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Published November 23, 2011, 12:00 AM

Readers share their favorite desserts

Magic Crust Pumpkin Pie

Jean Noland - Grand Forks

I am an Extension agent with the Expanded Food Nutrition Education Program with NDSU Extension Service. I make a crustless pumpkin pie using dry milk, so you can get the great taste of pumpkin without all the calories of the crust.

2 large eggs

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin (or 2 cups cooked pumpkin)

1 cup nonfat dry milk powder

2/3 cup brown or white sugar

¼ tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. ginger

¼ tsp. nutmeg

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 cup water

Whipped topping, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together, except water, in a large bowl. Gradually stir in water until well mixed. Pour into a greased 9-inch pie plate or an 8- by 8-inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes or until a knife inserted 1 inch from the center comes out clean. Top with whipped topping, if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.


Caramel Pull Aparts

Samantha Roth - Dickinson

Caramel Pull-Aparts is a family favorite that is usually made on holiday mornings because it is prepared the night before and can be baked the next morning before the kitchen gets too crazy. There is nothing better than waking up to the smell of caramel and fresh baked dough.

2 loaves frozen bread dough, unthawed

1 cup brown sugar

1 large box of cook and serve vanilla pudding

½ cup butter

2 T milk

Cinnamon, to taste

Grease 9x13 pan. Cut bread into pieces and sprinkle with cinnamon. Melt butter, stir in brown sugar, and add vanilla mix and milk. Mix together and pour over bread. Refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.


Fresh Apple Cake

Samantha Roth - Dickinson

This cake is my favorite cake to make in the fall, especially with crab apples. The tartness of the apple with the richness of the caramel is amazing and makes a great end to a meal.

1¾ cups sugar

2 eggs

½ cup oil

2 cups flour

2 tsp. soda

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

½ cup nuts, broken

½ cup raisins

3 cups apples, cubed

Mix together sugar, eggs and oil. Add apples. Add sifted flour, soda, cinnamon and salt. Fold in nuts and raisins. Bake at 350 until done, 40-60 minutes. Top with Butter Caramel Frosting.


Butter Caramel Frosting

½ cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

6 T milk

2½ cups powdered sugar

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Add brown sugar. Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes. Add milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cool until lukewarm. Add powdered sugar, a little at a time. Beat until icing is of spreading consistency.


Apple Pie

Cathy Kuznia - Grand Forks

4 cups sliced apples (key step: use 2 or 3 different varieties of apples)

½ cup orange juice

1 cup sugar

2 T flour

½ tsp. nutmeg

1/3 cup butter

Combine dry ingredients and add to apples in mixing bowl. Place apple mixture in unbaked bottom pie crust. Add the orange juice. Dot with butter. Cover with top crust. Cut steam vents. Bake 450 degrees for 15 minutes and then 325 degrees for 45 minutes.


Pumpkin bars

Pearl Bertsch - Ypsilanti, N.D.

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 cup oil

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 cups pumpkin

Pinch of salt

Mix eggs, sugar, oil, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Add the pumpkin and mix. Bake in a jelly roll pan prepared with non-stick spray or cooking oil. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve as is or frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream cheese frosting

Melt ¼ pound butter. Add 3 oz. cream cheese. Add powdered sugar ‘til spreading consistency. Add 1 tsp. vanilla.

Cook’s note: Use white butter to keep the frosting white!


Cranberry-Marshmallow Pie

Pearl Bertsch - Ypsilanti, N.D.

Pastry for a single crust pie

1 16-oz. can cranberry sauce (jellied)

½ cup light corn syrup

1 7-oz jar marshmallow crème

3 drops red food coloring

2 cups whipping cream

Prepare and bake pastry. Slice jellied cranberry sauce into slices to fit into bottom of shell. In a small bowl, beat corn syrup into marshmallow crème until smooth. Divide in half. Tint half mixture red.

Whip cream until soft peaks form. Fold ½ of the cream into red mixture. Fold remaining whipped cream into white mixture. Fold both mixtures until slightly marbled.

Pour into pastry. Freeze several hours or overnight. Sit at room temperature and serve. Spoon whipped cream overtop or your favorite topping.


Pumpkin Twinkies Dessert

Iris Ohman - Pelican Rapids, Minn.

A little different pumpkin dessert. Kids love it, as well as the adults. Kids can even help make it, as it is so simple.

10 Twinkies

8 oz. cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

8 oz. Cool Whip

1 15-oz. can pumpkin

1 cup milk

2¾-oz boxes instant vanilla pudding

1 T. pumpkin pie spice

Cut Twinkies in half and line them on bottom of 9x13 pan, creamy side up. Mix cream cheese, half of the Cool Whip and powdered sugar. Spread over Twinkies. Mix pumpkin, milk, pudding and pumpkin pie spice until well blended.

Spread mixture over cream cheese. Very carefully spread the remaining Cool Whip on top. Cool several hours. Store in refrigerator.


Jell-O Squares

Connie Williams - Dickinson

Need a low-calorie, but yet good and easy dessert?

2 3-oz. boxes of sugar free Jell-O (any flavor)

2 cups thawed sugar free Cool Whip

2½ cups boiling water

Add boiling water to Jell-O and mix until dissolved. Stir in Cool Whip until well blended. Pour into an 8x8 pan. Put in refrigerator until set, approximately three hours. Cut into squares and top with a dollop of Cool Whip.


Caramel ‘n’ Chocolate Pecan Bars

Rochelle Wetsch - Grand Forks

I received this bar recipe at one of my holiday cookie and candy exchanges that I hosted several years ago.

Crust

2 cups flour

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup butter

1 cup pecan halves

Topping

2/3 cup butter

½ cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all crust ingredients except pecans in a bowl. Beat at medium speed until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Press onto bottom of ungreased 9x13 inch baking pan.

Place pecans evenly over unbaked crust. Next, combine the butter and brown sugar in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until entire surface of mixture begins to boil. Boil, stirring constantly, for one minute.

Pour mixture evenly over pecans and crust. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until entire caramel layer is bubbly. Do not overbake. Remove from oven. Immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips. Allow to melt slightly. Swirl melted chips over bars, leaving some whole for marble effect. Cool. Cut into bars.


Hoatsel Brot

Regina Schaper - Beulah, N.D.

Cut fruit into small pieces. You can cut them up the night before so they are ready the next day.

1 lb. prunes, cut up

1 pound fig, cut up

2 cups raisins

2 cups chopped walnuts

Sweet dough recipe:

4 eggs

1 heaping cup sugar

1 cup softened margarine

2 T. salt

1-2 tsp. cinnamon

4 cups quite warm water

2 pkgs. yeast bread flour

Beat eggs and sugar, then add softened margarine. Beat again, then add salt and cinnamon. Stir again. Add water, dried fruits, then add yeast to this mixture. Add 3 cups flour and use mixer to get smooth. Then keep adding flour, mixing by hand, to get a nice firm dough. Let rise twice. Shape into loaves and bake 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees.


Pecan Pie

Barb Fridley - Taylor, N.D.

Makes one 9-inch pie

3 eggs, beaten

1 cup sugar

½ cup dark corn syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

6 T. butter or margarine, melted, cooled

1 cup pecan pieces or halves

1 9-inch unbaked pie shell

In large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and butter. Stir in pecans. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between outside and center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.


Grandma’s Cranberry Bread

Myrtle Hustad - Jamestown

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1½ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. baking soda

¼ cup butter

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp. grated orange peel

¾ cup orange juice

¾ cup raisins

1½ cups fresh cranberries, chopped

Add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda into a large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Add egg, orange peel and orange juice all at once. Stir just until mixture is evenly moist. Fold in raisins and cranberries. Spoon into a 9x5x3 loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 70 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan. Cool.


North Dakota Walnut Pie

Orpha Bertsch - Jamestown

½ cup sugar

1/3 cup cocoa

1/3 cup flour

¼ tsp. salt

1¼ cups dark corn syrup

3 eggs

3 T. margarine, melted

1 T. maple flavoring

Walnuts

Pie shell

Combine all of the above except walnuts in a mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Stir in ½ cup chopped walnuts. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Arrange walnut halves on top. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Cool. Best if left to stand one day before serving. Serve with whipped cream.

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