

4½ tablespoons corn starch

4 egg yolks, beaten

3 tablespoons butter

1½ teaspoons vanilla

Scald milk in top of double boiler. Mix dry ingredients together and add to scalded milk. Stir until blended. Slowly add egg yolks to avoid cooking. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to thicken at medium-high heat. Cover and cook on low heat in double boiler for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat; add butter and vanilla, stirring until butter is melted. Cook slightly. Pour into 9-inch, cooked pie shell. Cool pie thoroughly and refrigerate.

This is my favorite pie. My mother has made it for more than 60 years. This is always my birthday request instead of a cake, so much so that my wife received a double boiler as a wedding shower present with the recipe from my mother. Hint, hint. She had to learn to make the pie to marry me. Truth is though, I can make it, too.

Kim Alan Hackett, Wichita

PUMPKIN POUND CAKE

1 pkg. (18.25 oz.) yellow cake mix

4 large eggs, beaten

½ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup water

¾ cup granulated sugar

1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 cup whipped topping

½ cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour tube pan. Mix all ingredients together in large mixing bowl, except powdered sugar, and beat for 4 minutes. Pour into tube pan and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool. When cool turn onto cake platter, sprinkle generously with powdered sugar.

I love to alter recipes until I get what I feel is the perfect cake. The original recipe called for cream cheese icing, which I felt was too much sugar. So I switched the icing for a dusting of powdered sugar. Other alterations are the pumpkin pie spice: I doubled the amount of pumpkin originally called for. Finally, the last change, the whipped topping. A beautiful cake to look at, and it tastes just as good as it looks.

Joan Santos, Mount Hope

GIVE ME “S’MORE” PIE

Makes 8 servings.

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1¼ cups heavy whipping cream

1 jar (13 oz.) chocolate hazelnut spread

1 9-inch graham cracker crust

3 cups miniature marshmallows

In large bowl, beat cream cheese and cream until thickened. Add hazelnut spread; beat just until combined. Spoon into crust. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Just before serving, top with marshmallows; press gently into filling. Broil 6 inches from heat of oven for 1 to 2 minutes or until marshmallows are golden brown.

Janie Colle, Hutchinson

CINNAMON ROLL APPLE CRUNCH

CRUST:

1 tube flaky cinnamon rolls

FILLING:

1 can (21 oz.) apple pie filling

TOPPING:

¾ cup flour

½ cup butter, chilled

½ cup quick-cooking oatmeal

½ cup light brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Container of frosting included with cinnamon rolls

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

For crust, lightly grease and flour an 11x7x 2-inch pan. Unroll cinnamon rolls onto bottom of pan. Gently press dough to reach end-to-end and side-to-side, making sure there are no gaps between strips of cinnamon rolls.

Pour can of apple pie filling on top of cinnamon rolls and spread evenly.

For topping, blend ingredients to coarse texture. Sprinkle evenly over apple pie filling. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until bubbly. Let cool about 5 minutes. Transfer frosting to a microwave-safe container and microwave for 5-second intervals until it is thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle frosting over topping.

I like to bake and wanted to try giving a new spin on an old favorite. We think it’s best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Jennifer English, Wichita

MAPLE BACON PECAN CINNAMON ROLLS

12 frozen white or cracked wheat yeast dinner rolls

10 slices bacon

½ cup maple syrup

½ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

1 cup pecans, roughly chopped

1 box butterscotch cook-and-serve, dry pudding mix

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 stick butter

Thaw frozen rolls in refrigerator overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut bacon into 1-inch pieces and brown over medium heat about 4 minutes; transfer to paper towel to drain. Mix maple syrup, light brown sugar and pecans. Stir in bacon and divide among 12 cupcake tins sprayed with oil.

In medium bowl, mix butterscotch pudding and cinnamon. Melt butter. Roll thawed rolls into melted butter and then in butterscotch mixture. Place 1 roll over top of maple syrup mixture in each cup. Let rise until double in size or about 1 to 2 hours. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately invert onto baking sheet. Let cool for 5 minutes.

This recipe is a conglomeration of what my mother made us and the changes I made when I started to cook. I got the bacon idea from Burger King. It is a great taste of sweet and salty.

Angie Wormhoudt, Wichita

OATMEAL SNICKERDOODLES

Makes about 3½ dozen.

½ cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 egg

¼ cup maple syrup

1½ cups flour

¾ cup quick-cooking oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

Additional sugar

In large bowl, cream shortening and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and maple syrup. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Roll into 1-inch balls. Place 2-inches apart on greased baking sheets. Flatten with glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until set. Do not over bake. Remove to wire racks to cool.

I actually was trying out a new recipe and found out that I was out of several ingredients. So I substituted maple syrup as one of the ingredients. My family actually loves this variation, and I make them during the holidays.

Robin Stafford, Goddard

AUNT PAT’S APPLE PUDDING CAKE

CAKE:

1 cup sugar

¼ cup butter

1 egg

2 large apples, finely chopped

1 cup flour, sifted

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon,

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ cup walnuts or pecans, optional

CREAMY PUDDING SAUCE:

½ cup butter

1 cup sugar

½ cup half and half cream or evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Dash nutmeg

For cake, cream sugar and butter. Add eggs and apples. Stir in dry ingredients and nuts. Prepare an 8 to 9-inch square pan with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min. Serve warm.

For sauce, combine butter, sugar and cream. Cook on low 10 to 15 minutes. Stir until thick. Do not boil. Add vanilla and nutmeg. Serve warm over individual apple pudding servings.

This is a moist, rich dessert for the holidays.

Patricia Holland, Wichita

KEY LIME CAKE BALLS

Makes 2½ to 3 dozen.

1 pkg. (18.25 oz.) lemon supreme cake mix

1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) lemon instant pudding and pie filling

4 large eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

¼ cup water

¾ cup key lime juice from concentrate

1 lb. white chocolate candy melts

Green sprinkles, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding, eggs, oil, water and key lime juice. Beat at low speed with electric mixer until moistened. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.

Coat 9x13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray; pour batter into pan.

Bake for 33 to 36 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Cool completely; remove any crunchy edges.

In large bowl, use hands to crumble and mash cake until no large chunks remain. Form mixture into cake balls, about size of small golf balls. Chill in refrigerator at least 30 minutes.

In microwave-safe bowl, microwave white chocolate at 50 percent power for 1 minute; stir. Continue to melt at 20-second increments at 50 percent power until completely melted; stir in between.

Using a fork, carefully dip each cake ball into white chocolate, tapping fork on the side of bowl to remove excess. Place on wax paper.

Before chocolate has a chance to set, add green sprinkles.

Serve slightly chilled.

These cake balls make a great dessert for holiday gatherings. They taste like key lime pie but do not require plates or utensils to enjoy. They are highly addictive. The white chocolate can be dyed fun, festive colors. Display the cake balls in mini cupcake wrappers for an added touch.

Amy Wood, Wichita

BUTTERMILK BANANA CAKE

CAKE:

½ cup shortening

2 ripe bananas

1½ cups sugar

2 eggs, beaten

¼ teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

½ teaspoon vanilla

½ cup walnuts, chopped

CARAMEL ICING:

¾ cup white sugar

¾ cup brown sugar

¾ cup whipping cream

For cake, cream shortening, bananas and sugar. Add eggs and salt. Sift dry ingredients together and add to mix alternately with buttermilk. Stir in vanilla and walnuts. Pour into greased and floured 11x13-inch cake pan. Bake 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool. Serve as is or cover with icing.

For icing, combine sugars and whipping cream. Mix until smooth. Pour into heavy saucepan and boil until soft ball stage is reached. This stage occurs at 235 degrees, which can be measured with a candy thermometer or by dropping a spoonful of hot syrup into bowl of very cold water. In water, use your fingers to gather cooled syrup into ball. It should form a ball while in the cold water, but flatten once removed from water. Cool and beat until creamy. Spread icing on top of cooled cake.

My mother grew up on a farm, and they used their own dairy products in everything they baked. Buttermilk was used in almost all of their baked goods. Mom would make her “farm” icing to cover many varieties of cakes. My family prefers the cake without any icing, just warm out of the oven with a glass of milk is enough of a treat for us.

Debbie Wilds, Wichita

EASY APPLE CAKE

CAKE:

1 can apple pie filling

2 cups flour

1½ teaspoons baking soda

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

2/3 cup cooking oil

¾ cup walnuts, chopped

HOT CREAM SAUCE:

1 cup sugar

½ cup sour cream

2 teaspoons baking soda

For cake, spread apple filling in 9x13-inch pan. Combine dry ingredients and sprinkle over apple filling. Blend eggs, vanilla, oil and ½ cup walnuts. Pour mixture over ingredients in pan. Stir with fork only until blended. Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.

For sauce, combine all ingredients in saucepan and cook over medium heat until mixture comes to boil. Pour hot cream sauce over warm cake and sprinkle with remaining walnuts.

Sometimes I ice this cake with cream cheese frosting instead of the hot cream sauce. Either way, it is very moist and keeps well. This is one of those recipes that I have been making for more than 25 years now.

Linda Stilwell, Wichita

BLACK BEAN BROWNIES

3 eggs

3 tablespoons cooking oil

¼ cup cocoa

¾ cup sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 can (16 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease 9-inch square pan. Put all ingredients, except chocolate chips, in blender and blend until smooth. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle chips on last 5 minutes.

This cake is like brownies and has become a favorite because it is economical, fast and easy, and best of all for our family, it is gluten-free.

Elva Kelton, Newton

We asked readers to submit their original dessert recipes for our annual Holiday Cookbook contest. Cooks will find creative recipes to top off holiday celebrations.

Marilyn Wright of Wichita won first place with her Best Chocolate Mint Cookies.

Please scroll down to see winning recipes and more.

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