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Potluck dessert recipes for sharing

Selena N.B.H./Wikimedia Commons.

Cook the sugar cookies in plain rounds, or use decorative cutters, icing and colored sugar.


Ever since I can remember, I have always loved attending potluck meals, no matter if they were put on by church groups, clubs or schools. If those groups happened to put together a fundraising cookbook, all the better. Some of my very favorite recipes came from those books. I am betting that many (most?) of you feel the same way.

Here are some recipes you may want to consider for the next time you are invited to a potluck meal.

I hope you are enjoying summer as it continues to wind down.

Cherry-berry cake

1 box white cake mix

1 1/2 cups boiling water

1 package (3-oz.) cherry gelatin

1 package (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened

2 cups whipped topping

4 cups fresh strawberries, coarsely chopped

1. Prepare and bake cake, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a wooden skewer, pierce holes in top of cake to within 1 inch of edge, twisting skewer gently to make slightly larger holes.

2. Gradually pour gelatin over cake, being careful to fill each hole. Cool 15 minutes. Refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Fold in whipped topping. Carefully spread over cake. Top with strawberries. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Coconut key lime thumbprints


2 tablespoons cornstarch

2/3 cup key lime juice

3/4 cup sugar

2 large egg yolks


1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

2 cups flour

2 large egg whites

2 teaspoons water

2 1/2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut


4 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon shortening

1. For lime curd filling: in a small saucepan, whisk cornstarch and lime juice until smooth. Whisk in sugar and egg yolks; cook and stir over medium heat until boiling. Transfer to a bowl; cool slightly. Press plastic wrap onto surface of curd; refrigerate until cold.

2. For cookies: Preheat oven to 400. Cream butter, confectioners’ sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Beat in extracts. Gradually beat in flour.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together egg whites and water. Place coconut in a separate bowl. Shape dough into 1-1/4-inch balls. Dip in egg whites, then roll in coconut, coating well. Place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Press a deep indentation in center of each with the handle of a wooden spoon.

4. Bake until edges are golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Reshape indentations as needed. Cool on pans 5 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

5. To serve, fill each cookie with about 1 1/2 teaspoons curd. For drizzle: In a microwave, melt white chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth. Drizzle over cookies. Refrigerate leftover filled cookies.

Amish sugar cookies

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup sugar

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl, beat butter, oil and sugars. Beat in eggs until well blended. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and cream of tartar; gradually add to creamed mixture.

2. Drop by small teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Frosted banana bars

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

Dash salt


1 package (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, bananas and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; stir into creamed mixture just until blended.

2. Transfer to a greased 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

3. For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Frost bars.

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