Dessert

Dessert

Dessert Recipes

Now it’s time for your “Just Desserts.”  You can have your cake and eat it, too, plus many more tasty treats.  How Sweet It Is!

The Bomber’s Best Ever Oatmeal Spice Cookies

Chewy and Crunchy! The Bomber’s Best Ever Oatmeal Spice Cookies Dessert On a recent visit to our friends Kim and Mary, we walked into the aroma of something just out of the oven. I could detect hints of cinnamon and cloves and thought it might be a pumpkin pie (maybe that’s because it was so close to Halloween) …                                       … but was pleasantly surprised to learn Kim was baking a batch of his mom’s oatmeal cookies. Wow! Chewy and crispy at the same time, full of subtle spice flavor, these are not your usual thick, bland oatmeal cookie. The Bomber is … Read more…

Orange Chocolate Chunk Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Best.  Cake.  Ever!Orange Chocolate Chunk Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache Dessert I have been working from home since mid-March and, judging by the empty shelves of flour at the market, everyone but me has been baking! Thumbing through my cookbooks for inspiration, I came across the Barefoot Contessa’s Parties!, which was the first cookbook I ever purchased. Ina has a recipe for Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake with chocolate ganache that she said was a big hit at her store.  Yum! This recipe uses the zest from four oranges together with fresh-squeezed orange juice and buttermilk to make a delightfully moist, citrusy Bundt cake with big chunks of chocolate and, as if that isn’t enough, the moistness is sealed in by … Read more…

Banana Cake with Maple Buttercream Frosting

Banana Cake with Maple Buttercream Frosting

Going Bananas! Banana Cake with Maple Buttercream Frosting Dessert On our recent vacation to Montreal and Quebec City, Canada, we tasted all things maple. Maple candy-coated soft serve ice cream cones. Profiteroles with maple syrup ice cream. Even the whisky has maple syrup in it.  Yum, yum … what?! Canadians love their maple syrup, and no wonder. Quebec province produces two-thirds of the world’s maple syrup (according to our tour bus driver, who has never lied to us before).  After tasting pure maple syrup, there is no going back.  This is not “pancake” syrup, which, if you read the label, doesn’t even have maple syrup in it! The only ingredient in maple syrup is 100% pure maple syrup from trees.  … Read more…

Barefoot Contessa’s Chocolate Orange Mousse

chocolate orange mousse

Don’t Eat The Entire Bowl! Barefoot Contessa’s Chocolate Orange Mousse Dessert We served French fare for Christmas Eve this year using several recipes from the Barefoot Contessa’s Barefoot in Paris cookbook.  As you can tell from the photo below, her Chocolate Orange Mousse is a recipe I make all the time (watch out for flying mousse!). Paris bistros frequently serve chocolate mousse family-style in a big communal bowl.  At the beginning of Ina Garten’s recipe is a story about how her husband thought the bowl was all for him! Fortunately, I had read and remembered that story while dining at Chez Janou in Paris, so we did not commit a faux pas when an enormous bowl of chocolate mousse was … Read more…

Hatch Chile Carrot Cake with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting and Hatch Chile Candied Walnuts

Carrot Top Hatch Chile Carrot Cake with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting and Hatch Chile Candied Walnuts Dessert We are nearly at the end of Hatch chile season here at the Casa de Mai Tai Tom and Tracy, and we recently picked up a bunch of Melissa’s Produce Extra Hot Hatch chiles.  Tom has been hankering for my carrot cake lately, so I decided to try a Hatch Chile Carrot Cake. My Nana had a great carrot cake recipe that I used for this recipe, swapping out the Hatch chiles for the pineapple.  Since I took the pineapple out of the cake, I added it back into the cream cheese frosting and topped the cake with candied walnuts made with Melissa’s … Read more…

Citrus Olive Oil Bundt Cake with Kumquat Infused Syrup

Citrus Olive Oil Bundt Cake

Sensational Citrus Olive Oil Bundt Cake Citrus Olive Oil Bundt Cake with Kumquat Infused Syrup Dessert I never know what to do with the kumquats our tiny tree produces.  This year it was particularly prolific, probably due to all the rain.  In the past, I have made Kumquat Infused Vodka, but this year I was pretty much just letting the corgis and squirrels eat the fruit, but then I chanced upon a recipe for Candied Cocktail Kumquats from chef Ben Mims in the LA Times.                                                    (I had to get those kumquats off the tree before the Corgis … looking … Read more…

Oatmeal Walnut Bars with Blood Orange Jam and Apricots

Crumble Bars Two Ways (Part Two) Oatmeal Walnut Bars with Blood Orange Jam and Apricots Dessert As promised in my earlier post for the Raspberry Habanero Jam Crumble Bars, here is the recipe for Blood Orange Jam, Apricot, Oatmeal, and Walnut Bars lightly adapted from Giada De Laurentis’ Apricot Oat Bar recipe. I thought the toasted walnuts and oatmeal crumble was total comfort food, and the amazing Bourbon Blood Orange jam from Laura Ann’s Jams with the addition of dried apricots, really kicked it up a notch.  You can easily substitute any flavor jam or preserves you have on hand, just use a good quality one or otherwise it may be too sweet.  This recipe is easy to put together … Read more…

Raspberry Habanero Jam Crumble Bars

Crumble Bars Two Ways (Part One) Raspberry Habanero Jam Crumble Bars Dessert  Tom has been obsessed with jam lately … specifically with Laura Ann’s Jams and particularly with her Raspberry Habanero and Bourbon Blood Orange jams.  We have been going through peanut butter and jam sandwiches as if we had teenagers in the house.  Tom is also adding the Raspberry Habanero jam to his steak marinade and we have even spread those jams on grilled fontina cheese sandwiches.  Yum! We were introduced to this jam by our friends, Tyler and Sayda, who are currently traveling the United States with their kids and two dogs in a motorhome (a really big motorhome).  There was no room for the jam, so Sayda … Read more…

Butterscotch Pots de Crème with Bourbon Whipped Cream & Toffee Bits

Crunchy Delight in Every Bite Butterscotch Pots de Crème with Bourbon Whipped Cream & Toffee Bits Dessert There are some holidays when it is easier to stay at home and cook.  In my opinion, Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays.  I made this recipe from Betty Rosbottom’s Soup Nights (my favorite soup chef!) for Christmas Eve.  It is make-ahead (which I love) and it was fabulous.  So much so, I decided to make this for Valentine’s Day.  The recipe serves six which ensures there will be leftovers.  Rich, creamy butterscotch deliciousness topped with a dollop of Bourbon Whipped Cream and a pinch of crumbled toffee bits.  Yum…. Skor candy bars make an excellent toffee topping although Almond Roca or … Read more…

Apple Cider Bundt Cake with Apple Cider Cinnamon Glaze

Sweet Breakfast Treat Apple Cider Bundt Cake with Apple Cinnamon Glaze Breakfast When I was growing up, my Nana made cinnamon rolls every year for breakfast on Christmas morning.  They were terrific.  I asked about the recipe once, and she replied, “Sissy, that is what they make bakeries for!”  At this point, I had shown no interest in baking, so I’m not sure if she thought it would be beyond my skill set or if she was just tired of getting up before the crack of dawn to make cinnamon rolls. Because Tom and I host Christmas Eve dinner, we have always left the Christmas day festivities to his sister.   Tom’s sister, Deanna, passed away earlier this year leaving … Read more…

Pignoli Cookies with Orange and Rosemary

Taste of Italy Cookies Pignoli (Pine Nut) Cookies with Orange and Rosemary Dessert As indicated by the last couple of recipes here in Mai Tai Tracy’s Kitchen, our recent trip to Italy has inspired me to cook Italian!   My absolute favorite cookie on our first trip to Italy in 2001 was the pignoli (pine nut) cookies we had in Siena.  I could live on those cookies, but I had forgotten about them over the years until I tasted them again at our B&B in Orta San Giulio.  Upon returning home, I came across a recipe in the 2009 issue of Better Homes & Gardens Ultimate Italian that was ridiculously easy with only four ingredients.  The recipe reminds me of … Read more…

Apple and Snickers Salad

Sweet Dreams Are Made of This! Apple and Snickers Salad Dessert A few years ago, I read an article in the NY Times regarding the most distinct recipes searched for online in each state around Thanksgiving.  Being born and raised in California, many (who am I kidding?) … most of the recipes I had never heard of — Frog Eye Salad, Pig Pickin Cake, Dirt Pudding, you get the picture.  The big winner in South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska was Snickers Salad. (In case you were wondering, Persimmon Bread was the winner here in California.) So what is a Snickers Salad?  It’s a combination of chopped Snickers candy bars, apples and whipped topping.  YUM, and what a great way to use … Read more…

Mai Tai Upside-Down Skillet Cake with Hatch Chiles and Pineapple

skillet pineapple upside down cake

Edible Mai Tai Mai Tai Skillet Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Hatch Chiles  Dessert As Hatch chile season drew to a close, my mind was humming on how to use the Melissa’s Extra Hot Chiles we had grilled for the Hatch Chile Butterscotch Blondies.  We made some Hatch Chile hamburgers for dinner one night and when I opened a jar of my Caramelized Pineapple & Ghost Pepper Salsa, a pineapple upside-down cake popped into my mind.  Caramelized Hatch chiles and pineapple?  You bet!  I have not had Pineapple upside-down cake since I was probably in kindergarten.  My mom used to make it in a cast iron skillet.  I whipped one up, but it was kind of bland.  The cake just wasn’t … Read more…

Hatch Chile, Butterscotch & Pecan Blondies with Fleur de Sel

Butterscotch Blondies Recipe

Salty, Sweet and … Hot! Hatch Chile, Butterscotch & Pecan Blondies with Fleur de Sel Dessert Welcome to Hatch Chile Season, or as Tom calls it, “The most wonderful time of the year!”  We go crazy this time of the year grilling Hatch Chiles and finding new ways to use them.  Tom published a magazine for the produce industry for years and years and one of his favorite clients was Melissa’s Produce.  I credit Melissa’s for getting Tom to eat produce outside his comfort zone.  Now that Tom is retired, Melissa’s continues to include us in events and new products including sending us a big ole box of Hatch Chiles.  Thanks, Melissa’s! Knowing the box of chiles was to arrive soon, I had … Read more…

Cadillac Margarita Cheesecake Bars with Graham Cracker Pretzel Crust

Tequila Treat Treasure Cadillac Margarita Cheesecake Bars with Graham Cracker Pretzel Crust Dessert Tom’s birthday this year falls on National Tequila Day.  Since it is also a work day (for some of us at least), instead of downing some margs, I decided to make him the Top-Shelf Margarita Cheesecake found in Booze Cakes, Confections Spiked with Spirits, Wine, and Beer.  This recipe book was a gift from our friends, Dan and Linda, whose favorite booze cake is Tom’s Famous Black Russian Bundt Cake.  I have marked many cakes in this book that I would like to try but this is the first one I’ve made.  The recipe calls for a cornmeal crust, but I just couldn’t envision a margarita rimmed … Read more…

“Naked” Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting (and Strawberry Grand Marnier Filling)

Dessert Recipes

The Icing On The Cake!Lemon Olive Oil Cake Recipe “Naked” Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting (and Strawberry Grand Marnier Filling) Dessert I saw this lemon olive oil cake recipe in Better Homes and Gardens in 2015, but only recently got around to making it.  I love this cake!  It is so cute made in the 6” round pans.  Plus it’s super easy and delicious and will wow your friends and relatives. However, as I made the cake, I realized that it’s not a cake that can travel as the whipped cream frosting melts pretty quickly.  It was warm the day I baked it and when I took it outside to photograph I had to keep returning it … Read more…

Chocolate Bacon Bark with Fleur de Sel

chocolate bacon bark

Bark Is As Good As Its Bite! Chocolate Bacon Bark with Fleur de Sel Dessert While perusing the Good Housekeeping at the dentist’s office, I saw this recipe from Delish and just had to make it.  I made it twice because the first time it seemed to me that it needed more of that caramelized sugar layer, and, after increasing the butter and sugar substantially, it was way better.  I finished it with a sprinkle of Fleur de Sel. This dish is too good to have around the house on a regular basis.  Tom and I each ate a few and then I took the rest and offered them to my coworkers. On our first trip to Arles, France in … Read more…

Cherry ‘N Cream Cheese Pie with Cinnamon & Rice Krispies Pie Crust

Cherry, Cherry Good! Cherry ‘N Cream Cheese Pie with Cinnamon & Rice Krispies Pie Crust Dessert Recently, I was going through my Nana’s recipe cards looking for some old-fashioned inspiration when I came across a handwritten recipe for Creamy Cheese ‘N Cherry Pie made with Post Toasties or Rice Krispies cereal. For those of you who do not remember Post Toasties, they were the Post version of Corn Flakes. Post Toasties are no longer available so Rice Krispies it is. Neither my mom or I remember this pie, but it sounded intriguing, so I quickly ordered up a deep dish pie pan on Amazon for same day delivery and sent Tom to the store for ingredients. By 3 p.m., my … Read more…

Almond Tart with Raspberry Sauce

Just Like Mamma Used To Make Almond Tart Recipe with Raspberry Sauce Dessert Returning from our first trip to Italy in 2001, all the Italian food enamored us, especially the desserts (Pignoli cookies gave me the energy to join in a festival in Siena; Zabaglione in Rome; Panna Cotta in, well, everywhere … yum). I immediately ordered several Italian cookbooks including Dolci Toscani, The Book of Tuscan Desserts, by Anne Bianchi and Sandra Lott.  I have tried a few of these recipes over the years, but the one I keep going back to is the Torta Della mamma con fragole (Almond Tart with Raspberry Sauce), which is equally delicious with or without the raspberry sauce.  Interestingly, I read that the … Read more…

Dorie’s Mincemeat Oatmeal Bar Cookies with Bourbon Glaze

Try It, You’ll Like It! Dorie’s Mincemeat Oatmeal Bar Cookies with Bourbon Glaze Dessert Do you have a mincemeat pie fan in your household?  When I first met Tom, I had never even heard of mincemeat pie, let alone tasted one.  But it is a family tradition handed down on his dad’s side of the family who are English, so every Thanksgiving we would pick up a mincemeat pie. Tom’s mom was in charge of the hard sauce (butter, powdered sugar and bourbon); and Tom would eat one slice of that pie, and we would eventually toss the rest.  No one had any interest in that pie except Tom.  I didn’t even know what mincemeat was… for some reason in … Read more…

Cranberry Pineapple Jell-O Mousse

A Side Dish That Fits The Mold Cranberry Pineapple Jell-O Mousse Side Here is an easy make-ahead recipe for your Thanksgiving menu.  This dessert was shared with me by our friend, Helen, who brought it to Thanksgiving dinner a few years ago, and we now always request she make it.  When I was a kid, my Nana used to make a carrot pineapple Jell-O ring for Thanksgiving which I have to admit I’d never eat.  I’m not sure what I had against carrots as a kid, because I love them now.  I would also never eat the carrot cake that she made, which is DELICIOUS and one of Tom’s favorites (I’ll have to share that recipe someday). Tom, on the … Read more…

Mom’s Grasshopper Pie

Patience Grasshopper Mom’s Grasshopper Pie Dessert Grasshopper Pie is one of Tom’s childhood favorite desserts.  I make it for him every year on his birthday.  Today, we roll it out early in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, not because it’s Irish, but because it’s green! The easiest way to make this pie is with a 9” pre-made chocolate crumb crust.  However, I find those pre-made crusts aren’t deep enough to hold the entire recipe.  Not to mention, the tin foil pan does not make for an appetizing picture. For today’s pie, I made the pie crust on the side of the box of Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers. This pie is an old-school minty chocolate delicious dessert that will have your guests … Read more…

Limoncello Orange Sugar Cookies

When Life Hands You Lemons and Oranges… Limoncello Orange Sugar Cookies Dessert Our next door neighbor, she of the fabulous fig tree, also has an incredible Meyer lemon tree (a very pretty one) that fortuitously hangs into our yard and provides us with lemons nearly year round.  After reading the recipe for Lemon Sugar Cookies in Dorie’s Cookies, I decided to give it a try with Pat’s lemons. I wish you could smell these lemons!  Unlike many of the ones you buy in the store, these exude the sweetest scent and are really juicy.  To maximize the amount of juice you can get from a lemon, roll it around on the counter with your palm a little bit before squeezing … Read more…

Dorie’s Classic Jammer Cookies

A Hunky “Dorie” Classic Cookie Dorie’s Classic Jammer Cookies Dessert In late 2016 you could not pick up a holiday magazine without seeing a cookie recipe by Dorie Greenspan or reading about her new compendium of cookies, “Dorie’s Cookies.”  I had no sooner read a review in the LA Times when Tom was invited by Melissa’s Produce to attend a demonstration featuring Dorie. Despite my Nana’s best efforts, other than the occasional drop cookie and Bundt cake, I am not a baker (nor do I play one on TV).  With that in mind, I told Tom to take copious notes and maybe I would give one of these recipes a whirl. He came home from Melissa’s Produce with a bag … Read more…

Tom’s Famous Black Russian Bundt Cake

Simply Irresistible Tom’s Famous Black Russian Bundt Cake Dessert From MaiTaiTom’s Kitchen baby!  Every great chef has his or her Signature Dish. I’m not a great chef nor do I play one on TV, but this is my Signature Dessert, and the reason is that it is so damned easy to make. I’m nothing if not lazy.  With so little effort, this dessert is so incredibly delicious.  I was given this recipe in 1981 from Cynthia Salcido (Cynthia, wherever you are…thanks).  In looking online, I see many Black Russian Cake recipes that only include 1/4 cup of Kahlua and 1/4 quarter cup of vodka.  They also include 3/4 cups of water.  Well, my thought is if you have to put … Read more…

Nana’s Old Fashioned Christmas Oatmeal Gumdrop Cookies

Yuletide Treat Nana’s Old Fashioned Christmas Oatmeal Gumdrop Cookies Dessert This cookie recipe recently made it into the top 10 in the Los Angeles Times 2016 Holiday Cookie Bake-Off Competition. The results are not yet in as to the winner, but as December 4th is National Cookie Day, we are sharing this recipe with you now. It was mid-November, and the Christmas candy was out in every store, but no gumdrops!  I spent an entire Sunday afternoon driving around looking for gumdrops to make my Nana’s Old Fashioned Christmas Oatmeal Gumdrop cookies.  Apparently, this candy has fallen out of favor (at least in our neighborhood).  At home, I jumped online and discovered that gumdrops come in various blends.  Who knew? I … Read more…

Supremely Lemon Bundt Cake

Lemon Heaven Supremely Lemon Bundt Cake Dessert A co-worker shared this recipe with me.  The secret here is the Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme Cake mix and the apricot juice.  It is perfect for Spring, especially as our neighbor’s lemon tree overhangs our driveway full of the sweetest lemons ever.  It is both delicious and easy, exactly what we want at Tracy’s Kitchen.                                 Ingredients: Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme Cake Mix 1/2 c. sugar 1 c. apricot juice (we used Kern’s Apricot Nectar in the can) 3/4 c. vegetable oil 2 t. lemon oil (we used McNess Pure Lemon Oil from Williams Sonoma, but lemon extract works well too) zest of one fresh lemon 4 eggs at room temperature     … Read more…