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Mom’s Rum Balls

When I was little, I remember mom making these rum balls for holiday parties. Made from crushed Nilla wafers, chopped nuts, cocoa, and light rum, they’re not for kids (but that didn’t stop us from sneaking one when the adults weren’t looking).


Thick, Chewy Granola Bars

I made these granola bars a lot when I was home on maternity leave. It could be hard on those long, sleepless days to get a meal in, but these were easy to grab and eat with one hand while holding a dozing baby in the other.

Chose whatever fruits and nuts you like best, and these will quickly become a favorite snack.

Yield: 16 squares Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Raspberry Coffee Cake

This easy, basic coffee cake recipe has raspberries and chopped nuts.

Yield: 6 servings Total time: 45 minutes

Tim’s Banana-Nut-Chocolate Muffins

I’m not a huge fan of muffins, but I love these. Be sure to include the chocolate chips — they add the right amount of sweetness.

Yield: 12 muffins Total time: 30 minutes

Mom’s Italian Cream Cake

Italian Cream Cake is a Southern favorite. Coconut and chopped nuts are baked into the cake, which is frosted with cream cheese icing.

Yield: 12 servings Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Carole’s Heath Bar Crunch

Carole brought a pan of this toffee to work one day. After we all spent some time huddled around it in the coffee area nibbling away, she told me that it was made with saltine crackers. I never would have guessed! It was really wonderful.

Yield: 16 servings Total time: 30 minutes

Chewy Choc-Oat-Chip Cookies

Oatmeal cookies are much better with chocolate chips than raisins, in my opinion.

Yield: 4 dozen Total time: 2 hours

Urban Legend Cookies

This famous Neiman-Marcus cookie recipe has ground oats, shaved chocolate, and nuts, and shares a similar urban legend origin story to the recipes for waldorf salad and red velvet cake.

Yield: 100 cookies Total time: 2 hours

Ultimate Apple Pie

This apple pie is really special. Combine sliced apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, and spices and spoon into a graham cracker macadamia nut crust. Top with a streusel crumble and serve with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

Yield: 8 servings Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Dried Cranberry Coffee Cake

I’m not a fan of raisins, so I often substitute dried cranberries for them in recipes. This coffee cake is especially good.

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 45 minutes