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story.lead_photo.caption Cream Cheese Pound Cake - Photo by Staton Breidenthal

As we wrote last week, compiling our list of our favorite recipes of the year is never an easy task. Among the recipes shared by readers, the ones developed in our test kitchen and those gathered from various other sources, there are always more favorites than we have space to print.

This year was no different. After making our list and cutting it twice we narrowed it down to 12 -- making up roughly twice the length we have space to print here.

So as we've done in years past, we split the list over the course of two weeks.

Last week we printed the savory recipes. This week we share the desserts.

Our favorite sweet recipes of 2017 in chronological order:

This recipe for orange rolls from The Crumpet Tea Room published in Idea Alley on March 8 is an Alley Kat favorite.

It was shared by Ann Applegate and Kim Daniels in response to Erin Valentine's request.

The recipe is from Crumpet Tea Room Cookbook: A Unique Collection of Mealtime Treasures.

Orange Rolls

2 1/2 cups hot tap water

1/2 cup melted shortening

8 cups flour, divided use

2 teaspoons salt

1/3 cup powdered milk

1/2 cup sugar

3 heaping tablespoons fast active dry yeast

In large mixing bowl, combine the water, shortening and 2 cups of the flour. Mix for 2 minutes with dough-head beater. Add the salt, powdered milk, sugar and yeast and continue to blend. Slowly add remaining flour until mixture is blended well and not sticky to the touch. Cover and let double in size. Punch down and roll dough out long and narrow to ¼ inch in thickness. Spread thin layer of orange frosting (recipe below) over dough. Roll up and cut in 1 ½ inch rolls. Place in greased pan. Let rise to top of pans and bake at 375 degrees for 18 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 20 rolls.

Orange Frosting

1 cup soft margarine

2 cups sugar

Zest and juice of 1 orange

Cream margarine in mixing bowl until soft and smooth. Add sugar, orange juice and zest. Blend well.

Tomato juice is the not-so-secret ingredient in this delicious chocolate cake from Kelly Brant's Front Burner column: "Ode to a tomato: Blessed be the fruit in season," published May 31.

Heavenly Tomato Cake


1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup vegetable oil or shortening

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup hot water

1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

1/2 cup tomato juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup tomato juice

2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped toasted pecans

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, oil or shortening and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, stir together the cocoa, baking soda and flour. Add to creamed mixture, mixing thoroughly.

In third bowl, combine the hot water, marshmallows and tomato juice. Add to batter and beat until smooth. Mix in vanilla. Batter will be thin. Marshmallows will rise. Transfer batter to a greased 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-by-1-inch pan. Bake 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Meanwhile, make the icing.

Place confectioners' sugar in a large bowl; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, juice, water, cocoa and salt. Heat to boiling. Pour over sugar in bowl and beat well. Add nuts and spread on hot cake.

Recipe adapted from Sharon Rice and Mary Ann Clanton in 50th Anniversary Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival Cookbook 1956-2006

No matter what you call it, this dessert from the July 19 Front Burner, "Call it cobbler or cake, but it's just peachy" is simply delicious.

Peach Cobbler Cake

3 tablespoons butter, divided use

4 average size peaches, about 1 1/4 pounds, pitted and sliced (no need to peel)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder OR 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)

1 1/2 cups Bisquick or other baking mix

1 cup milk (I used 2 percent)

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in an oven-safe skillet (I used an 8-inch cast-iron skillet).

Meanwhile, toss the peaches with the cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar.

In a small bowl, stir together the baking mix, milk and sugar.

Swirl the melted butter to coat skillet. Add peach mixture. Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into cubes. Dot peach mixture with cubed butter. Pour batter over peaches. Place skillet on a baking sheet (to catch drips) and bake about 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes about 6 servings.

Joe Riddle's story "Cream cheese, please" published Aug. 16, was full of tasty recipes, but this pound cake was by far our favorite.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

1 1/2 cups butter, softened

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

3 cups granulated sugar

6 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

Confectioners' sugar, whipped cream and/or fresh berries for garnish, optional

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube or Bundt pan.

In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy.

Add eggs two at a time, beating well with each addition. Add vanilla and almond extracts. Add the flour all at once and mix in.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes, checking for doneness after 1 hour. A wooden pick inserted near the center should come out clean when done. Let cake cool in pan 5 minutes, then invert onto a rack to cool 5 minutes more before removing pan. Cool completely. Serve topped with confectioners' sugar, whipped cream and/or berries, if desired.

Makes 14 servings.

Recipe adapted from

The combination of oats, almonds, cranberries and white chocolate with just a hint of orange earned these cookies compliment after compliment.

The recipe is from "Sweet treats," by Brant, published Dec. 6.

Cranberry-Almond Oatmeal Cookies With White Chocolate

1 cup whole almonds, skin on

1 small orange

1 cup dried cranberries

½ cup butter, softened

6 tablespoons shortening

¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch salt

3 cups old fashioned oats, uncooked

1 pound white chocolate, chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Arrange almonds on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Meanwhile, zest and juice orange to yield 1 tablespoon finely grated zest (we used a Microplane brand zester) and 2 tablespoons juice. Set zest aside.

In a small bowl, combine cranberries and the 2 tablespoons juice; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, shortening and sugars on medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the orange zest, eggs and vanilla; beat well.

In a food processor, pulse the almonds until finely chopped with a few larger pieces remaining.

In a medium bowl, combine the almonds, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the flour-nut mixture to the creamed butter mixture and mix well. On low speed, stir in oats and cranberries; mix well.

Line several baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.

Drop dough by rounded 2 tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. (Reserve parchment-lined pans.)

In a double boiler, melt white chocolate. Spread white chocolate on the bottom of each cooled cookie and return to parchment-lined pans. Refrigerate until chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Photo by Kelly Brant
Peach Cobbler Cake
Photo by Staton Breidenthal
Cranberry-Almond Oatmeal Cookies With White Chocolate
Photo by Kelly Brant
Heavenly Tomato Cake

Food on 01/10/2018

Print Headline: Sweet second helpings: Favorite dessert recipes of 2017

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