Bless Your Spoon: Desserts — the ending is the sweetest

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 16, 2023

By Stephanie Williams Dean

Who doesn’t love a tasty morsel of something rich and decadent at the end of their meal, even if it’s just a bite? Dessert, the final course, is a favorite part of mealtime, a sentiment shared by many. Today’s recipes include sweet endings from the cookbook, “The Art of Cooking,” by the Davie County Arts Council. Selections include my favorite flavors — those deeply sinful with brown sugar, caramel or chocolate — and sometimes a combo of all three.

I’m dedicating today’s dessert recipes in honor of all those folks who support the arts in our communities and one friend in particular, Shari Keller. Recently, she lost a battle but found victory in a sweet ending.

Proprietors of the Artist Market on Main in downtown Mocksville, Shari and her husband Rex represented the handiwork of many artists. Our town was infused with hefty doses of both handmade and homemade. A creative artist herself, Shari understood that art is an essential ingredient of society. Art stimulates the brain and has healing benefits. For children, art activities increase sensory development and self-esteem. How many children learn by doing at the elbows of another? In culinary arts, how many great cooks learned from helping their mammas put dinner on the table? We can’t underestimate the role that art plays in our everyday lives.

While the final course of a meal is sweet, the ending to a well-lived Christian life is even sweeter. Billy Graham’s book, “Angels,” assures us that when our time comes, we are not alone. Graham tells us that hundreds of records give accounts of the heavenly escorts of angels at death. In the end, imagine the faithful being ushered by angels into the presence of God. Imagine for a moment being surrounded by these heavenly messengers sent by God to take you home, and in the next moment finding yourself in the splendor of heaven. The Bible informs us of these ministering spirits through a parable found in Luke 16: 19-31. The lyrics of a popular song recorded by Christian band Mercy Me reflect on such a glorious moment:

“I can only imagine

 What my eyes would see

 When Your face is before me

Surrounded by Your glory

 What will my heart feel?

 Will I dance for you, Jesus

 Or in awe of You be still?

 Will I stand in Your presence

 Or to my knees will I fall?

 Will I sing hallelujah?

 Will I be able to speak at all?”

We can all take comfort in knowing that when the end comes, the moment will be the sweetest we’ve ever tasted. There’s no sweeter victory than to be surrounded by angels who will deliver us into the presence of our Savior and then our hope and faith to be realized in Christ.

I can only imagine.

Brown Sugar Caramel Pound Cake

• 3 sticks softened, salted butter

• 2 cups packed light brown sugar

• 1 cup sugar

• 5 large eggs

• 3 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 tsp. baking powder

• ½ tsp. salt

• 1 cup whole milk

• 8 ounces toffee chips

• 1 cup chopped pecans

• Caramel Drizzle

• 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk

• 1 cup light brown sugar

• 2 Tbsp. softened salted butter

• ½ tsp. vanilla flavoring

In a mixer bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add sugars and beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, thoroughly beating between each addition. Add flour, baking powder and salt while alternating with milk until combined. Stir in toffee bits and chopped pecans. Spoon batter into a well-greased and floured tube pan. Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for 1 hour and 25 minutes or until cake tests are done. Cover with foil to prevent excess browning. Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes. Spoon caramel drizzle over cooled cake. For the drizzle, in a saucepan, combine condensed milk and brown sugar. Bring to a boil while whisking. Reduce heat and simmer 8 minutes while whisking. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla. Allow to cool 5 minutes. Drizzle caramel while hot or it will harden. (Amy McCrae)

Seven Layer Bars

• ½ stick melted, salted butter

• 1 cup graham cracker crumbs

• 1 cup flaked coconut

• 6 ounces semisweet chocolate morsels

• 6 ounces butterscotch morsels

• 15 ounces sweetened condensed milk

• 1 cup chopped nuts

Pour melted butter in bottom of a 9 x 13 baking pan. Evenly sprinkle graham crumbs over melted butter. Tap pan to distribute crumbs. Sprinkle coconut over crumbs. Next, evenly sprinkle chocolate morsels followed by butterscotch morsels. Evenly pour sweetened condensed milk over top of morsels. Sprinkle nuts evenly over top and press lightly into pan. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Cool in pan and cut into squares. (Will Suggs)

Hot Fudge Cake

• 1 cup sugar

• 1 stick softened salted butter

• 4 large eggs

• 1 cup all-purpose flour

• 1 tsp. baking powder

• Pinch of salt

• 2 cups Hershey’s syrup

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract


• 1 stick softened salted butter

• 1 cup sugar

• 1/3 evaporated milk

• ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels

In a mixer bowl, cream together sugar and softened butter until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix well. Add chocolate syrup and vanilla. Bake in a greased and floured 9 x 13 baking pan in a preheated 350-degree oven for 30 minutes or until cake tests done. While cake is still hot, spread icing over top of cake while still in the baking pan. For the icing, in a saucepan, combine butter with sugar and milk. Bring to a boil for 1 minute while stirring. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate morsels until melted. Pour over hot cake. (Pauline Bostian)

Brown Sugar Chess Pie

• ¼ cup packed light brown sugar

• ¼ cup sugar

• 2 Tbsp. melted salted butter

• 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

• 1 Tbsp. whole milk

• 2 beaten eggs

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

• 1 9-inch unbaked pie crust

In a mixer bowl, combine, sugars melted butter, flour, milk, beaten eggs and vanilla until well blended. Pour mixture into unbaked pie crust. Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for 30-35 minutes or set and browned. (Lib Hinkle)

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

• ½ cup vegetable oil

• 2 cups sugar

• 2 large eggs

• 2 cups all-purpose flour

• 2 tsp. baking soda

• 1 tsp. baking powder

• ¾ cup Hershey’s cocoa

• 1 cup whole milk

• 1 cup strong coffee


• 4 ounces softened cream cheese

• ¼ cup softened, salted butter

• 2-3 Tbsp. whole milk

• 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

• 1 box powdered sugar

• 1 cup creamy peanut butter

In a mixer bowl, combine oil and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and cocoa while alternating with milk and strong coffee. Bake in 2 greased and floured cake pans in a preheated 350-degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until cake tests done. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out. Completely cool before frosting. For the frosting, in a mixer bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and milk until smooth. Add vanilla. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Remove from mixer and fold in peanut butter. Frost cooled cake. (Pam Bostian)

Derby Chocolate Nut Pie

• ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

• 1 9-inch unbaked pie crust

• ½ cup all-purpose flour

• 1 cup sugar

• 1 stick melted butter

• 2 beaten eggs

• ½ tsp. vanilla extract

• 1 cup chopped nuts

Sprinkle chocolate chips in bottom of an unbaked pie crust. Set aside. In a mixer bowl, combine flour, sugar, melted butter, beaten eggs and vanilla. Mix until well blended. Stir in chopped nuts. Mix well. Evenly pour mixture over top of chocolate chips. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 30 minutes or until pie is set in the center. (Lib Hinkle)

Mom’s Chocolate Pie

• 3 egg yolks

• 1 cup sugar

• 3 Tbsp. Hershey’s cocoa

• 3 Tbsp. cornstarch

• 12 ounces evaporated milk

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

• 1 Prepared pie crust

• 3 egg whites

• Sugar and vanilla

In a mixer bowl, beat egg yolks. Add sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, milk and vanilla. Mix well. Pour into a prebaked pie crust. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes or until center is set. For the meringue, in a mixer bowl, beat egg whites, adding a little sugar and vanilla, until peaks form. When pie has completely cooled, evenly spread meringue over the top. Return to oven and bake for 8 minutes or until meringue is a light, golden brown. (Jean Saunders)

Milky Way Poked Cake

• 1 box chocolate cake mix

• Ingredients listed on cake mix box

• Nougat Filling

• ¼ cup melted butter

• 1 cup sugar

• ¼ cup evaporated milk

• 1½ cups marshmallow cream/fluffy

• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 12 ounces jar caramel topping

• 8 ounces thawed Cool Whip

In a mixer bowl, bake cake in a greased and floured 9 x 13 baking pan per cake directions. For the nougat, in a saucepan, melt butter. Add sugar and evaporated milk and constantly stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil for 4 minutes while stirring. Remove from heat and stir in marshmallow cream and vanilla. Stir until mixture is smooth. Poke 10-15 holes in the cooled cake with handle of wooden spoon. Evenly pour and distribute nougat into the holes. Then evenly pour and distribute the caramel topping into the holes. When all is completely cooled, spread thawed Cool Whip evenly over the top of cake. Sprinkle chopped Milky Way bars over top of Cool Whip. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. (Frankie Wooten)

German Chocolate Cookies

• 2 large eggs

• 1 German Chocolate Cake mix

• ½ cup melted, salted butter

• ½ cup quick-cooking oats

• 6 ounces chocolate chips

• ½ cup chopped nuts

In a mixer bowl, beat eggs. Add cake mix, melted butter and oats. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and chopped nuts and mix well. Drop by spoonfuls 2 inches apart on a parchment paper-lined cookie baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 9-11 minutes. Allow to cool on wire rack. (Carole Gately)

White Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding

• 3 large eggs

• 1¾ cups plus 2 Tbsp. sugar

• 1 Tbsp. plus 1/3 tsp. vanilla extract

• 1 quart heavy cream

• 8 ounces melted white or dark chocolate

• 12-13 cubed large croissants

• Powdered sugar for dusting

• Whipped cream

In a mixer bowl with whisk attachment, whisk eggs with sugar. Add vanilla. Continue to whisk until thick and pale. In a saucepan, heat heavy cream and chocolate while stirring to combine and melted. Do not let boil. Slowly add chocolate cream to egg mixture. Beat only long enough to combine. By hand, fold in bread cubes and allow to rest for 20 minutes stirring occasionally so bread is evenly coated. Pour bread pudding into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish, and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 25-35 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar. Cool for 20 minutes before serving. Serve with dollop of whipped topping. (Cookbook Committee)

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