Dessert Recipes

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Vietnamese Deep Fried Banana Fritters with Ginger Coconut Mascarpone Sauce Recipe

Banana fritters, or chuối chiên in Vietnamese, can be found on street corners throughout Saigon. Aunt Elise, who is visiting us from Vietnam, has been teaching me many Vietnamese recipes, and today she showed me how to make these tasty treats. It's been a lot of fun learning about my culture and of course, the food, from someone who spent her whole life in Saigon.

The batter that the bananas are coated in is very similar to tempura batter. To make it a touch sweeter, we added some banana and banana extract. The fritters are usually eaten as is, but I wanted to make them a little fancier. I prepared a decadent mascarpone dip flavored with ginger, Vietnamese mint and coconut. The dip, though non-traditional, provides a nice contrast to the texture of the fritters. It's a taste of Vietnam that you won't be able to resist.


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Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Crumb Topping Recipe

Sweet potato pie is a classic American dessert that is not overly sweet. The texture is similar to a pumpkin pie, but firmer. I jazzed mine up with a little anise extract, other flavorings and a crown of pecan crumb topping. It's a great pie for Thanksgiving, but really, you can enjoy it any time of the year.

I made this for a reader named Bill who e-mailed me a request for a sweet potato pie recipe. If you're reading Bill, I hope you like it!


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Cranberry Apple Oatmeal Crisp Recipe

Cranberry Apple Oatmeal Crisp

11.30.09 by Jackie

This recipe is a riff on a classic apple crisp. If you've been reading my posts lately, you'll know that I've been on a bit of a quest to find creative ways to utilize our Thanksgiving leftovers. A cranberry apple crisp seemed like the perfect destiny for the leftover cranberries the fridge.

It's an incredibly easy recipe to make. If you have cranberry sauce, then all you really need to do is to add a sweetener, prepare the topping and bake the individual servings in the oven. They are great for intimate holiday parties.


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Dulce de Leche Ice Cream with Date and Pear Compote and Candied Pecans Recipe

Dulce de leche (caramelized milk sauce) is called confiture de lait in French. We had the most delicious Tres Leches during our anniversary trip to Cancun last month, and it inspired me to make ice cream that captures the flavor.

I've made my own dulce de leche in the past by heating a can of condensed milk in boiling water but I remember it took forever. So this time, I took a shortcut and used a can of ready-made dulce de leche.

Dried fruits, pear, honey and candied ginger are very common during the holiday season, so I made a compote out of these ingredients to pair with the ice cream. The final touch is a topping of candied pecans to give the dessert a nice crunch.

This is a dessert that has decadent written all over it. Dieters need not apply. It's a fabulous way to end any holiday meal.

 


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Cranberry Bars with Chestnut Spread and Crushed Pecans Recipe

As Thanksgiving approaches, I've been giving more thought to new dessert recipes to go with the traditional pecan and pumpkin pies that we make each year. I recently had an absolutely delicious lemon bar, and it occurred to me that a modified cranberry sauce would be a good substitute for the lemon curd.

I used shortbread as the cookie layer. Shortbread is very easy to make, and the buttery and crumbly texture is a nice foil to the sweet and tart flavor of the cranberries. Once the shortbread had baked, I spread a thin layer of chestnut spread over it. The chestnut spread balances the tartness of the jellied cranberries.

To make the cranberry jelly, I added guava in place of the usual orange juice to give the jelly sweetness as well as a more complex flavor. (It also reminds me of our recent anniversary trip to Cancun). Guava is not really in keeping with the season, so if you prefer, apple juice would be fine, but I think the guava has more depth. The goal is to limit the sourness of the jelly because after all, we're making a dessert.

After applying a generous layer of the cranberry spread to the bars, I finished them with a sprinkling of chopped pecans.


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