A new book, “Desserts” by the editors of Food and Wine, is a collection of 140 of their favorite sweets from the past 30 years.
The cookbook, released last week, is chock full of cakes, cookies, pies, candies and frozen treats, many from noted pastry chefs. Most have photographs. I wish they all did.
Because it’s compiled by Food and Wine, expect efforts beyond what you’re used to, like Grapefruit Cornmeal Cake, Apple Cake with a Toffee Crust, Miso Banana Bread, Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins, Plum Galette, Milk Chocolate Tart with Pretzel Crust, Pumpkin Pie Bars, Pistachio Pavlova with Rhubarb Cream, Creamy Mocha Ice Pops, Lemon Blueberry Frozen Yogurt and Soft Apple-Cider Caramels.
The price printed on the back of the book is a whopping $34.99, but you can snag one on amazon.com for $22.72.
It’ll make you drool.
Here are my personal favorites from the book.
Just reading the ingredients in this bread pudding makes my teeth ache, but I wouldn’t turn down a bite.
Krispie Kreme Bread Pudding with Espresso Whipped Cream
• 1 1/2 dozen glazed doughnuts, cut into sixths
• 1 quart heavy cream
• 2 cups milk
• 10 large egg yolks plus 2 large whole eggs
• 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
• Unsalted butter for greasing
• 1/2 cup brewed espresso, chilled
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the doughnut pieces on the sheets and bake for about 30 minutes, until dry on the outsides and semi-firm in the centers.
Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk 2 cups cream with the milk, egg yolks, whole eggs and condensed milk. Add the doughnut pieces and let soak until softened, about one hour. Stir every 15 minutes.
Lightly butter a 9x13-inch baking dish.
Spoon the doughnut mixture into the prepared baking dish and cover with foil. Set the dish in a roasting pan and add enough water to the pan to reach halfway up the side of the baking dish. Bake the bread pudding for 40 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake for about 20 minutes longer, until the bread pudding is set.
Preheat the broiler. Broil the bread pudding for about three minutes, until the top is lightly browned. Let cool for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whip the remaining 2 cups cream to semi-soft peaks. Stir in the espresso. Serve with the warm bread pudding.
Make eight to 10 serving.
Grab some more sweetened condensed milk. Here is L.A. chef Carrie Cusack’s super-easy gooey caramel pie.
Salted Caramel Pie
• 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• 1/4 cup light brown sugar
• 2 cans (14 ounces each) sweetened condensed milk
• Fleur de sel
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, pulse the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and light brown sugar until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs evenly into a 9-inch glass or metal pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes, just until lightly browned. Let cool.
Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.
Scrape the condensed milk into a 9x13-inch glass baking dish and sprinkle with a scant 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel (sea salt). Cover the dish with foil and place in a roasting pan. Add enough hot water to the pan to reach 1/3 of the way up the side of the baking dish. Bake, lifting the foil to stir the condensed milk two or three times, until golden and thickened, about two hours. Add more water to the roasting pan as necessary. The consistency of the caramel should be like dulce de leche. Don’t worry if it is lumpy; it will smooth out as it chills.
Scrape the caramel filling into the pie crust, smoothing the top. Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with nonstick spray and cover the pie. Refrigerate until the filling is chilled and set, at least four hours.
In a bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the cream with the confectioners’ sugar until firm. Remove the plastic from the pie. Mound the whipped cream on the top and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Cut into wedges to serve.
Makes eight to 10 servings.
These cookies are so popular with the editors of Food and Wine that they are served at practically every staff party.
Freezing the batter before baking gives the cookies a crackly outer layer.
Chocolate Brownie Cookies
• 1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 4 large eggs, at room temperature
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 bag (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chopped chocolate with the butter, stirring a few times, until smooth, about seven minutes.
In another large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar at medium speed until thick and pale, about five minutes. Beat in the vanilla and salt. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the melted chocolate, then fold in the flour and baking powder. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into a shallow baking dish, cover and freeze until well chilled, about one hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Working in batches, scoop 2-tablespoon-size mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until the cookies are dry around the edges and cracked on top, 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely before serving.
Make about three dozen cookies.
These S’Mores Bars are so beautiful they made the cover of the cookbook.
S’Mores Bars with Marshmallow Meringue
• 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
• 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
• 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
• 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
• 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
• 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
• 2 large eggs, at room temperature
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 3 large egg whites
• 3/4 cups granulated sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil, allowing 2 inches of overhang on two sides.
In a medium bowl, using a fork, mix all the crust ingredients until evenly moistened. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for eight to 10 minutes, just until lightly browned. Let cool completely.
Make the filling: In a medium heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the butter with the chocolate over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, about five minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the granulated sugar, vanilla and salt. Whisk in the eggs until smooth, then stir in the flour just until incorporated. Spread the batter evenly over the cooled crust. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the edges are set but the center is still jiggly. Transfer the baking pan to a rack and cool completely.
Make the meringue: Preheat the broiler. In a medium heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk the egg whites with the granulated sugar until the whites are warm and the sugar is dissolved, about three minutes. Transfer the egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk. Add the vanilla and cream of tartar and beat at medium speed until firm.
Increase the speed to high and beat the meringue until stiff and glossy, five to seven minutes.
Mound the meringue on the top of the filling, swirling it decoratively. Broil the meringue 8 inches from the heat until lightly browned at the tips, about one minute. Cut into bars and serve.
Makes one dozen.
Here we have the ultimate comfort food served a different way,
Banana Pudding with Vanilla Wafer Crumble
• 5 large egg yolks
• 1/4 cup cornstarch
• 1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
• 2 cups whole milk
• 3 tablespoons banana liqueur (optional)
• 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter plus 1 tablespoon melted butter
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 1 cup vanilla wafer cookies (about 15), coarsely ground
• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
• 2 ripe bananas, coarsely chopped
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the cornstarch, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
In a medium saucepan, bring milk to a boil. Gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg yolks until smooth. Transfer the pudding mixture to the saucepan and add the banana liqueur. Cook over moderate heat, whisking, until the pudding is thick, about three minutes. Scrape the pudding into a bowl and whisk in the cold butter and vanilla. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding and refrigerate until chilled, about four hours.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, combine the wafers, cinnamon, the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar and a pinch of salt. Stir in the melted butter. Spread the crumble on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool.
Spoon the chopped bananas into bowl. Top with pudding, sprinkle with the crumbles and serve right away.
Makes six servings.
The editors say these homemade peanut butter candies are as flaky as the inside of a Butterfinger bar.
Miracle Peanut Butter Crunch
• 1 cup sugar
• 3/4 cup light corn syrup
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 1 1/2 cups natural peanut butter
• 1 cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts
• 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Line a 9-inch square pan with foil.
In a medium saucepan, stir the sugar with the corn syrup and 2 tablespoons water. Add the butter and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Attach a candy thermometer to the pan and cook over moderately high heat until the caramel reaches 285 degrees, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large, heatproof, microwave-safe bowl, combine peanut butter with the peanuts and salt. Heat the mixture in the microwave at high power until melted and hot, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stir well.
In a small bowl, whisk the vanilla with the baking soda. As soon as the caramel reaches 285 degrees, carefully stir in the baking soda mixture; the caramel will foam and bubble up.
Immediately pour the caramel into the melted peanut butter mixture and, using a heatproof spatula, fold together as quickly as possible. You want the mixtures to be combined but not homogenous; the candy will come together very fast.
Immediately scrape the hot candy into the prepared pan and press into a flat, even layer. Let cool completely. Peel off the foil and cut the candy into squares.
Makes about three dozen pieces.
Tim Walker writes, “I know you published a recipe for Catfish Hole hush puppies. Could you republish it or send me a copy, please?”
Ah, one of my most-requested recipes. I’ve reprinted it dozens of times over the years.
Tim, I wish I could send it to you, but I can’t find it. I logged onto the Times Record website and checked old columns, but drew a blank.
Readers, help me here. I know someone has it.
Looking for a recipe? Have one you’d like to share? Write to Potluck, Times Record, P.O. Box 1359, Fort Smith, AR 72902. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.