Whether you're celebrating Christmas, Hanukah or Kwanza, these dessert recipes are perfect for completing your holiday feast.
Sweet Potato Pie is an old Southern favorite. It looks like and is usually flavored like pumpkin pie and I've had it many times in my life - well, several times anyway. But I'd never made it until I was sent a copy of the Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook to review. Their recipe intrigued me because it included buttermilk, so I made it. It's seriously good. The recipe below is adapted from their version.
Bread pudding is one of those old dishes. It has certainly been around in some form or another since bread was invented. Take some stale bread, an egg or two, a bit of milk, sugar, and a fire and cook the mixture. It's just bread baked in a sweetened custard. What could be simpler? Bread pudding with raisins and whiskey is a traditional Christmas treat in parts of Ireland. The apples are my addition as is the whiskey/cream topping.
My favorite apple pie is the Dutch variety, which features a streusel topping instead of pastry. The main reason I like it is the topping's flavor. But I also, half the time I already have streusel in the freezer. Its crunch is a nice contrast to the soft apples and as the fruit settles during cooking the streusel settles with it. By the way, what we call "Dutch" apple is most likely an American invention from the German-settled areas of Pennsylvania.
There are few desserts more sensual than chocolate mousse. First, there's the whole chocolate/chemical thing and its mimicry of endorphins - the pleasure hormone. Then there's the rich, smooth, creamy mouth-feel. The other great thing mousse has going for it is you can make it a day in advance (allow at least four hours for chilling).
This wonderful apple cake is easy to make, packed with flavor, and perfect any time of year, but is particularly suited for fall when apples are in season and the spices fill your home with the exotic scents of the east that we so associate with apples, fall, winter, rain, and warmth. I particularly like Braeburn apples in this recipe.
One Thanksgiving a few years ago I was looking for something different to do with cranberries - something really different. Cranberry relish or jelly certainly wasn't going to cut it. I could have added the cranberries as an ingredient in another dish such as stuffing or green beans, but I wanted to feature the cranberries. Then I hit on it: dessert! Specifically cranberry mousse. This has a nice tart flavor, is made at least a day in advance, and makes a gorgeous presentation.