Food & Drink

It’s National Dessert Day, so here’s some free food and recipes

Better Than Sex Cookie Pie
Better Than Sex Cookie Pie

No need for excuses. Slide that piece of pie onto your plate. Take a bite of that brownie. It’s National Dessert Day.

The origins of Dessert Day are unclear, so I imagine that the people who make cake mix, powdered sugar and chocolate chips formed a think tank and said, “Why not make a day to indulge?”

So, use this as an excuse to have dessert all day. And, if you want a (sort of) free dessert, consider these offers:

Krispy Kreme: Download the Krispy Kreme app and get a free doughnut when you sign up for Krispy Kreme Rewards.

Olive Garden: Join the Olive Garden email club and get a coupon for a free appetizer or dessert with the purchase of two adult dinner entrées.

Red Lobster: Sign up for the Fresh Catch Club and receive a free appetizer or dessert.

Steak ‘N Shake: Buy one regular-sized milkshake, get the second free at participating locations until Nov. 20 with this printable coupon.

Bob Evans: Buy one dessert, get one free — dine-in or carryout — until Oct. 30 with this coupon.

And, in case you’re not lazy or inept in the kitchen and want a homemade treat you can eat standing at the kitchen counter with a spoon or fork and napkin in your hand, here are three recipes that will send you into sugar overload.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Thumbprint Cookies


2 sticks butter, room temperature

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup of brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup canned pumpkin purée

3 3/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, plus more for decorating

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger


4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

2 ounces white chocolate, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

To prepare the cookie dough, use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream together the butter, sugar and brown sugar. Mix in the eggs, vanilla and pumpkin until combined.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and ginger. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until the dough comes together.

Take a heaping tablespoon of dough, roll it into a small ball, and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, keeping them about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.

Put the baking sheets into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and while still warm and using the back of a teaspoon or small melon baller, create a round indentation in the middle of the cookie to hold the filling. Let the cookies cool.

To prepare the filling, use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. While the stand mixer is on low, add the white chocolate, followed by the vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix until smooth.

Fill the middle of the cookies with about a 1/2 to 1 teaspoons of the prepared filling. Sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of cinnamon and serve. Makes 40–42 cookies.

David Venable, cookbook author and QVC’s “Resident Foodie”

Better Than Sex Cookie Pie

What happens when you put cookie and luscious together? This pie, that’s what! Make this insanely easy, super gooey, hot and delish dessert anytime you want some serious decadence.

1 refrigerated pie crust

1 packet chocolate chip cookie mix

1 stick butter, melted

2 eggs

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

8 scoops vanilla ice cream

1/2 cup caramel sauce

1/2 cup chocolate sauce

1/2 cup crushed toffee candy bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line an 8-inch pie dish with pie crust. In a large bowl, stir together chocolate chip cookie mix, melted butter, eggs and chocolate chips. Pour batter into pie dish, spreading evenly to edges.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the edges of the pie turn dark golden brown. Remove and cool for 30 minutes.

Serve slices topped with a scoop of ice cream, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce and a hefty sprinkling of toffee.

Aunt Lou’s Fresh Apple Cake

2 cups sugar

1 cup canola oil

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 cups chopped peeled apples (about 3 medium)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan.

In a large bowl, beat sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until well blended. In another bowl, whisk flour, salt and baking powder; gradually beat into oil mixture. Stir in apples. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Run a knife around sides and center tube of pan. Remove cake to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 12 servings.

Editor’s note: To remove cakes easily, use solid shortening to grease plain and fluted tube pans.

Taste of Home September/October 2015