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Eating Well: More holiday recipes abound, sure to satisfy all sweet cravings

West Fargo Pioneer

As promised, here are the remaining 12 Days of Dessert recipes, compliments of our staff members, for your holiday baking pleasure.

Needless to say this week's offerings feature endless variety sure to fill the bill when it comes to providing the perfect sweet cap to any dining experience, whether casual or formal in nature.

So peruse and enjoy and until next time, from my kitchen to yours happy baking!!!

Cheesecake Factory Pumpkin Cheesecake

Jamie Grant


1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

5 tbsp. butter, melted

1 tbsp. sugar


3-8 oz. cream cheese

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup canned pumpkin

3 eggs

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. allspice

Whipped creamed

Mix crust ingredients together. Press onto bottom and 2/3 up the sides of an 8 inch springform pan. Bake 5 minutes at 350 degrees.

Combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in large bowl; mix until smooth with electric mixer. Add pumpkin, eggs, and spices; beat until smooth and creamy. Pour into the crust. Bake 60 to 70 minutes, or until top turns a bit darker. Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Remove the pan and serve.

Pecan Pie Bars

Erin Shoberg

1 1/2 sticks butter, softened

2 cups flour

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

8 oz. pecans

1 stick butter

1/3 cup honey

2 tbsp. half and half

Cut softened butter into smaller pieces and smash with a fork (or food processor), with the flour, brown sugar and salt. Mix until it forms small lumps and is evenly distributed. Sprinkle into a 9 x 13 in. pan and press evenly onto bottom. Bake shortbread in the middle of the oven until golden, about 20 minutes. While shortbread is baking, prepare filling.

Coarsely chop the pecans. In a saucepan, melt butter and stir in brown sugar, honey and cream. Simmer, stirring occasionally for about 1 minute. Stir in pecans. Pour pecan mixture over hot shortbread and spread evenly. Bake in the middle of oven until bubbling, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan and cut into bars.

Holiday Peppermint Bark

Jamie Grant

2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Nestle Toll House Premier White Morsels

24 hard peppermint candies, unwrapped

Line baking sheet with wax paper.

Microwave morsels in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on medium-high (70%) power for 1 minute; STIR. Morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted.

Place peppermint candies in heavy-duty plastic bag. Crush candies using rolling pin or other heavy object. While holding strainer over melted morsels, pour crushed candy into strainer. Shake to release all small candy pieces; reserve larger candy pieces. Stir morsel-peppermint mixture.

Spread mixture to desired thickness on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with reserved candy pieces; press in lightly. Let stand for about 1 hour or until firm. Break into pieces. Recipe makes 1 pound of candy. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

Bread Pudding

Will Foss

3-4 cups bread crumbs

4 cups milk, scalded

1 tbsp. butter

¼ tsp. salt

¾ cup sugar

4 slightly beaten eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

½ cup raisins

Soak bread in milk for 5 minutes. Add butter, salt, and sugar. Pour slowly over eggs; add vanilla and raisins, mix well. Pour into a buttered baking dish. Bake in a pan of hot water in moderate oven at 350 degrees until firm, about 50 minutes. Serve warm with cream. Serves 8.

Homemade Kit Kat Bars

Erin Shoberg

75 Club crackers (about a box)

2 sticks unsalted butter

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Line 9- by 13-inch rectangular baking pan with one layer of Club crackers (you may need to break some to fit).

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add graham cracker crumbs, dark brown sugar, milk, and granulated sugar. Bring to boil. Boil for five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat. Pour half of butter mixture over crackers in pan. Smooth surface with spatula.

Arrange another layer of Club crackers over butter mixture. Pour remaining butter mixture over surface. Smooth surface with spatula. Arrange a third layer of crackers over top.

Combine peanut butter, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips in small saucepan. Melt over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Spread evenly over crackers.

Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate two hours. Cut into 2-inch bars. Bars will keep for two weeks, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Famous Fudge

Jamie Grant

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2/3 cup (5 fl.-oz. can) Nestle Carnation Evaporated Milk

2 tbsp. butter or margarine

1/4 tsp. salt

2 cups miniature marshmallows

1 ½ cups (9 oz.) Nestle Toll House semi-sweet chocolate morsels

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Line 8-inch-square baking pan with foil.

Combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir in marshmallows, morsels, nuts and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into prepared baking pan; refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into 48 pieces.

For Milk Chocolate Fudge: Substitute 1 ¾ cups (11.5-oz. pkg.) Nestle Toll House milk chocolate morsels for semi-sweet chocolate morsels.

For Butterscotch Fudge: Substitute 1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.) Nestle Toll House butterscotch flavored morsels for semi-sweet chocolate morsels.

For Peanutty Chocolate Fudge: Substitute 1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.) Nestle Toll House peanut butter and milk chocolate morsels for semi-sweet chocolate morsels and ½ cup chopped peanuts for pecans or walnuts.

Spritz Cookies

Jamie Grant

1 cup butter, softened

½ cup sugar

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

¼ tsp. salt

1 egg

¼ tsp. almond extract or vanilla

Food color, if desired

Heat oven to 400ºF. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, salt, egg, almond extract and a few drops of food color.

Place dough in cookie press. Form desired shapes on ungreased cookie sheet. Decorate with currants.

Bake 5 to 8 minutes or until set but not brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. To decorate cookies after baking, use a drop of corn syrup to attach decorations to cookies.