Desserts Recipes

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Halloween Cookies: Mint Sugar Cookie Recipe Recipe

Last year, children wouldn't touch my Halloween-themed witch finger shortbread cookies and ghost cupcakes. They were just too scary! With Halloween right around the corner, I’m determined not to make the same mistake again. I can’t think of anything as innocent sounding as sugar cookies, but this time I made them with the appropriate level of spookiness: I shaped them as little pumpkins.

I made the cookie dough with both butter and oil in addition to fromage blanc (you could use sour cream). This made the cookies oh-so-moist and chewy with a sparkly crust (I sprinkled them with green and orange-tinted sanding sugar). Instead of making plain vanilla sugar cookies, I flavored the cookie dough with mint julep sugar from Bourbon Barrel. You could substitute your favorite flavorings.


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Pistachio Dessert: Pistachio Creme Brulee Recipe (+Giveaway) Recipe

If you've been following my culinary adventures, you've probably noticed how much I love pistachios! Daddy (my father-in-law) went to visit one of his friends in Sacramento who grows orchards of pistachios. Daddy brought bags filled with fresh pistachios back for me to have fun with. I had never seen or tasted the raw product and it was amazing. The color is richer and greener. Daddy said raw pistachios are very common in India and picking the pistachios brought him back in time. There were so many pistachios that I had to come up with creative ways to make use of them. I immediately thought of making pistachio paste by grinding and blending them raw with a little Bourbon Barrel Vanilla Sugar. I also added pistachio oil to make the paste smooth and creamy because pistachios contain very little natural oil compared to other nuts. I also added a touch of almond extract to give the pistachio paste a nice aroma.

I didn't stop there. I used the paste to flavor a typical French dessert: crème brûlée. I've made crèmes brûlées so many times (lavender, banana, cherry, masala chai, matcha green tea, lemon, chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch, even a savory garlic flavored-one!) that after checking back on PhamFatale.com, I was surprised to see that I never posted this particular version! The pistachios were so fresh that it was almost guaranteed that the crèmes brûlées would be divine. To accentuate the dessert, I used vanilla sugar from Bourbon Barrel in the pistachio paste, the custard mixture and the brûlé part itself. It’s just more evidence that a few exquisite ingredients can transform the simplest foods (eggs, milk, cream and sugar) into something extraordinary.

In addition to tasting incredible, this naturally green-colored dessert can be part of your Halloween table. The kids can have their Snickers and Twix; I’d rather have one (or three) of these pistachio crèmes brûlées!

Fresh Pistachio Recipe with Picture


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Chocolate Ganache Tart (Halloween Ghost Dessert) Recipe

The girls have reached the end of the first quarter, so their school gave them a day off. With Halloween just around the corner, I thought it would be fun for all of us to work on ideas for spooky desserts that they'll be able to share with their friends. It didn't take a lot of arm twisting to convince them!

I decided that we should make a simple chocolate tart and decorate it with ghosts. The tart shell is a shortbread crust that I topped with a semi-sweet chocolate ganache. To enhance the flavor of the chocolate, I added a little coffee. I let the girls pipe the top with vanilla buttercream frosting and create faces using chocolate sprinkles. As an added bonus, this dessert is egg and nut-free. We'll make smaller versions at the end of the month for when they share them with friends.


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Halloween Dessert: Strawberry Brownie Pudding Recipe Recipe

The girls absolutely love Pocky Sticks. If you’re not familiar with them, they're a popular Asian snack consisting of long, thin crackers dipped in icing. I received several packs of strawberry-flavored Pocky Sticks from Asian Food Grocer, and instead of just letting the girls devour them, I thought it would be fun to use them in a dish.

I adapted one of Ina Garten's brownie pudding recipes and made it look pink to match the Pocky Sticks. I used mini marshmallows to create teeth and Godiva chocolate pearls for the eyes. The Pocky Sticks serve as the hair. I’m thinking of serving these happy-looking treats to the kids for Halloween in a couple of weeks. Last year, I made witch-looking finger cookies that looked so realistic, children in my little munchkin’s class refused to eat them! 



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Walnut Nectarine Tart Recipe Recipe

Walnut Nectarine Tart Recipe

10.06.11 by Jackie

I stopped by Costco this week and found that nectarines were still on sale. Our family has been enjoying juicy, sweet stone fruit all summer and I was hoping this case of them would live up to our recent experiences. Alas, these nectarines weren't nearly as flavorful as the ones from earlier in the summer. Instead of letting them rot in our fruit basket ignominiously, I decided to give them a new and much more delicious life by baking them in a frangipane fruit tart.

For this version, I pre-baked store-bought puff pastry that I layered with walnut buttercream and nectarines. Making the nut butter cream for the tart has become one of my specialties; I could make this dessert with my eyes closed. It's very simple, and if you do this as much as I have, it will become second nature for you as well. Finally, I gave the product a professional look by glazing the tart with nectarine jam. The result was absolutely delectable!


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