Best desserts had to be on the mind of the person who came up with that old saying “save the best for the last”. A spectacular sweet will erase any disappointment in a first course, when having friends for dinner.
Like reading the last chapter of a book first to see how it ends, many
people want to know before dinner “what is for dessert”. Sweets are
usually the most anticipated part of the meal.
People immigrating to America from all around the world brought recipes for wonderful sweets. They have evolved from the early days here of fresh fruit, fruit pies and fruit cobblers to luscious rich sweets. Nowhere in the realm of food preparation, is there a wider choice for the planner of menus. From simple cookies, cake, and pies to mousses, soufflés and trifles, there is a time and place for all. If one category of food gets me excited, this is it. I have collected recipes of the best desserts for most of my life and I will share them with you.
Sweets should complement the other courses of your meal. The grand finale should appeal to three senses – sight, smell and taste. If the main course is a sumptuous and filling one, top it off with a light sweet. If you have prepared a simple menu that is light in calories, you might splurge on a rich, elegant one. If all is to end well, follow the recipe directions exactly. Overcooking or too high a temperature will curdle custard. The texture of gelatin sweet depends on the proper proportion of gelatin to the liquid and the temperature at which it congeals. The successful shortcake must be made with a light tender biscuit.
Different sweets are served in different ways. Some must be served hot, some cold, some frozen and some just warm. Again, remember to follow the directions carefully. If the directions say to serve hot or cold, that is how it should be served when it reaches the table. This is a factor to consider when choosing one of your best desserts to serve.
The right equipment makes sweets making easier, and will add to the eye presentation. You should consider this when selecting from your cookbooks. Some recipes call for spring form pans, special molds and other specialty equipment for shaping and baking. These things might be important if you are having a special dinner, but if you are just trying something at home, you could possibly make a substitution.
Choose your recipes carefully, follow the directions exactly as they instruct you, add a little garnish for eye appeal, serve at right temperature, and the “last will be the best”. Serve your dessert with fresh coffee or tea. Your guest will leave with that last taste in their mouth and you will be a success.
I make this recipe when I am trying to rotate the fruit from my freezer; use any mixture you like. For this picture I used a combination of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries.
Preheat oven at 350F degrees.
Combine flour, brown sugar, walnuts, rolled oats and melted butter; blend well and set aside.
Combine fruit and sugar in a large bowl; toss fruit to coat with sugar.
Spoon fruit into a large casserole baking dish; sprinkle the roll oat mixture over the top.
Bake until golden brown about 40 minutes; serve warm or cold with ice cream or whipped cream.
Serves about 12.
For generations this blackberry cobbler recipe has been one of the best desserts for many people. It is simple and always delicious especially when served warm and topped with a scoop of ice cream.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Cut butter into flour with pastry cutter; add 1 cup sugar, milk and baking powder and mix just until blended.
Pour into buttered 8 inch square pan.
Sprinkle 1 cup sugar over berries and stir gently.
Pour berries in center of pan and bake 35 to 40 minutes.
Serve warm with half and half in bowls (or omit half and half and serve with vanilla ice cream).
This baklava recipe is one of the best desserts to serve for people who love Greek food; I love it!
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Mix nuts with sugar and spices in a large bowl.
Brush bottom of pan (10 X 16 inch) with melted butter.
Place 6 sheets of the Filo dough over the bottom of the buttered pan; brush each with butter.
Sprinkle a thin layer of the nut mixture on top of the 6 butter sheets.
Cover with one pastry sheet, butter with butter and sprinkle again with nut mixture; continue this layering process until all nuts are used.
Finish dessert by 6 to 8 Filo sheets on top of the other and buttering each one.
With a serrated knife cut baklava in 1 inch strips; cut again in 1 inch to form diamond shapes.
Stick a whole clove in the center of each piece; bake 65 to 75 minutes and top is golden brown.
After baking slowly pour cool honey syrup over hot baklava.
HONEY SYRUP- This syrup is what makes this one of the best recipes. Make it ahead of time and let cool 6 to 8 hours.
Combine all ingredients and boil for 20 minutes (cook to 220 F degrees) or until slightly thickened; let cool.
For chocolate lovers, I have saved the best of the best desserts for the last. This is heavenly!
First mix rum and brown sugar; set grapes in mixture to marinate for several hours.
Heat chocolate and water in double boiler over hot water until chocolate melts.
Remove from heat and stir in flour, sugar and butter.
Beat egg yolks vigorously and stir into chocolate mixture.
Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter.
Pour into a round greased and lined 8 inch cake pan
Bake at 425F degrees for only 15 minutes.
To serve mix grapes with sour cream and garnish each serving of chocolate gateau recipe.
NOTE: Cut small servings; very rich.