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Favorite dessert recipes served with a side of savory storytelling

Jordan Harrison, Jan Kincaid Clifford, Allison Stines and Ellie King
Collage by NPR

All Things We're Cooking is a series featuring kitchen gems from you, our readers and listeners, and the special stories behind them. We'll continue to share more of your recipes throughout the holidays.


All jokes aside, this fruitcake is legendary. It was even served at a wedding

Parents, kids, aunts and a cousin gather on Black Friday to make a big batch to mail around the country. It's shared far and wide at Christmastime and was featured on a bike ride across Iowa.

When Ellie King and her husband were married, they had Grandma Phoebe's fruitcake as their wedding cake.
Ellie King / Collage by NPR
Collage by NPR

Read more about Grandma Phoebe's famous fruitcake

Her father's fudge recipe brings back childhood memories of the Midwest

A young Jan Kincaid Clifford wasn't even tall enough to reach the stove. That didn't stop her from stirring the pot. And stirring. And stirring. Her dad's recipe requires patience, but it pays off.

Pete Kincaid and his grandchildren
Jan Kincaid Clifford / Collage by NPR
Collage by NPR

Read more about Pete Kincaid's fudge

Zoom and a butter mint recipe bring a mother and daughter together

A long-distance video lesson from Mom also offered a chance to write the recipe down. Cold weather and a marble slab work best to cool this homemade confection, which has helped the family bond.

Left: Jordan Harrison with her grandmother, Judy Greene. Right: Freshly made butter mints.
Jordan Harrison / Collage by NPR
Collage by NPR

Read more about Jordan Harrison's butter mints

How a 'Martian droppings' cookie got its out-of-this-world name

Friends, family and co-workers clamor for the quirky, pistachio-flavored pudding cookie treats that come out looking green.

Allison Stines holds a photo of her family while she eats a family-favorite cookie: Martian droppings.
Allison Stines / Collage by NPR
Collage by NPR

Read more about Allison Stines' Martian droppings



All Things We're Cooking is a series highlighting family recipes that have special meaning to you, our readers and listeners. Earlier this year, we asked you to share your most prized recipes and explain why these dishes evoke such fond family memories. Working in collaboration with NPR member stations, we received responses from across the country. We've been interviewing some contributors and will continue to share their stories through the holiday season. All recipes and photos were provided by NPR audience members.


Reporting by Wynne Davis, with Isabella Gomez Sarmiento and Maison Tran
Editing by Desiree F. Hicks and Pam Webster
Design and art direction by Daniel Wood, Emily Bogle, Kaz Fantone and Alyson Hurt
Development by Daniel Wood
Project management by Caroline Kelly
Social media engagement by Matt Adams
Audio versions of stories produced by Rose Friedman and Isabella Gomez Sarmiento, with assistance by Maison Tran
Additional editing by Gerry Holmes, Nicholas Charles and Neda Ulaby
NPR member stations collaboration by Franklyn Cater

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.