Irresistible Baked Goodness

When it comes to desserts, everyone has their favorite. Most of us at Nebraska Life have many. Our graphic designer, burgeoning chef and food photographer, Tannon Asche, occasionally has a second dessert in lieu of a main course. We don’t blame her, as long as she saves some for us.

Generous Nebraskans from near and far have come through once again with another batch of wonderful recipes. We hope you’ll enjoy making these tasty desserts as much as Tannon did.

There’s a ton of scrumptious dessert and other recipes in our Nebraska Kitchens cookbooks volumes 1 and 2. Each is loaded with recipes from our readers, and each is packed with Nebraska goodness. Order yours for $23.95 each, or get the set for $30. That’s a heaping savings that anyone with a sweet tooth will eat up.

We’re working on volume 3 and you’re invited to help. Send us your recipes and the stories behind them. If we use your recipe in the new cookbook we’ll send you a copy signed by our editor. You’ll also be invited to a special book release party.

Send your recipes and stories to: Nebraska Kitchens Cookbook Vol. 3, Nebraska Life Magazine, PO Box 819, Norfolk, NE 68702. Or, you can email them to us at


Lemon-Sour Cream Pie

When her brothers shipped off to World War II, Lou Hamm and her six sisters took over working the family farm at St. John, southeast of Ewing. This is when and where she learned to cook. Six of the 12 children are still around today. Hamm is 87 and still cooking up a storm. She had just finished making a batch of cinnamon rolls at her home in Arkansas when we called her. “Can you smell them in Nebraska?” she asked. We couldn’t, but we did make her delicious lemon-sour cream pie. “It is like silk,” Hamm said. “It just melts in your mouth.” We agree.

In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add milk, egg yolks, lemon juice, rind and butter.

Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat until thick. Remove from heat. Cool. Stir in sour cream and pour into baked pie crust.

Whip cream with the 4 Tbsp sugar and spread on top of filling. Sprinkle with small strips of lemon zest if desired. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.


    1 cup plus 4 Tbsp sugar, divided use
    3 Tbsp cornstarch
    1 cup milk
    3 egg yolks, beaten
    1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1 Tbsp grated lemon rind
    1/4 cup butter
    1 cup sour cream
    1 9-inch pie crust, baked
    1 cup whipping cream
        Lemon zest for garnish, optional
        Serves 6-8


Self-Frosting Chocolate Cupcakes

Forty years have passed since Mary Teten of Talmage began making these tasty, brownie-like cupcakes. She takes them to the local blood drive, and they are famous at her Bluebirds Across Nebraska meetings. She also makes them for her husband, two sons and her grandson. “I like them better than anyone,” Teten told us. How many hundreds or thousands has she made over the last four decades? “I can’t even take a guess,” Teten said. “Maybe a thousand, but don’t stretch it too much.”

Melt the chocolate and margarine in a pan. Stir in the nuts.

Combine the sugar, flour, eggs and flavorings but do not beat. Stir in the chocolate and nut mixture until it is well blended, but do not beat. Fill paper-lined muffin tins two-thirds full and bake at 325° for 30-35 minutes.


    4 1-oz squares semi-sweet chocolate
    1 cup margarine
    1½ cup broken pecans
    1¾ cups sugar
    1 cup flour
    4 eggs
    1/2 tsp butter flavoring
    1 tsp vanilla flavoring
    1/2 tsp burnt-sugar flavoring
        Makes 24


Special Banana Nut Bread

Lucille Schliep makes this tasty banana bread about twice a month. She enjoys the smooth texture the cream cheese adds to this recipe. “What I love most is that the recipe makes two loaves,” Schliep said. “One to eat right away and one to freeze. That second loaf also makes a great gift.”

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs, beaten well. Add bananas and vanilla, mix well. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to cream mixture. Fold in nuts. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Test with toothpick near center. 


    3/4 cup butter, softened
    1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
    2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    1 ½ cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 medium)
    1/2 tsp vanilla
     3 cups flour
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
     2 cups chopped nuts         
           Yields 2 loaves

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