BHG Delish Dish

Stirring Up Ideas In The Kitchen

Thanksgiving Pies & Cakes

When I saw this No-Bake Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake on the BHG website, I thought it looked most delicious. It also had the added bonus of requiring no oven time. Since my friends here at BHG asked that I give the recipes I’m sharing in the month of November a bit of Southern flair, I thought a nice twist would be to change the crust to vanilla wafers crumbs and add a layer of praline pecans.  Pecans are our beloved nut of choice in the South and pralines are immediately identified as a historic Southern confection.  Pralines are candy clusters comprised of buttery caramelized sugar and nuts.  Originating in Louisiana they have a rich history  that dates back to the 1700′s.  Different versions of praline candy have been rotating through Southern kitchens, bakeries and candy stores ever since.



Keeping with the no-bake concept I whipped up the praline pecans in the microwave.  Instead of adding them into the crust, I chose to sprinkle them on top of the crust adding a surprise layer of decadence and crunch. It provides a very tasty twist to a perfect make-ahead Thanksgiving dessert.  I’ll show you  how I did that, then follow the recipe for the cheesecake filling in the original recipe on BHG here.


Ingredients needed for the Vanilla Wafer Crust and Praline Pecans:

For the Praline Pecans:

2 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp heavy cream

3 Tbsp brown sugar

1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/8 tsp salt

2/3 cup pecan pieces

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the crust:

1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

3 Tbsp butter, melted


To make the Praline Pecans:  [Cooking time is based on an 1000 watt microwave]

In a medium size microwave safe bowl, melt together the butter and heavy cream for  35-45 seconds.  Add the brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt.  Stir until dissolved.  Return to the microwave and continue to cook on high for 1 minute.

The mixture will be very hot, remove carefully from the microwave.  Add  the pecan pieces and stir well.  Return to the microwave and cook on high for  1 minute.


Add the vanilla and stir until the pecans are evenly coated.  Spread on wax paper to cool.  When cooled, break apart into pieces.


To make the crust, sift together the vanilla wafer crumbs, pumpkin pie spice and melted butter until fully moistened.   Press into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan and chill.  Sprinkle the praline pecans over the crust then proceed with the filling as directed here using half & half in place of the milk and orange juice needed for the filling.


About Melissa: 

Melissa Sperka is the Publisher, recipe developer and photographer of the blog Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen. Her blog focuses on creating homemade family-style meals, snacks and desserts as well as many classic Southern favorites. Melissa lives in North Carolina and is a busy Mom to 2 boys.  She is passionate about sharing her love of cooking, baking and entertaining. After winning the National Flour Power! contest, she also gained national attention with her blue ribbon “Nested Potato Skins” featured in Southern Living Magazine. You can also find her at as a featured Contributor.


Caramel Desserts













I know caramel and apples usually go together like peanut butter and jelly but I love the decadent twist these Butterscotch Apple Bars provides.

Butterscotch Apple Bars

This Fall has been all about lower maintenance for me.  I have been quite busy, as I am sure you have too, but I still need my sweet fix on a regular basis.  When I first saw the recipe for the Butterscotch-Toffee Bars on, I knew I found my new fix for sure.  These looked chewy, decadent, and full of flavor.  They reminded me of snickerdoodles from the picture.  And the kicker was they were made with cake mix.

Butterscotch Apple Bars

I wanted to give these delicious bars a nice Fall twist.  I made the following adjustments:

  • I halved the recipe since I would be tempted to eat way too many of these with only my husband and I at home.
  • I omitted the nuts (I have an allergy) and toffee pieces and replaced with 1/2 cup of butterscotch chips.  If you make the full batch, make this 1 full cup.
  • I sauteed apple slices (cored and thinly sliced from 1 apple) in 3 tablespoons of butter, a few tablespoons of brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon until they were nice and soft.
  • Lastly, I created a simple butterscotch sauce with 1/2 cup of butterscotch chips and 2 tablespoons of milk.  I microwaved for 45-55 seconds and whisked the mixture together until smooth and pourable.

Butterscotch Apple Bars

I can’t tell you how quickly I had these in the oven baking away.  From mixing the batter to popping them in the oven, I was done with preparation in less than 10 minutes.  While they baked, I sauteed the apples and microwaved the butterscotch sauce.  That is one of the quickest dessert preparations I have encountered in quite some time.  The best part was taking them out of the oven.  I could not resist having one warm and toasty bar.  It was just like I thought: perfectly chewy and delicious.

Butterscotch Apple Bars

Next, I cut the bars and spooned apple slices on each one and drizzled sauce across it.  It was out of this world decadent and delicious.  Perfectly sweet, spiced and incredibly easy.  I think this has become my new favorite Fall dessert.  It is not only dessert perfection as far as taste but about as easy a dessert as it comes.  No one will ever know you didn’t spend all day in the kitchen preparing these.


Sweet and Savory Fall Baking Recipes


I am finally ready to embrace Fall with a fun new pumpkin recipe: Pumpkin S’more Whoopie Pies.  There is no stopping it.  The season is here to stay.

Pumpkin is the quintessential flavor of Fall, and it is rightfully so.  The flavor is universally lauded and perfectly adaptable for anything you can imagine from the savory to the sweet.  It also has this comforting quality that just makes you want to curl up on your couch to watch the leaves turn their vivid colors from your window.

I happen to love pumpkin in my dessert recipes around this time of year.  In fact, I get a bit addicted to its flavor especially when warming spices are added to the mix.  That love is exactly what lead me to the original BHG Pumpkin Spice Whoopies recipe.

I loved the simplicity of the recipe due to the use of cake mix.  These were so easy to make.  I made the cookie as is but made the following changes to the filling:

  • After the cookies were done baking, I flipped half upside down and added chocolate sauce (I microwaved some chocolate chips and heavy cream, stirred until melted to create a ganache) and a large marshmallow.
  • I placed the cookies under my oven’s broiler and waited until the marshmallows were melted and toasted.

  • Lastly I topped each marshmallow topped cookie with another cookie and served nice and warm.

These were seriously so fun to make and would be a hit with the kids.  I can’t imagine a more amusing way to bring in the excitement of fall than these pumpkin whoopie pies with a s’more twist.

I’m back with another pumpkin recipe for all of you! A few weeks ago, I kicked off pumpkin season with my coffee cake. Now I’m returning with this recipe for Double Decker Pumpkin Bread.

BHG has a huge collection of pumpkin recipes on their site. While I want to make all of them, this particular recipe won out this time round. Pumpkin bread with a creamy, cream cheese filling? Yum. Yes!

As the former owner of a B&B, I absolutely love quick breads like this. Not only are they easy to make, but you can serve them anytime of day. They are great for breakfast and with an afternoon cup of coffee. They also make a delicious dessert to top off a meal. Or, if you prefer, they can even help satisfy that late night sweet tooth.

As I’ve explained here before, one of the things I love about pumpkin sweets is the spices. Because of this, I decided to add a little extra spice to this bread. I followed the recipe exactly, but once my batter was mixed and ready for the pan, I added 1 1/2 cups of cinnamon chips to the batter.

Cinnamon chips are basically just liked chocolate chips, but cinnamon flavored.

They complement this recipe beautifully and add a special touch to the finished bread. Simply delicious!

If you’re looking for something full of fall pumpkin-y flavor be sure to give this recipe a try! You can find the original recipe here, and don’t forget the cinnamon chips.

Happy Baking!
Michael Wurm, Jr – Inspired by Charm

Today is an exciting day. BHG is about to launch The Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, 16th Edition. Being a blogger here on Delish Dish, I got a sneak peak at its pages. After looking through it (Almost all of the 1,200 recipes have pictures.) and bookmarking countless recipes, it has quickly become one of my favorite recipe collections. One thing I really love about this new cook book, is that it gives you a basic recipe such as cinnamon rolls, and then it provides options and ideas to make the recipe your own. Basically, it’s like recipes built into recipes. Endless inspiration.

BHG is giving away five copies of this wonderful new cook book. I will explain the details of the giveaway, but first I want to share a recipe with you.

Today, I’m showing you how to make this Hot Cocoa Brownie Cake with Marshmallow Frosting. However, I’m giving it a fall twist by adding a bit of pumpkin flavor to the frosting. Yum! I love chocolate and pumpkin together, and this cake combines the flavors beautifully.

The basis of the cake is a box of your favorite brownie mix. You can use a regular cake pan, although I’m using this tart pan because of the built-in groove at the top. You’ll see why this is important below.

Once the brownie cake is baked, chocolate ganache is spread on top. You really can’t have enough chocolate, right? The ganache adds a creamy layer of decadence.

The cake is finished off with marshmallow frosting. To give mine a seasonal touch, I decided to add some pumpkin flavor. I started with the original recipe for the frosting, and after it had formed stiff peaks, I added the following along with the vanilla:

4 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

These additions will make your marshmallow frosting perfectly pumpkiny!

And that’s it. Continue following the original recipe until your cake is complete.

As the days get shorter and the nights get cooler, this is a delicious after-dinner treat to snuggle up with on the couch. Enjoy!

Now, as I mentioned above, BHG and I are giving away five copies of The Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book! To enter to win one of the five copies, tell us below: “What is your favorite thing to cook?” The winners will be randomly selected from the entries received. You can see the official contest rules here.

Good luck and happy cooking!

Note: This contest has ended.

Lindsey Johnson writes the food blog, Cafe Johnsonia, where she shares seasonal, (mostly) healthy recipes. She works as a freelance writer, recipe developer, food stylist and photographer. She also contributes to several blogs including Design Mom. Her other loves are traveling, gardening, and participating in the local food scene where she lives in Utah. Lindsey and her husband are the parents of three budding foodies. Follow Lindsey on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Years ago when I bought my first tart pan (of many), I had no idea how much I would end up loving tarts. I love looking at them. I love eating them. I love making them. For me pie is sort of a once or twice a year kind of thing. But tarts? They’re perfect on a weekly basis. And even though I never thought it was possible, they’ve just edged out ice cream as my favorite sweet treat to make, especially when the holidays roll around.

Sometimes I think it’s because I love tart crust so much. It’s more crispy and buttery like a cookie. Other times I think it’s because the filling to crust ratio is more to my liking. And then there are the endless filling options. When I saw the recipe for Cranberry Tarts on, I was instantly smitten. Another great love of mine is cranberries. Oh how I live for cranberry season! I’m the crazy lady buying two or three bags every time I grocery stop so I can fill up my freezer. And while I’m at it, let me just say that I’m glad to see cranberries getting some of the spotlight. They were always destined for better things than canned jellies and sauces, though they have their place too, I suppose.

This recipe called to me! I put my own little twist on it, like I love to do. They weren’t big changes, but simple ones that made it my own. Instead of smaller tarts, I made one large tart. I love nut crusts, so I added some ground pecans. I also used all butter. I used gluten-free flour in place of wheat flour.

The filling itself turns out almost jam-like. It’s sweet and tangy, and perfect on its own, but I wondered how a pinch of pumpkin pie spice and a dash of vanilla extract would taste. It just pushed in a slightly different direction that I really loved. Not so much you would say, “Oh, it’s spiced!” But enough for you to wonder what that extra special something was. I just love chocolate and cranberry together – the tartness of the cranberries and the bitterness from the chocolate are magical. I decided to drizzle the cooled tart with both white and add dark chocolate shavings. By the end, I had one fantastic, festive tart on my hands!

Let me show you how easy it is to make this gorgeous, holiday cranberry tart.


Mix the dry ingredients for the crust together.

Cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter. You can also use two butter knives, or your hands. The goal is to work quickly so everything stays cold.

Then add ice cold water – not too much at once. And only enough for it to hold together. The dough will come together into a ball.

Then quickly press it into the tart pan and let it chill while the filling is prepared. (The original recipe directs to roll the dough, but I find that to be a little challenging with the crust is gluten-free. Pressing it works just fine here.)

To make this tart 100% gluten-free, I used gluten-free all-purpose flour in the crust and I substituted cornstarch for the flour in the filling.

The warm filling is poured into the tart shell and baked. The smell as it’s baking is absolutely divine!

Let it cool and drizzle with melted white chocolate and dark chocolate shavings. I used about 2 ounces of white chocolate melted with 1 teaspoon of butter. I couldn’t wait to share this with my family! We all agreed it was a fine tart and would be added to our list of holiday recipes.

Get the Cranberry Tarts recipe here.

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