Janet's Notebook
Impressive Desserts Make For Picture Perfect Holidays

Domestic Goddess Cake

The main course may make a meal, but let's be honest... isn't it the dessert that you're really waiting for? Well, you're not alone. Sweet tooths of the world unite, and enjoy this sweetest of all seasons. And while you're at it, why not make a celebratory splash of your own by serving up holiday sweets as pretty as they are delicious?!

Adding a unique spin to traditional holiday pie is Florida's own sweetie Marcia Paholski. This resident of The Villages has turned an intimidating French pastry into a home cook's dream with her Peach and Almond Galette. Resembling a free-form pie, a galette is simply a large, filled pastry.

Inspired by a newspaper article, Marcia gathered together a collection of simple ingredients - sugar, flour, butter, eggs and almonds - combined them with her favorite fruit, then wrapped it all in an embrace of prepared pie crust from the refrigerator case. The result is part pie, part cobbler and entirely beautiful! I've enjoyed making Marcia's recipe on several occasions and each time the finished product reminds me of a flower blossom, the bright fruit shining from within the flower's center. This is a terrific recipe to serve year-round, but I'm especially looking forward to including it on my holiday dessert table this year for a delightful splash of color.

Never failing to make a splash in her own right is home cook and food blogger Melissa Sperka. Lately I have found myself daydreaming about her super pretty White Choco-Cheesecake Triple Berry Pudding Cups. These individual servings of creamy comfort are so impressive to look at that you'd never guess how easy they are to make.

"This dessert is a real conversation starter," smiles Melissa. "People are always amazed that egg roll wrappers can be used for anything other than...well...egg rolls."

That's right, egg roll wrappers! Melissa forms the "cup" part of her dessert by molding simple egg roll wrappers into muffin tins and baking until crisp. The result is a perfectly golden, edible bowl. (Want to make them bite-size? Melissa suggests using wonton wrappers instead!)

Once cooled, paint the inside of your homemade cups with melted white chocolate and fill with Melissa's decadent cheesecake & berry pudding! As with any great foundation recipe, this is a fun one to really get creative with! Combine your favorite flavors to make your own, unique fillings. Orange and chocolate? Apple pie filling? Try it and let us know what you think!

"I just love any dish that allows you and your guests to eat the bowl!" laughs Melissa

Indulgence is also at the core of Teresa Jacobson's beautiful Domestic Goddess Cake. I just can't think of this cake without smiling. It has got to be one of the prettiest cakes we have ever come across... and the flavors are out of this world.

"This lovely dessert combines two of my favorite flavors - butter pecan and bananas Foster," explains Teresa. "If you are a Domestic Goddess (like me,) then you are a little bit 'bananas' and your family is a little bit 'nuts,' so it never hurts to 'butter' up the Goddess!'"

Now that's my kind of cook! And this is my kind of dessert, too. The cake begins with a simple store-bought cake mix, but then begins a mighty transformation. The cake itself is flavored with melted butter pecan ice cream. It is then layered with both cream cheese and bananas Foster fillings, and topped off with homemade caramel icing!

"This is best served immediately, and should be refrigerated if not eaten right away -- but I don't think that will be a problem!" says Teresa of her decadent confection. "So prop your fuzzy slippered Goddess feet up and enjoy with a cup of coffee or a big glass of milk!"

Happy baking to all... and to all a sweet bite!

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Kathleen Hall - Dec 9, 2012
Hi! I just wanted to leave a tip here for bakers of Bread. I have been baking bread since I was 15 years old, and, at a judging workshop then, even was told that my bread was state fair quality. I am now 60 years young.Lately I have not been to pleased with the texture/quality of my bread. Perhaps, others as well have noticed this too. So, I switched flour, and bought the type that says it's for bread. What I found was the bread I used to make 20 years ago. Before, my bread was crumbly, and you couldn't spread,or attempt to spread hard butter on it.Now, my bread is soft-chewy,and crusty-depending on the recipe,and has the quality that we all love. So make sure the flour label reads good for making bread to get the prize results you want, and all that wonderful praise. You can use this 'bread flour' for all your baking, I believe, it has a higher protein content,so I'm not going to buy my old brand any longer, and stick with my 'bread flour'.I am very pleased!
Colleen Sowa - Dec 8, 2012
Congratulations! Great article! xo
Melissa Sperka - Dec 8, 2012
Thank you Jamie :)
jamie Beecham - Dec 8, 2012
Congrats to all you ladies that made the cut for Janet's note book. These are such wonderful desserts and will be a hit on anyones tables.
Natalie Westlake-Di Sensi - Dec 5, 2012
As you know Christmas is just around the corner and I have baking request from friends and family., This year I would love to make a fruit cake
Colleen Sowa - Dec 4, 2012
Congratulations!!! xo
Pat Duran - Dec 4, 2012
You all deserve blue ribbons! This is my favorite Christmas Pie.
White Christmas Pie
Melissa Sperka - Dec 4, 2012
Thanks Dee Dee, and congrats to Teresa and Marcia for making Janet's famous notebook! :)
Melissa Sperka - Dec 4, 2012
Janet, thank you so much for your comments! It was this time last year, that I received the news of my Flour Power win, and shortly after got to meet you face to face. What a wonderful experience! Sending love and Christmas wishes to you and the entire Kitchen Crew! Melissa
Diane Atherton - Dec 4, 2012
Rosarie, the links to the recipes are in Janet's note up above this thread of comments. Just click on the blue link of the recipe you want to go to. Hope that helps.
Teresa Jacobson - Dec 4, 2012
There are links in the article Rosarie.
Rosarie Martinis - Dec 4, 2012
So where's the recipe?
Diane Atherton - Dec 4, 2012
AND, Congrats to Melissa Sperka too!!! WTG girls!!!
Teresa Jacobson - Dec 4, 2012
Wow! This was a wonderful surprise! Thank you Janet and Crew for the enormous compliment! I'm so flattered! And thank you Daniela and DeeDee!!
Diane Atherton - Dec 4, 2012
Congrats Teresa on making Janet's Notebook on your Domestic Goddess Cake!