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KCTS 9 Cooks Just Desserts On-Air Recipes

  1. Triple Threat Coconut Cream Pie
  2. Mocha Almond Cheesecake
  3. Cardamom & Whiskey Pear Crisp
  4. Berry Cream Cheese Scones
  5. Tarte au Chocolate
  6. Bourbon Pumpkin Pie
  7. Cranberry Pecan Bread Pudding
  8. Berry Pie
  9. Peanut Butterfinger Pie
  10. Semolina Custard Tart
  11. Loaded Oatmeal Cookies
  12. Sour Cream, Rhubarb & Strawberry Pie
  13. Almond Cake with Raspberries and Chocolate Ganache
  14. Poached Pears in Moscato with Zabaglione
  15. Overnight Chocolate Refrigerator Cake
  16. Voluptuous Chocolate Brownies
  17. No-Bake Irish Cream Cheesecake Tartlets

Triple Threat Coconut Cream Pie
Angie Battle, Des Moines

I love Tom Douglas and everything he brings to the culinary scene in Seattle, but I have a terrible time paying $40 for a pie. After being inspired by his Dahlia bakery version, I came up with my own, and I'm proud to say it's a winner! One note: I would highly recommend you follow the instructions for a great pie crust below, for optimal crispiness and flavor. Otherwise, you can roll out a store-bought crust, and just before rolling it out, brush it with a little bit of coconut milk, then sprinkle coconut on top and press in. It will be more susceptible to burning, but should be okay if you watch it closely.

I took this pie to the Puyallup State Fair in 2010, and I’m happy to say I won the Pillsbury Pie event. It even went on to win the 2010 National Pillsbury Fan Favorite Pie. (I would love to have a throw-down with Tom now—he’s my idol.)

Serves 8 to 10

Pastry Shell
11/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
11/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and frozen for 10 minutes
11/2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons ice water

1 131/2-ounce can coconut milk, well stirred (Not cream of coconut!)
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 vanilla bean, split (You may substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.)
2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (optional, but highly recommended)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

11/2 cups heavy whipping cream, well chilled
11/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
11/2 teaspoons dark rum (optional)
1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
1 ounce white chocolate, shaved

For the pie shell, process flour, salt, sugar and coconut together in food processor until combined, about 3 seconds. Add butter and pulse until butter is size of large peas, about 5 to 7 one-second pulses.

Using a fork, mix sour cream and ice water in small bowl until combined. Add half of sour cream mixture to flour mixture; pulse for two 1-second pulses. Repeat with remaining sour cream mixture.

Pinch dough with fingers; if dough is floury, dry and does not hold together, add 1 to 2 teaspoons ice water (start with less), and process until dough forms large clumps and no dry flour remains, 2 to 3 one-second pulses.

Flatten into a 4-inch disk; wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm but not too hard, 1 to 2 hours, before rolling. You may also place wrapped disks in freezer bags and refrigerate for up to 2 days, or freeze up to 6 months. Simply bring to a pliable (but cold!) temperature before rolling out.

Roll out dough, place in a 9-inch pie plate, trim and flute edges, and cover with foil. Fill foil to top rim with pie weights or dry beans.

Blind bake pie shell at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Remove pie weights and foil, and bake at 350 degrees an additional 10 to 20 minutes, or until shell is golden brown, not just ‘blonde.’ Let cool completely.

For the filling, bring the coconut milk, milk, coconut, vanilla bean, 1/3 cup sugar and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar.

When the mixture reaches a simmer, whisk the egg yolks to break them up, then whisk in the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and cornstarch until well-combined and no lumps remain.

Gradually whisk the simmering liquid into the yolk mixture to temper it, and then return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula. Vanilla bean can be discarded at this time.

Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until 3 or 4 bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened, about 30 seconds.

Off the heat, whisk in the coconut extract (vanilla if you're subbing) and butter. Pour the filling into the cooled crust, press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling, and refrigerate until the filling is cold and firm, at least 3 hours.

For the topping, when ready to serve, beat the cream and sugar in the chilled bowl of an electric mixer at medium speed to soft peaks; add the vanilla and rum, if using. Continue to beat to barely stiff peaks. Spread or pipe the whipped cream over the chilled filling. Sprinkle the toasted flaked coconut and shaved chocolate over the whipped cream. Serve. Will hold for a few days in the fridge, but it probably won’t make it that long.

Mocha Almond Cheesecake
Mary Andersson, Sedro-Woolley

This is a decadent chocolate-coffee-almond-toffee cheesecake. I found the recipe a magazine and "improved," by making it gluten-free and a little more decadent. My husband, who only tolerates cheesecake, asked for it for his recent birthday. It's very rich; only a small slice suffices.

Serves up to 35

11/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup baker’s sugar
2-4 tablespoons melted butter

1 generous cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3 8-ounce blocks cream cheese
11/3 cups baker’s sugar
11/2 cups sour cream
1 tablespoon Kahlua
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 8-ounce bag Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits
2 dark chocolate candy bars (60% minimum)

For the crust, carefully encase the outside of a 10-inch spring form pan in a double thickness of heavy-duty aluminum foil, sealing to ensure it is watertight up to the brim. Preheat oven to 350-degrees, rack in the middle.

In medium bowl, combine almond flours, cocoa powder and sugar, whisking until well-combined. Add small amount of melted butter, mixing with fork until crumbs form, adding additional butter as needed to make crumbs that adhere together when pressed. Place mixture in bottom of spring form pan and press in uniform layer along bottom and 1inch up the sides. Bake in oven for 10 minutes and then cool on a wire rack. Keep oven on.

For the filling, make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature. In large glass measuring cup, combine chocolate chips and espresso powder. Pour cream over top. Melt in microwave, stirring after 1 to 2 minutes, until completely dissolved and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add sour cream, beating again until incorporated, and then add flavorings and salt, beating until smooth. Carefully add chocolate and espresso mixture, beating well until thoroughly combined (scraping sides throughout). Add beaten eggs and beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into crust.

Place spring form pan inside larger rectangular baking pan, and pour hot water into baking pans halfway up the side of the springform pan. Place in a 350-degree oven and bake for 55 to 65 minutes, until top is dull and center appears almost firm. Remove from water bath and cool 10 minutes on a rack. Sprinkle Heath Bits bag over the top, covering top completely. Allow cheesecake to cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 8 hours. To serve, melt dark chocolate bars in glass measuring cup until smooth. Remove side of spring form pan, slice into desired servings, and drizzle warm melted chocolate over each piece. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Cardamom & Whiskey Pear Crisp
Rose McAvoy, Lynnwood

This is a hearty fresh fruit dessert to keep you warm and cozy through the winter. Top with yogurt for a breakfast treat. When selecting the pears for this crisp, choose fruit that is fully ripe and a bit soft, but not mushy.

Serves 6 to 8

3 pounds ripe pears, peeled, cored, and sliced (approximately 8 cups)
11/2-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup whiskey (I use Jameson.)
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 generous cups fresh cranberries

Crumble Topping
1 ounce (1/4 cup) pecan halves
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (rice flour for gluten-free)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Have a 3-quart casserole or 9-inch square baking dish standing by.

Assembling the fruit: Place sliced pears into the baking dish. Cover with lemon juice, honey, vanilla and whiskey. Stir gently to coat pears. Sprinkle the pears with tapioca flour and cardamom, then stir again to distribute as evenly as possible. Smooth slices and cover with cranberries.

Prepare the crumble topping: Using a small food processor, place pecan halves, sugar, flour, spices and salt into the bowl and pulse until pecans are very finely minced. By hand, begin by mincing the pecans to a near powder, combine nuts with flour, brown sugar, spices and salt. Once the dry ingredients are ready, use a fork to work the melted butter into the nut mixture. Stir until all the dry bits have been incorporated. It should look like wet sand. Using a fork or your fingers, drop bits of crumble over the fruit in an even layer.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until fruit is bubbly and top is golden. If the cranberries begin to brown, cover the baking dish with foil and continue baking until finished. When done, remove crisp from the oven and let cool for 1 to 2 hours. As it cools, the flavors will continue to develop and the juices will thicken around the fruit.

Rose blogs at

Berry Cream Cheese Scones
Chef Hiroki Inoue, Hiroki, Seattle

41/2 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 ounces cold butter
3 cups heavy cream

1 pound cream cheese
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup white sugar
sliced almonds

lemon juice
powdered sugar

For the scones, mix together the bread flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Roll the cold butter in flour and, with a cheese grater, grate butter into the dry mix. Once the butter is thoroughly distributed, add the heavy cream, using a spatula or scraper to gently toss the mixture until it just comes together. Do not over-work the dough to make sure the scones maintain a flakey texture.

On a flat surface, flatten dough to about 1/2-inch thick. Starting at the top of the dough, use a 3-inch diameter biscuit cutter to cut your scones. Place scones on parchment-lined baking sheets. With your thumb, make indents almost all the way through each scone, creating space for the cream cheese filling.

For the filling, use a mixer to blend the cream cheese, egg yolk and sugar together until well combined. Use a pastry bag or spoon, to fill each scone with the cream cheese mixture. Finally, top with blueberries, marionberries, and sliced almonds.

Place the scones on a large baking tray and place in a preheated 350-degree oven for 20 minutes. Turn the tray, and then bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.

To create the glaze, slowly mix lemon juice with the powdered sugar until it reaches the desired consistency. Drizzle glaze over cooled scones. Serve.

Tarte au Chocolate
Pat Greig, Vancouver

A few years ago my husband Sandy and I took a cooking class in Paris. The dessert was a family recipe from our host Madame Paulie Caillat of Promenade Gourmandes. This simple and easy dessert is delectable. You'll need an 8-inch fluted tart tin with a removable bottom for this recipe.

Serves 6

Pate Sucre
3 ounces unsalted butter
flour as necessary
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt

Chocolate Filling
7 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate, Scharffen Berger or Valrhona
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk
1 egg, at room temperature
raspberries for garnish

For the crust, preheat oven to 410 degrees. In a heatproof bowl combine water, oil, sugar, salt and butter. Microwave for about 5 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil.

Remove from microwave and while hot, whisk in a few tablespoons of all-purpose flour until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Press by hand into the tart pan until the bottom is covered and press up the sides of the fluted edge. Dough will be quite wet. Put on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Crust should be light brown with cracks. Cool.

For the filling, heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the cream and whole milk together. When hot add broken pieces of chocolate and stir. Add the whole egg and whisk in quickly.

Fill cooled crust with filling and bake for 20 minutes. When cooled, place raspberries individually in a circle covering two-thirds of the top. You may serve with a raspberry coulis of 1 cup of raspberries, 2 tablespoons of icing sugar and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.

Bourbon Pumpkin Pie
Steve Gladish, Seattle

This is my silky creamy bourbon pumpkin pie with a classic crust and whipped topping. One of my favorite pies, my key for this pie is using quality ingredients like good bourbon, organic dairy, muscovado sugar in place of the dark brown, and of course a super flaky crust!

Serves 8 to 12

11/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
3 tablespoons butter-flavored Crisco
ice water

Pumpkin Pie Filling
2 cups steamed, peeled, pureed and strained pie pumpkin (Canned is okay.)
1 cup muscovado sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
11/3 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup good bourbon
4 large organic eggs

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons bourbon

For the crust, mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the shortening using a pastry cutter, a couple pieces at a time, until it is incorporated into the flour mixture. Add in the butter using the pastry cutter until it is fully incorporated and only very small pieces remain. Break up with your hands, working very quickly if necessary. Add the water, a small splash at a time, and work with your hands until the mixture forms a dough. Once the dough comes together, but is not too sticky, wrap with plastic wrap and flatten into the shape of a hockey puck. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the dough from the fridge, and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough and place in an 11-inch pie dish. Flute the edges decoratively to your liking. I recommend placing the uncooked pie shell in the freezer for 15 minutes. This will help with shrinkage once you pre-bake the crust.

Line the uncooked pie crust with parchment paper and fill with ceramic pie weights, beans or pennies. Bake the crust for 15 minutes or so, then carefully remove the parchment paper and the weights. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes or so, until the crust is just beginning to turn to a light golden brown. Do not bake the crust fully to a rich golden brown or it will burn when you return it to the oven with the pumpkin.

For the filling, mix pumpkin, muscovado sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in a standing mixer until combined. Transfer pumpkin mixture to a 3-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan; bring it to a sputtering simmer over medium-high heat. Cook pumpkin, stirring constantly, until thick and shiny, about 5 minutes. As soon as pie shell comes out of oven, whisk half-and-half into pumpkin mixture and bring to a bare simmer. Mix in the bourbon and cook for 1 minute.

Mix the eggs in the standing mixer until whites and yolks are mixed. With the mixer running, slowly pour about half of hot pumpkin mixture into the mixer. Stop the machine and scrape in remaining pumpkin. Mix for about 2 minutes until the ingredients are combined.

Immediately pour the warm filling into hot pie shell. Bake until filling is puffed, dry-looking, and lightly cracked around edges, and center wiggles like gelatin when pie is gently shaken, about 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour.

For the topping, beat the ingredients in a standing mixer on high speed for about 2 minutes, until the cream forms soft peaks. Lay a dollop on your slice just before serving.

Cranberry Pecan Bread Pudding
Toni Morrill, Tacoma

A rich bread pudding with dried cranberries and pecans. Great for Sunday brunch.

Serves about 18

8 eggs
3 cups half-and-half
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
11/2 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 loaf cinnamon bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
21/2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup apple, cored and peeled, diced in small chunks
3/4 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add half-and-half, sugars, whipping cream and vanilla until blended. Stir in cubed cinnamon bread, dried cranberries, apples and pecans. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Pour mixture into a 9 x 13-inch pan and bake for 75 minutes, or two 8-inch square pans for 60 minutes. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or Devonshire cream.

Berry Pie
Baker Suzie Sidhu, The Pie Goddess, Enumclaw

Serves 10

1 Shortbread Cookie Crust, prepared (recipe follows)
Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows; optional)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1-2 ounces raspberry syrup
12 ounces whipped topping, thawed
4 cups raspberries, fresh and dry (This recipe will not work with wet berries.)
additional whipped topping for garnish

Set aside 10 really nice raspberries for garnish.

With a mixer, whip sweetened condensed milk with the lemon juice in a large bowl. Whip in raspberry syrup and whipped topping until fluffy and combined. Gently fold in raspberries. Pour mixture into crust and spread evenly. Decorate each piece with a puff of whipped topping with a raspberry in the center. Let set for 2 to 4 hours before serving. Keep refrigerated.

Shortbread Cookie Crust
3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup finely ground nuts
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons melted butter

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Press into a 9-inch pie pan. Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Chocolate Ganache
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream

If you want to line the crust with chocolate ganache, combine chocolate chips and cream in a glass measuring cup and microwave on medium for 1 minute; stir. Pour mixture into cooled cookie crust, rolling the pan to get the ganache up the sides. Refrigerate while you make the filling.

Peanut Butterfinger Pie
Baker Suzie Sidhu, The Pie Goddess, Enumclaw

I spent about 15 years playing with this recipe before I got it to where it is today, just in time to take it to Florida for the National Pie Championship. When my son called me from Iraq to see how I did at the contest, I was thrilled to tell him that his favorite pie won a blue ribbon.

Today it is one of our most popular pies at The Pie Goddess. The peanut butter filling is also good layered between cakes or spread on top.

Serves 10 to 12

1 Shortbread Cookie Crust, prepared (recipe follows)
1 recipe Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows)

1/2 cup peanut butter
11/4 cups crushed Butterfinger candy bars, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup powdered sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
12 ounces whipped topping, thawed, plus extra for garnish

Combine all filling ingredients in a large mixer bowl until well blended. Pour into chocolate ganache-lined cookie crust. Spread evenly to fill the pan; smooth top and pour remaining ganache on top of pie. Let set for a few minutes. When chocolate begins to set, use a knife to score the chocolate into 10 to 12 sections before it hardens. Use a pastry bag filled with additional whipped topping to decorate the edge of the pie. Sprinkle pie with crushed candy bar. Keep refrigerated for at least 2 hours before serving.

Shortbread Cookie Crust
3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup finely ground nuts
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons melted butter

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Press into a 10-inch pie pan. Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees. If you want to line the crust with chocolate use half of the chocolate ganache recipe below.

Chocolate Ganache
11/2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream

To line the crust with chocolate ganache, combine chocolate chips and cream in a glass measuring cup and microwave on medium for 1 minute; stir. Pour half the chocolate mixture into cooled cookie crust, rolling the pan to get the ganache up the sides. Refrigerate while you make the filling.

Semolina Custard Tart
Mark Nass, Poulsbo

Serves 8

Pine Nut Brittle
1 cup pine nuts
3 tablespoons pine (Greek) honey
coarse salt, to taste

1 cup pine (Greek) honey
1/4 cup water
1 strip lemon peel

3 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
11/4 cups sugar, divided
4 cups whole milk
4 strips lemon peel
2 sticks (1 cup) plus 1 tablespoon butter, divided
3/4 cup semolina flour
15 17 x 12-inch sheets phyllo dough, thawed per package instructions
powdered sugar, for sprinkling

For the Pine Nut Brittle, heat oven to 325 degrees. Place Silpat or parchment paper on baking sheet.

Combine pine nuts and 3 tablespoons pine honey in a small bowl. Spread in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake, stirring every 5 minutes with a wooden spoon, until golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes total.

Remove baking sheet from the oven to a wire rack and sprinkle lightly with salt. Allow to cool completely. Break brittle into 1/4-inch pieces with your fingers and set aside.

For the syrup, bring 1 cup pine honey, water and 1 strip lemon peel to a simmer in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is runny, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand until just warm.

For the tart, increase oven temperature to 350 degrees. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl and set aside. Mix together cinnamon and 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Bring milk, 4 strips lemon peel, 1 cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon butter to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove the lemon peel from the mixture and discard.

Leaving the milk mixture over medium heat, add semolina flour to the saucepan in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Slowly pour one-third of the semolina mixture into the eggs, whisking slowly and constantly. Pour egg mixture back into saucepan with remaining semolina mixture. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Place phyllo sheets on work surface and cover with a damp towel until ready to use. Melt 2 sticks butter in a small saucepan. Using a pastry brush, coat springform pan with some of the melted butter.

Place 1 sheet of phyllo in the pan with 1 corner of the sheet in the center, (leave remaining dough covered with towel). Press sheet gently against the pan, allowing dough to drape over the edge. Repeat with 2 more sheets, overlapping them so the pan is completely covered and the overhang extends from all edges. Brush generously with butter and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon-sugar mixture. Repeat 2 more times, using 6 more sheets, brushing each layer with butter and sprinkling each layer with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Pour cooled custard into phyllo-lined pan. Fold 1 sheet of the dough overhang over the custard, and brush with butter. Repeat with remaining overhangs, working 1 sheet at a time. Sprinkle 11/2 teaspoons cinnamon-sugar mixture over the top.

Pierce the top of the tart all over with a skewer. Brush butter on top of each of the remaining 6 phyllo sheets. Gently crumple each sheet into a loose ball and arrange evenly over the tart to cover. Place on a baking sheet.

Transfer to oven and bake until golden brown, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack for 15 minutes.

Carefully remove sides of the springform pan. Let the tart stand until just warm, about 60 minutes. Remove the tart from the pan bottom and transfer to a cake plate.

Reheat syrup until just warm. Remove lemon peel before using. Slice tart and place on dessert plates. Sprinkle each piece with nut brittle and powdered sugar. Drizzle with syrup.

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies
Sandy Harvey, Tacoma

One cookie is all you need to satisfy your cookie craving. These cookies are loaded with oatmeal, pecans, chocolate chips, toffee and cranberries. Make smaller cookies if you want to enjoy a fantastic ice cream cookie sandwich.

Makes 7 dozen small or 3 dozen large cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
11/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
11/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon allspice
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup vegetable oil
11/2 cups dark brown sugar
11/2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
3 cups quick cooking oatmeal
3 cups total 'chip' mixture of chopped pecans, chocolate chips, toffee bits, shredded coconut
and/or dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream butter, oil, brown sugar, white sugar and vanilla until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Gradually stir in the sifted dry ingredients until well blended. Mix in oats and 'chip' mixture.

Using a golf ball-sized cookie scoop, place cookie dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. You can also use a larger cookie scoop if desired.

Bake for 11 minutes in preheated oven for golf ball-sized scoop (16 to 18 minutes for larger cookie scoop), or until the edges are golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely. Cookies make great ice cream sandwiches!

Sour Cream, Rhubarb & Strawberry Pie
Miriam Borys, West Vancouver

Imagine the combination of strawberries and rhubarb, and then add the decadent sour cream filling; so fresh, so tasty and such a crowd pleaser. My pastry recipe originally came from my mom and I have adapted it. This pie is a 'Canadian Prairie' favorite and is inspired by Helen Patterson who use to bake this for her family.

Serves 8

1 pound vegetable shortening
5 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup cold water

4 cups rhubarb
3 cups diced strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1 egg
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup flour, divided
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

For the pastry, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. Whisk to remove the lumps. Add vinegar and egg to a large glass measuring cup and beat with a fork. Add enough ice cold water to egg/vinegar mixture to make a total of 11/4 cups of liquid for a full recipe.

Place measured dry ingredients in the stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl. Cut up shortening into small cubes (keep cold) and start mixing the flour and shortening together, either with the blade on the mixer or by hand with a pastry cutter, scraping off the blade as needed. Stay at the mixer and pulse the machine on and off until the flour and shortening are slightly mixed but not totally combined. There should still be big quarter-sized chunks of shortening showing and plenty of loose flour. Stop the mixer and add liquid to mixing bowl. Turn blade on and off just until the liquid is incorporated. Do not over-mix at this stage or your pastry will be tough. Wrap in parchment and chill until ready to use.

For the filling, first melt the butter. In a small bowl mix 1/2 cup flour and brown sugar with melted butter, until it reaches a crumble consistency. Set aside for topping.

In another bowl, mix together egg, granulated sugar, 1/3 cup flour, and sour cream. Whisk to remove lumps. Set aside. Wash and dice rhubarb. Line the bottom of pie crust with the fresh rhubarb. Place strawberries on top of rhubarb. Pour sour cream mixture over fruit and top with flour topping. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 60 minutes, or until mixture just starts to bubble out and pastry is golden brown. Serve hot or cold.

Almond Cake with Raspberries and Chocolate Ganache
Chef Leslie Mackie, Macrina Bakery & Cafe, Seattle

Makes 8 jumbo cupcakes

Cake Batter
11/2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup toasted almonds, skin on
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain yogurt, divided
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

Whipped Cream Filling
2 cups raspberries
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Lightly brush the inside of a jumbo muffin pan with canola oil to prevent any sticking and line with jumbo cupcake liners.

To make batter, sift together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Chop toasted almonds in food processor until finely chopped; and add to flour mixture.

In a separate bowl whisk together 2 tablespoons of yogurt, eggs, almond and vanilla extracts.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar, starting on low and increasing to medium for 3 to 5 minutes. The butter will look fluffy in texture and pale in color. Scrape bowl with a rubber spatula to insure all ingredients are incorporated. Add, alternating, the flour mixture and remaining 1/2cup of yogurt. Scrape bowl frequently. Add the egg mixture in 3 additions; scraping the bowl after each addition. Mix on medium speed for 20 seconds to incorporate well.

Scoop batter into paper-lined jumbo muffin pan, two-thirds full. Smooth out top. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and when a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool thoroughly, about 45 minutes. Invert cupcakes and peel off cupcake liner. Using a teaspoon, scoop out a 11/2-inch ball from the center of each cupcake. This is for the filling.

To make the filling, first pick through the raspberries. Reserve 8 beauties for garnish. Whisk the heavy cream and sugar in a small bowl, until they form medium peaks. Fold in the remaining raspberries and scoop into the hole in each cake; fill until level.

To make the ganache, pour the heavy cream into a small saucepan. Bring cream to a boil and turn off heat. Add the chocolate chips and stir with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is completely melted. Let ganache cool for 10 minutes.

Top each cake with 1 tablespoon of ganache; spread it evenly over the level cream-filled top. Leave a little golden cake showing around edges. Garnish with a reserved raspberry and chocolate shavings.

Poached Pears in Moscato with Zabaglione
Marianne Pence, Westport

A wonderful dessert, especially for the holiday season, as the pears can be poached the day before. You can prepare the zabaglione while everyone else is clearing the table and putting any leftovers in the refrigerator, and the dirty dishes in the dishwasher.

serves 4

Poached Pears
4 firm but ripe pears (I like Bosc pears, they are available year-round, and don't fall apart during poaching.)
3 cups Moscato wine or sweet dessert wine (I use Maritime Moscato from Westport Winery.)
1 cup water
1/2 cup honey
1 large strip lemon zest
2 bay leaves

Peel the pears and cut them in half lengthwise. Remove the cores with a melon baller and cut out the stem ends. In a large saucepan, stirring constantly, bring to a boil the wine, water, honey, lemon zest and bay leaves. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the pear halves, cut side down. Poach until tender, or 'al dente,' for 5 to 10 minutes, turning them once. Remove the bay leaves. Cool pears in the poaching liquid, cover and refrigerate.

5 egg yolks
1 whole egg
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup marsala wine
1/2 cup mascarpone
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
fresh mint sprigs (optional)
small lemon zest strips (optional)

For the zabaglione, bring a saucepan half filled with water to a simmer. In a large metal bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, whole egg and the sugar. Place the bowl over the simmering water, making sure that the bowl does not touch the water. (You'll end up with scrambled eggs.) Whisk continuously until pale in color and frothy, about 4 minutes. Gradually pour in the marsala, beating until mixture is just thick enough to hold its shape in a spoon, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Divide the zabaglione among 4 individual dessert plates. With a slotted spoon, transfer 2 pear halves per plate on top of zabaglione, cut side up. Spoon some mascarpone into each cavity and garnish with a few cranberries, some lemon zest and a sprig of mint. Serve at once.

Zabaglione is also great served over cut up strawberries, blueberries, baked figs, grilled peaches, or any other seasonal fruits or berries.

Overnight Chocolate Refrigerator Cake
Cheryl Fitzpatrick, Kenmore

I created this recipe after watching a cooking show chef make her version, which seemed way too sweet for our taste.

12 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup Kahlua or other coffee sprits
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
11/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt
1-11/2 boxes Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers (The only brand to use. They are very dark and semisweet.)

Take a 9 to 10-inch round, 2 to 3-inch deep springform pan and line it with plastic wrap, leaving a generous overhang all around.

In a large mixing bowl beat cheese, cream, Kahlua, cocoa, sugar, vanilla and salt until stiff but still spreadable.

Line the bottom of the pan with wafers, and spread on one-fifth of the cream filling. Repeat layers until pan is full, ending with chocolate wafers.

Wrap pan tightly with plastic wrap and a clean towel and put in the fridge overnight. When ready to serve, place uncovered cake upside down on platter. Slip off the pan and take off the plastic. The first time I tried this, I whipped a cup of heavy cream and 'iced' the cake, then sifted cocoa powder over the top. It looked very nice.

The week after I made up the recipe I tried it out with some friends who invited us to dinner and requested we bring dessert. It was a big hit. Down the road the grandkids gave it high marks as well.

Voluptuous Chocolate Brownies
Zee Straight-Weiss, Bellevue

This is the ultimate in brownie decadence! Made with three kinds of chocolate and flavored with liqueur, then topped with a delicately flavored cream cheese filling, dense and so moist that they virtually melt on your tongue before you have a chance to chew. The secret to the silky texture is beating the eggs and sugar for a full 10 minutes until the sugar is virtually dissolved.

Makes 24 to 72 brownies

11/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup powdered cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
11/2 cups unsalted butter (three 4-ounce sticks)
4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped or 1 cup chocolate chips
3 cups granulated sugar
7 large eggs
1/2 cup orange, almond or coffee liqueur
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange, almond or coffee flavored extract

Cream Cheese Filling
8 ounces regular cream cheese
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1/4 cup liqueur (orange, almond or coffee)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange, almond or coffee flavored extract
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Select pan size and prepare pans as described below. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For brownies, sift dry ingredients together and set aside.

Place butter and chocolates in microwave-safe glass bowl. Microwave for 5 to 7 minutes at 50% power. Remove from microwave and stir together well. If all chocolate has melted, set aside to cool. If some chocolate hasn’t melted, return bowl to microwave at 50% power in 1-minute increments until all ingredients are melted and mixture is smooth.

Place sugar in mixing bowl. At low speed, add eggs one at a time, until thoroughly mixed. Beat mixture for 10 full minutes at high speed, until mixture has increased in volume and lightened in color. At low speed, slowly add liqueur and extracts. Add chocolate and butter mixture. Again at low speed, slowly add dry ingredients until well-mixed and batter is smooth.

For the filling, place all ingredients in bowl and beat with a spoon or spatula until well blended and relatively smooth. Slowly add liqueur, mixing until well-incorporated. Add extracts. Add chocolate chips. Stir to combine. Set aside.

Assemble brownies. For pan brownies, use one 14 x 11-inch lasagna pan or two 7 x 11-inch brownie pans; grease thoroughly and dust with cocoa powder. Split batter evenly between the pans. Spoon the filling over the top of the batter as smoothly as possible. Bake for 37 to 43 minutes.

For 31/2 to 4 dozen individual brownies, use regular muffin tins lined with baking cups. Fill each cup about 3/4 full of batter. Top each cup with about 2 tablespoons filling. Bake for 23 to 29 minutes.

For 6 to 7 dozen bite-size brownies, use mini-muffin tins lined with mini baking cups. Place a heaping tablespoon of batter in each cup. Top each with a heaping teaspoon of filling. Bake for 15 to 19 minutes.

No-Bake Irish Cream Cheesecake Tartlets
Chef Carol Dearth, Sizzleworks Cooking School, Bellevue

Makes 12

12 vanilla wafer cookies
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup Irish Cream liqueur
11/2 cups whipping cream
1 tablespoon Irish whiskey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
dash of salt

Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Press a vanilla wafer into the bottom of each cup. Set aside.

In mixer bowl or food processor, blend cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice until well combined. Add liqueur; mix in well.

Whip 1/2 cup of the whipping cream to soft peaks, and fold into the cream cheese mixture. Using a portion scoop, divide the mixture into the 12 muffin cups. Place in freezer for half hour, then transfer to fridge for at least another half hour, or overnight.

To serve, whip the remaining cup of whipping cream with the Irish whiskey, brown sugar and salt to stiff peaks. Spoon or pipe whipped cream onto the tartlets. Serve immediately.

Chef Carol blogs at