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We suggest using Michigan Balaton Cherries in these recipes for better flavor and freshness!

Chocolate Angel Cake 
This dessert is perfect for Valentine's Day or any special occasion.

1 (16-ounce) package angel food cake mix
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons hot fudge topping, divided
2 cups whipped topping, divided
1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling, divided
Prepare cake mix according to package directions, mixing cocoa with dry ingredients. Spoon batter evenly into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven as directed on the package. Let cool as package directs.

When cake is completely cooled, carefully remove from pan. Cut horizontally in half. Place one half, cut side up, on serving plate. Spread with 3/4 cup fudge topping. (Do not heat topping.) Cover with 1 cup whipped topping, then half of the cherry pie filling. Place the other half of the cake over cherries, cut side down. Spread with 3/4 cup fudge topping. Cover with remaining 1 cup whipped topping and remaining cherry pie filling. Refrigerate 1 hour. Just before serving, drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons fudge topping over cherry pie filling.

Makes 12 servings.

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  Black Forest Sundae
This easy-to-prepare dessert is a crowd pleaser.

1 (10-ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained
1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
1/2 cup hot fudge topping
10 cream-filled chocolate cookies (such as Oreos),
crushed Maraschino cherries with stems, for garnish
Line a 5-cup gelatin mold or bowl with aluminum foil. Arrange 12 whole cherries on the bottom of the foil. Chop remaining cherries; fold into softened ice cream. Spoon half of the ice cream mixture into bottom of mold. Spoon fudge topping over ice cream; spread remaining ice cream over the fudge topping. Sprinkle cookie crumbs over top of ice cream; press lightly. Freeze 4 to 6 hours or until firm. Carefully pull foil out of mold and unmold with cookie crumbs on bottom on a chilled plate. Garnish with maraschino cherries with stems, if desired.

Makes 8 servings.

Note: This dessert can be made up to one week ahead; cover with foil.

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  Sweetheart Puff
Heart's will throb when they see and taste this delightful dessert.

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (1/2 of a 17 1/4-ounce package), thawed
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling and topping
1 cup whipped topping
Unfold pastry on lightly floured surface; roll out to smooth folds. Cut out a large heart shape (approximately 9 x 8-inches). Put on baking sheet. Wet edge of pastry with water; fold in edge toward center about 1/2-inch. Press down edges with fork tines. Prink center area of pastry with fork tines several times.

Place a piece of foil cut to fit the center of the heart; top with pie weights, dry beans or uncooked rice to prevent puffing. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven 8 minutes. Remove foil with rice or beans. Bake 4 to 7 minutes longer, or until golden brown. Carefully remove heart to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Melt chocolate, margarine and heavy cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stir in vanilla. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Place heart on serving plate. Spread chocolate mixture over center of heart. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Spoon cherry pie filling over chocolate layer. Pipe or spoon whipped topping around edge of tart. Refrigerate until serving time.

Makes 6 servings.

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Cherry-Chocolate Heart 
Taste tempting flavors of hot fudge sauce and whipped cream pair up with cherries for a Valentine's Day dessert that is guaranteed to melt hearts.

1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup whipping cream
2/3 cup hot fudge ice cream topping
1 (21-ounce) can cherry filling and topping
Allow both crust pouches to stand at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes. Remove one crust from pouch; unfold. Press out fold lines. If crust cracks, wet fingers and push edges together. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon flour over crust. Turn crust, floured side down, on ungreased cookie sheet. Using paper pattern as guide, cut crust into heart shape.* Generously prick heart crust with fork. Bake in a preheated 450-degree oven 9 to 11 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool. Repeat with the remaining crust.

Combine cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and almond extract in a small bowl; beat until smooth. Add whipping cream and beat until thickened.

To assemble, place one heart-shaped pie crust on serving plate; spread with 1/3 cup of the hot fudge. Carefully spread half of cream cheese mixture over hot fudge. Spoon 2/3 of the cherry filling over cream cheese. Spread second crust with remaining hot fudge and place over filling. Carefully spread with remaining cream cheese mixture. Spoon remaining cherry filling about 1 inch from edge. Refrigerate until serving time. Store any remaining torte in refrigerator.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

* To make pattern, cut a piece of paper into a heart shape about 10 1/2 inches high and 10 inches wide.

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Cherry Blossoms
Prepared the night before, breakfast rolls have never been easier.

2/3 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 cup dried tart cherries, divided
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 loaf (14 to 16 ounces) frozen white bread dough, thawed
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
In a small mixing bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and milk; mix well. Pour mixture into a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the cherries and pecans evenly over sugar mixture.

On a lightly floured surface, roll bread dough into a 12x8-inch rectangle; brush with melted butter. In a small mixing bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cherries. Roll up rectangle, jelly-roll style, starting from a long side; pinch to seal edges. With a sharp knife, cut roll into 12 slices.

Place slices, cut-side down, on top of mixture in pan. Let rise, covered, in a warm place 30 minutes, or until nearly double. (Or, cover with waxed paper, then with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2 to 24 hours. Before baking, let chilled rolls stand, covered, 20 minutes at room temperature.)

Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 375-degree oven 20 to 25 minutes for unchilled rolls and 25 to 30 minutes for chilled rolls, or until golden brown. If necessary, cover rolls with foil the last 10 minutes to prevent overbrowning. Let cool in pan 1 to 2 minutes. Invert onto a serving platter. Serve warm.

Makes 12 rolls.

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Traditional Cherry Pie
George Washington's favorite dessert can be yours, too.

2 (16-ounce) cans unsweetened tart cherries or 4 cups frozen
unsweetened tart cherries
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Pastry for 2-crust, 9-inch pie
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
If using canned cherries, drain them well. Discard the juice or save for another use. If using frozen cherries, it is not necessary to thaw them. Combine well drained canned cherries or frozen cherries, granulated sugar, tapioca and almond extract in a large mixing bowl; mix well. Let stand 15 minutes.

Line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry; fill with cherry mixture. Dot with butter. Adjust top crust, cutting slits for steam to escape, or cut top crust into strips and make a lattice-top pie.

Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven 50 to 55 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.

Makes 8 servings.

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