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Dishing out homegrown desserts

Got to be NC, an initiative on behalf of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, works to promote the state’s agricultural products and goods.

They have recently dished out some dessert recipes that are truly home grown in conception and taste. Check out these recipes, featuring fresh North Carolina ingredients, to make this summer.

Strawberry Parfait


  1. 1 pkg. graham crackers
  2. 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  3. 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened.
  4. ½ cup powdered sugar
  5. ¼ cup 1% milk
  6. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  7. ½ pound strawberries, sliced


  1. Crush graham crackers in re-sealable bag.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.
  3. Remove the whipped cream from the mixing bowl and set aside.
  4. In the same mixing bowl, replace the whisk attachment with the paddle attachment. Mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract together on medium speed for two minutes, or until smooth and creamy.
  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a spatula to fold in the whipped cream evenly.
  6. Fill six small cups or serving dishes with 2 tbsp. crushed graham crackers. Cover with 3 tbsp. cream cheese filling and top with 5 to 6 sliced strawberries.

Cinnamon Apple Doughnut Delight


  1. 1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
  2. ½ cup light brown sugar
  3. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  4. ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  5. 1/8 tsp. cloves
  6. 5 cups peeled, chopped apples
  7. 24 to 30 glazed cake-style donut holes, sliced in half


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Melt the butter in a 10-inch or 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add brown sugar; stir until dissolved and bubbly.
  3. Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
  4. Add apples to skillet and stir to coat with butter mixture. Simmer for 5 minutes, until crisp-tender. Remove from heat.
  5. Arrange doughnut hole halves, cut side down, on the top of the apple mixture, starting at the edge of the skillet and working inward until the entire apple mixture is covered.
  6. Place entire skillet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until doughnut holes turn slightly brown.
  7. Remove skillet from the oven and allow to cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

Olive Oil Pecan Coffee Cake



  1. 1 1/2 cups pecans finely chopped and toasted
  2. ½ cup packed brown sugar
  3. 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  4. ½ tsp. salt
  5. 3 Tbsp. butter melted


  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2 tsp. baking powder
  3. 1 tsp. salt
  4. 1 1/4 cups sugar
  5. 3 large eggs
  6. 1 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
  7. 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  8. 2/3 cup sour cream


  1. 3 Tbsp. butter
  2. ¾ plus 2 Tbsp. confectioner sugar
  3. 1 tsp. vanilla
  4. 2 to 3 Tbsp. milk


To make streusel:

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread pecans on baking sheet and bake until toasted, about 5 minutes.
  3. Let cool completely.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the pecans with the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, stir in the butter to combine.

To make cake:

  1. Butter and flour a 10 cup Bundt pan. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar with the eggs, lemon zest until fluffy. Whisk in the oil and sour cream. Fold in the dry ingredients until smooth.
  2. Pour one third of batter into the pan. Sprinkle half the streusel over the cake. Repeat with half of the remaining batter and all the remaining streusel. Top with remaining batter and smooth the top. Bake until edges pull away from the sides, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert on wire rack. Let cool completely.
  3. Heat butter over medium heat, until melted and just golden brown. Remove from heat, add confectioner sugar, vanilla and milk until pourable. Drizzle over cake. Let set, 15 minutes.

Buckeye Ice Cream Sundaes: Gluten-Free, Vegan-Friendly


Ice Cream:

  1. 1 ½ cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
  2. 1 cup pure maple syrup
  3. 3 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  4. 16 oz. creamy peanut butter
  5. 21 oz. cream of coconut (ex.: Coco Goya Brand)
  6. ¼ tsp. allspice
  7. ½ tsp. salt

Hot Fudge Sauce:

  1. 1/3 cup coconut oil
  2. ¼ cup sugar
  3. 1/3 cup plant-based milk substitute
  4. 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  5. 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  6. 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Whipped Cream:

  1. can cream of coconut (ex.: Coco Goya Brand)
  2. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  3. 3 Tbsp. powdered sugar


1 cup gluten-free mini pretzels


To make ice cream:

  1. With a mixer, blend all ingredients together until smooth. Use two 15 oz. cans cream of coconut, drain off all the clear liquid and only add the thick, white, creamy part. Use all the white cream from one can and 1/3 from the second can.
  2. Place mixture in a large plastic or metal container and lay plastic wrap on top of the mixture (this will help keep ice crystals from forming on the ice cream).
  3. Place in freezer for four hours, stirring and recovering approximately every 30 minutes.
  4. Note: While you’re near the freezer, place a medium mixing bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes, this will be for the whipped cream.

To make hot fudge sauce:

  1. While the ice cream forms, make the hot fudge sauce.
  2. In a medium pot, mix the oil, sugar, cocoa and milk substitute until combined.
  3. Bring mixture to a steady boil over medium-high heat, stirring until thickened (if it’s being troublesome, some tapioca or cornstarch will help). Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and chocolate chips until smooth.

To make whipped cream:

While your ice cream forms, make the whipped cream. Drain off the clear liquid from the cream of coconut (keeping the creamy, white part). Remove the mixing bowl from the freezer. Place cream of coconut, powdered sugar and vanilla in bowl. Whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.


Scoop out a hearty serving of the peanut butter ice cream into a serving dish. Top with a spoonful of hot fudge sauce, then whipped cream and then sprinkle with pretzels or whatever other topping you like.



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