As I gathered recipes for my favorite sweets of 2012, I noticed one very startling trend–the near absence of chocolate. I don’t know what happened. I’m a serious chocolate lover. Really, I am. But somehow I ended up with only two recipes featuring my favorite indulgence. Don’t be too worried, though. I’ve replaced the chocolate treats with cocktails, ice cream, and fruity desserts. I hope that’s okay with you.
Pumpkin donut muffins–breakfast or dessert? You decide. Because I can’t.
Cranberry-dark chocolate scones–with fresh cranberries and chunks of dark chocolate, these scones can warm up any winter morning.
Yogurt cake with fruit purée–this simple cake was a surprising hit. When baked, it retained a subtle birthday cake batter flavor I actually liked. The fruit purée will work with nearly any of your favorite fruits, so this is one versatile dessert.
I had tons of fun in my kitchen this summer. I churned out several batches of ice cream, but I had the best time making this blueberry ice cream with my precious niece.
Bourbon-cherry ice cream–the first of two frozen desserts I made just for the grown ups. I have a serious love for bourbon, ice cream, and fresh, sweet summer cherries, so this was a no brainer for me.
Fresh grape and champagne sorbet–my sweet friend Jessica got married and her virtual shower was the perfect opportunity to make this unique and very grown up dessert. I served it in my Mammo’s champagne glasses, a touch I know Jessica loved.
My favorite holiday of the year is Fourth of July and I really got after it with the patriotic treats. I parlayed my love for red velvet cake into these very festive red, white, and blue velvet cupcakes and was overjoyed with the outcome.
Grapefruit margaritas–I’ve only recently come around to the deliciousness of pink (and ruby red, if I can find it) grapefruit. These margaritas may or may not have had something to do with that…
Aperol spritz–before preparing for my trip to Venice, I’d never heard of this drink. I read about it in one of Rick Steves’ guidebooks and decided I had to try it. Thank you, Mr. Steves. You helped me (and my beautiful mom, the model in this picture) find a new summer favorite.
Double lemon tart–my favorite lemon curd paired with a layer of lemon cheesecake. The crust was a challenge to work with, but so, so worth it.
Peppermint mocha fudge–as if the famous holiday beverage wasn’t treat enough, I turned it into a decadent dessert that’s sure to please any holiday party goer or gift recipient.