Decadent Desserts and Sweets

Moon Pie

Solar Eclipse Moon Pies

     It you want to make a hit with your children (or grandchildren), make some homemade moon pies. Sure, you can buy the commercial kind. It’s easier and probably less expensive, but you’re not going to make any memories.      After a couple of trial runs, invite the kids to your kitchen and get started. Let them do as much as is safely possible. The cookies will be made in three stages: making the sandwich cookies, assembling the moon pies, and dipping the moon pies in chocolate.      I warn…

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Girl eating ice cream

Homemade Ice Cream (The Skinny On)

     Sign in a store window: “Money Can’t Buy Happiness, But It Can Buy Ice Cream.” Who can argue with that? It’s never a question of whether someone likes ice cream or not; the question always is, “What’s your favorite flavor?”      You can search in all of the shops, parlors, and emporiums for the perfect scoop, but a much better idea is to make it yourself. It’s really pretty simple; it doesn’t take a lot of time, and the homemade varieties really do taste better. All you need is…

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The Coconut Macaroon – A Paris Icon

     When I think of Paris there are several iconic things that come to mind: the Eiffel tower, the Moulin Rouge, the Seine, outdoor cafes, 2-hour lunches, and the macaroon. The Eiffel tower and the Moulin Rouge are a half a world away, too far for me when I need a Paris fix. The outdoor cafes and the 2-hour lunches aren’t a serious part of our culture so that leaves the macaroon.      The best tasting macaroons this side of the Atlantic are homemade, and they are so easy to…

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Bread Pudding

New Orleans-style Sin Big Bread Pudding

     We had just finished eating a wonderful dinner at a restaurant in New Orleans called Stella’s. Our waiter appeared at our table and asked, “How about some dessert, folks?”      “What are our choices?” I asked.      “This evening we have Bananas Foster, pecan pie, bread pudding, and some pralines.”       “That would be fine,” I said. “We’d like one of each, and please bring two spoons.”      Dorothy immediately put the kibosh on this, so I asked her to choose one we could share.      “I’d love the bread pudding with some…

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Coconut cake

Coconut Cake (Serve With Bourbon)

     I read an intriguing entertainment tip by Andrew Knowlton in Bon Appétit, where he said, “Always end the evening of dining with a coconut cake and Pappy Van Winkle’s bourbon (it’s a Southern thing).”  I thought, “Coconut cake and bourbon?  Hmmm.  And who is Pappy Van Winkle?”      I researched Pappy Van Winkle bourbon, and I found there are many people who think it’s the best bourbon in the world.  I checked locally, and I discovered it’s extremely hard to find and very expensive.  Only about 7000 cases are…

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Apple pie

Apple Pie Salted Caramel (Let’s Talk Pie)

     “As American as apple pie.” Though popular this expression’s not terribly old. Back in the 1960s things typically American began to be described as such.      Another expression, “Easy as pie,” is the aphorism I have an issue with. I agree that pie should be easy because there are only two components- the filling and the crust.      The filling is simply a matter of putting together the right ingredients in proper amounts, but the crust? Now that’s a different matter. It’s not only the ingredients; it’s also about…

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French tart

Tart Classic French Of The Pastry Kind

    When I’m hosting a dinner party, I love to have a dessert on display for my guests to see the minute they enter the room.  It sets the mood for what’s to come.  A perfect example would be a coconut cake with coconut spilling off its top and sides, but my all-time favorite showpiece dessert is a classic French tart.       First of all, when I’m talking about a classic French tart, I could be talking about the Shirley MacLaine character in the romantic comedy Irma La Douce.  I…

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Crème Brûlée

Crème Brûlée (A Fitting End To A Great Meal)

    Crème Brûlée . The mere mention of this custard of all custards immediately makes my mouth water. It’s delicious and delectable, and I love serving it to our guests. Crème Brûlée‘s Classic History    It’s a dessert that’s been around for centuries. The earliest known reference to Crème Brûlée is found in a 1691 cookbook, Le Cuisinier Royal et Bourgeois, by Francois Massialot, a French chef who was chef de cuisine to Phillippe I. Duke of Orleans (who was brother to Louis XIV). According to White House records, Thomas Jefferson had served Crème Brulee to his guests…

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Sugar whore

The Sugar Whore

     Paul Fussell wrote a book titled Class: A Guide Through The American Status System.  In it he discusses three broad classes in the United States: upper class, middle class, and prole. He humorously dissects and compares the attributes, properties, and proclivities of each.  Class Determinants      According to Fussell one of his class determinants is the wearing of clothes. He believes that if a person wears something that can be read, they’re not a member of the upper class. If it’s a known name or a label, they are…

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