The filling of this chocolate-crust pie is luscious, but not too rich. (Think old-fashioned chocolate pudding.) A bit of sour cream in the whipped topping balances the chocolate perfectly.
Crispy bacon, extra-creamy cheese sauce, pears sauteed in brown sugar and butter. It took our Test Kitchen three tries to get all the pieces right for this fall comfort food. Oh man, was it worth it.
As cheerfully cute as an ice cream sundae, these showstopper cupcakes have a luscious and oh-so-easy frosting made of whipping cream, pudding mix and malted milk powder. The recipe comes from Designer Desserts Bakery in Valparaiso, Indiana.
Potatoes, onion, sauerkraut and brats pack in the German flavor in this homey slow-cooker soup. Try with Whole Wheat Pretzel Rolls; the soft pretzels' chewy, brown exterior comes from being boiled in an alkaline solution—the 1/4 cup baking soda in the water isn't a typo!
Fish made easy! Start with a quick sear—one of cast iron's best tricks—to seal in moisture; finish by baking in the oven. A simple pickle relish tops the spice-rubbed fish with tang.
Cajun-Rubbed Salmon 
Our flaky hand pies taste just like their big sibs, but they're tidier to serve and eat, making them perfect for picnics and potlucks. Best of all, you get to choose the fruit filling: cherry, blueberry peach or plum!
Fruit Hand Pies 
Our five-ingredient sorbet is an instant antidote to summer's scorch—and so pretty, too! The recipe works with most melons, berries or citrus fruits, and you can make it in an ice cream maker or refrigerator freezer. Plus, it's fat free!
Any-Fruit Sorbet 
A backyard garden's worth of colorful summer veggies fill this beautiful potluck salad. The toasted bread chunks absorb the dressing and juices from the tomatoes; you won't believe how delicious they taste!
This calicolike blend is as nutritious as it is pretty. The veggies roast separately so the beets don't dye the squash pink. The recipe comes from Urban Roots Farm in Springfield, Missouri.
These fantastic potluck bars come from Patrice Hurd of Bemidji, Minnesota. She won the grand prize in our 2012 Best of the Midwest® Recipe Contest. Patrice says they're a twist on her grandmother’s cracker bars. They cut beautifully and brim with salty-sweet-nutty-chocolately flavor.
Cindi Rockwell of Berkley, Michigan, says this recipe, which has two signature Minnesota ingredients, was inspired by the resort her grandparents owned there.
You don't get much easier than this recipe from Jan Valdez of Chicago! Saute a few ingredients, stir in cream cheese to make a sauce, and dump it all over frozen pierogis in a casserole dish. (You don't even need to thaw the pierogis!)
Chocolate-hazelnut spread (Nutella) gives this fudge a smooth texture and luscious nutty flavor. The recipe comes from Annie Marshall of the Indianapolis-based blog Annie's Eats.
These cookies come with a friendly warning: Chewy caramel, toasted pecans and a flurry of sea salt will make you popular. Very popular. A product called caramel bits gives these cookies great flavor and chewy texture. Some supermarkets carry them, and they’re widely available online. (Search for Kraft Caramel Bits.) Take care to follow recipe directions when baking: caramel bits melt quickly.