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Reader Interview: Just Desserts — 146 Comments

  1. My absolute favorite is one I can no longer get in my area – the White Chocolate Bread Pudding from the Copeland’s restaurant chain. The pudding is described on one of their websites as a “French bread custard pudding with shaved white chocolate and a Frangelico cream sauce.”

    Copeland’s is a chain of Cajun food restaurants run by the same company that runs Popeye’s. The closest to you, Holly, would be in Jacksonville. The bread pudding used to be a special birthday dessert in our house, but I can’t get this anymore because the local restaurant closed years ago.

    Why this dessert? I am a huge fan of white chocolate in most things, and love a good bread pudding. I’ve never had any dessert as rich as this one. Not that I won’t keep looking, mind you.

  2. Everyone has such great ideas, I love all of them but I think I’d pick chocolate truffles. I make my own every Christmas time. They’rs so rich and smooth that you only need to eat one. I keep them in the fridge and everyday, get one out and slowly enjoy it. They go too fast of course because my husband and daughter get into them too!

  3. I’m a dessert junkie… after red meats there’s nothing finer. lol But I think my favorite “healthy” dessert is what I like to call Cool Whip Delight. Let me share…

    Take 1 large container of Light Cool Whip and empty it into a large punch bowl

    One 16 oz container of Light Philadelphia Cream Cheese… put it all in the bowl and blend well with the Cool Whip.

    Pick your favorite flavor jello, I like Mixed Berry and Orange and shake the powder into the mix and stir in really well, it makes the Cool Whip turn color and tastes like the jello flavor.

    Now… pour in berries of your choice… blueberries, raspberries, blackberries work great. Once in a while I’ll put in sliced strawberries but it works great with the other three alone. One small container of each berry.

    Mix it all up good.. chill or eat right away. Chilling it turns it into a thick, fluffy mousse-like texture. It’s AWESOME!!

  4. Anything with fruit and dough. Pie, cobbler, dumplings. If I could pick one desert I could add back to my diabetic diet without going blind or losing a toe, it would be pecan pie.

  5. I’ll be the first one to admit it…I’ve got a HUGE sweet tooth. So picking just one favorite dessert? It’s not easy. But if I had to, it would be a fruit cake, every time.
    …And now people are checking to see if I’ve just lost my mind. But yes, the not-as-healthy-as-people-might-think fruit cake! The reasons why:
    1.)The amazing crust. It’s flaky, it melts in your mouth, yet it’s still sort of crunchy. What’s not to love?
    2.) The awesome icing. It’s sweet and really compliments the tartness of the fruit.
    3.) I guess I HAVE to include the fruit. I mean, it’s a fruit cake and all…
    -Annie

  6. creme brûlée with the perfect coating of crunchy sugar topped with slices of strawberries and blueberries. The crisp crunchy sweetness protecting the melt in your mouthy creamy goodness, all with the tart sweetness of perfectly ripe berries. I’m drooling into my keyboard…

  7. My favorite dessert isn’t something that’s typically considered a dessert. It’s plums. Not nectarine and plum Galette, not plum cobbler, not even plum oatmeal crumble. Just plums. As a child, my family was extremely poor and we couldn’t afford to have tradiditional desserts, so my parents told us we couldn’t have any fruit until we ate all our veggies. Since we lived in the middle of nowhere (a.k.a. Northern Minnesota) fresh plums weren’t something we could buy everyday, so it was a rare treat. It has continued to be my favorite dessert until this day.

  8. Well Chocolate and Rice Pudding, yep always on my birthday for the past 25 years since my mother ever made it for it me, my birthday meal was Beef Stew and Dumplings and Rice Pudding for Dessert with Strawberry Jam. yep even now and I’m 30 something 😛

    Chocolate came after wards 🙂

  9. WOW! Very tough question. Not sure I can whittle it down to one because I love so many desserts:P But, there’s probably one clear favorite for me – red velvet cake with cream cheese icing!!! I’m salivating just thinking about it. But in a close second place will always be homemade banana pudding with plenty of bananas and vanilla wafers.

    Geez…thanks for that question…I know what I’m having for dinner tonight:)

  10. These days, I’m a fruit girl. But back when I wasn’t at all responsible for my milk/gluten/corn allergies, my favorite dessert was from this Italian market around the corner from my old apartment. It was definitely the kind of dessert you’d skip the meal for – they called it “Chocolate Obsession.”

    Flourless chocolate cake, dark, rich, and so moist it almost like fudge. That was topped with a mocha mousse, then the whole thing was covered in a chocolate ganache and heavily sprinkled with bits of toffee and pieces of pecan. It was about as close to heaven in your mouth as I think you can get.

  11. My first instinct was: “Gooey Butter Cookies. Every time.” But then I thought of vanilla bean ice cream, and it became a little more difficult…

    But those cookies are incredible. They are so incredible, in fact, that I must immediately share:

    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    8 oz. cream cheese, softened
    1 egg
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 (2 layer) package butter-recipe yellow cake mix (lemon is really good, too)
    1 to 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

    Instructions:
    Beat the butter, cream cheese, egg and vanilla in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
    Stir in the dry cake mix.
    Chill, covered, for 30 minutes (or until ready to make cookies-even a day or two is OK)
    Drop the dough by teaspoonfuls into a bowl of confectioners’ sugar and roll into balls.
    Arrange on cookie sheets lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray.
    Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
    Cool on wire racks.
    Makes about 3 dozen.

    … And here’s hoping I haven’t ruined anyone’s diet. c.c;

  12. Gah. I’m on a raw milk fast at the moment, during my mom’s and sister’s birthdays, so right now I’m inclined to say chocolate cake! It is one of my favorites…
    However… thinking longer, I’m torn between two kinds of cookies, both of which were my specialities when I made desserts (a time I hope will come again). One has light chocolate dough, and makes small, soft cookies packed with bittersweet chocolate chunks, white chocolate chips and cherries. Ninja cookies(they vanished quickly and left no trace) and probably the ones I made most often.
    The other was peanut-butter dough and and made larger, flatter cookies that had large chocolate chunks in them, and were often drizzled with chocolate. It might sound simple, but they were crazily addictive.

  13. Decaf tiramisu, which I have to make myself because I can’t do caffeine or chocolate. My dream is that a decaf, chocolate-free version of it will someday exist somewhere outside of my own kitchen.

  14. The best desert ever is from a late friend of my mom; it’s called Chocolate Angel Delight, and is made from whipped cream infused with melted semi-sweet chocolate chips poured over angel food cake torn into bite sized pieces then chilled for at least 8 hours. The cake absorbs the chocolate whipped cream, and every once in a while you happen across a chocolate chip which wasn’t completed melted into the cream, adding an extra crunchy, chocolately burst…it’s wonderful anytime, but perfect on a hot summer day!

  15. Oh, I’m with Annie – Creme Brulee or Sticky Toffee Pudding. With creme brulee it the contrast between crunchy caramelized sugar on top and the creamy custard. And sticky toffee pudding, warm, with the carmel drizzle over the top – it is an explosion of fun in your mouth.

    And normally I’m a chocolate person, but these two desserts will trump chocolate every time for me.

  16. Before I lost 24lb using Slimming World recipes, I’d love nothing better than to melt Lindor chocolate over a pan of boiling water, then drizzle it over ice-cream where it reformed into a hardened chocolate lava flow down the sides of the ice-cream. Great for my inner chocoholic. Now that I have reformed, I love a big bowl of strawberries or halved red grapes or a mix of the two for a sweet kick when I need it without risking gaining any pounds. If I really wanted to I could dip strawberries into melted chocolate and have 15 of them without doing any damage to my weight loss, but I don’t miss the chocolate anymore, being a fully fledged convert to snacking on fruit.

  17. Until I read this and saw Annie’s entry I thought I was the only person on the planet who doesn’t like deserts. No cake, cookies, snacks, ice cream, pudding…nothing. (Yeah, a real pain in the butt as a kid for b-day parties and other such things.) But I will stand on my head and spit wooden nickels for a handful of Cheetos. 🙂

  18. That’s a real tough one, so I’m gonna go for my ideal dessert.

    A sweet soft light cupcake with choclatesauce that melts on my tongue. And ooh!! Choclate mousse as icing! Yes definately.

    Why? Because it’s light and yet sensual. That’s how I’d describe it. It isn’t too much of something. It isn’t a heavy piece of pie where I’d get sick from for the comming hours – really though, I LOATHE pie. Because the dough and the filling is too heavy, as if you’re getting a sweetness-hangover.

  19. Oh! And Rocky Mountain Chocolate’s Peanut Butter Pails. they are like reese’s peanut butter cups, but MUCH BIGGER!!! My husband brought me some after a business trip to Colorado and they are now my new favorite thing.

  20. Bananas Foster is, hands down, the best dessert in the world. Butter cake is a close second. And if you can get it at Legal Seafoods, you are in for a treat.

  21. In my youth, I was never a dessert person. My preference was always to have a second helping of something from the main portion of the meal. I like dessert better now and would likely go with warm bread pudding and cold vanilla ice cream. The combination of the two temperatures creates a climate of taste that is superlative in my mouth.

  22. In my memory, one of the all time greatest desserts I’ve ever had was grandma’s cake with this yummy, smooth, and sweet caramel frosting. I have such fondness for this cake that it makes my mouth water now just thinking about it.

    When I was a kid, each week my family and I would go to grandma’s house for Sunday dinner. She always had her caramel frosted cake for desert. Everyone talked reverently about this cake. You could see it in their eyes as they talked about this cake. It had very special meaning to them too. One reason for her making this cake was that it was simple to make, and the other was my grandfather just loved it. It is hard for me to remember a time when this dessert was not available at grandma’s house.

    I can remember the very first time I had this treat. We had just finished dinner and grandma asked me to fetch the cake from the pantry. I left the table and entered the pantry. The pantry was a room about the size of a good-sized walk-in closet. In this pantry was a piece of furniture called a food-safe. It was much like a china hutch but not as tall. There was window screen stapled all the way around it to keep any flies out. The cake was in the food safe, so I grabbed it. The cake was in a very old and often used cake pan. As I carried the cake to the kitchen I could smell the frosting lofting up from the pan. Grandma started to cut pieces and place them on small china plates. I took each piece of cake out to everyone who was still sitting at the table. Everyone was still there – no one had left the table. They were all waiting for their slice of heaven. One by one, everyone got a piece of cake. I could feel the excitement building and building in anticipation of such a treat. Fresh coffee was poured and everyone began to dive into his or her very own piece of cake.

    I sat down at the table … my fork at the ready.

    That’s when my grandfather spoke up and said, “What was that, I think I saw one of the neighbors on the front porch.” (He was looking directly at me and saying, “Did you see that?”)

    Well of course I did not, so I got up from the table to look out the front window. I could not see anyone and did not hear anything either. So I headed back to the table – after all my cake was there waiting for me, and I was so looking forward to having this cake. Let us not forget that yummy caramel frosting. I got back to my chair and found that my cake had been given a “frosting-ectomy”.

    “What!”

    I looked at everyone at the table. I looked at each one individually. I looked on everyone’s plate. I was missing my frosting.

    “Wait, just a minute there!” I said.

    No one was paying any attention to me … I was in distress. I looked all over the table to see if my frosting had fallen off my cake by mistake. Nope, not on the table. I looked under the table to make sure it had not fallen onto the floor – nope not there either. No one seamed to understand the problem at hand. Now it was time to start the questioning.

    “Do you have my cake?”
    “Do you have my cake?”

    By this time, almost everybody had finished their own piece of cake and moved away from the table. It seemed no one knew where my cake frosting went.

    “Your cake is right there on your plate,” someone said. “What are you griping about? You must have already eaten it and just did not remember.”

    “I did not eat the frosting! I would have remembered that little point.”

    I sat there with my grandfather at the table. My grandfather was drinking his coffee and I sat there with just a piece of yellow cake, no frosting.

    I must have had a pitiful look on my face because my grandfather said, “What’s wrong boy?”

    I proceeded to explain that somehow I had lost my frosting. He offered to help me look for it. We looked for a couple of minutes with no success.

    Then grandpa said, “Just go get another piece.”

    “Ok. I could do that!”

    I went out to the kitchen and grandma got another piece for me and said, “Keep your eye on this one.”

    I said, “I would.”

    I realized that something was not as it seemed. I took my new piece of cake back out to the table and sat down next to my grandfather, at his request. I noticed that he glanced up at the front window again.

    “What was that?” he says, as he looks towards the window.

    I look and then realized… that was how I lost the last piece of frosting. I looked back at my grandfather and saw he had his butter-knife in hand and was ready for action. I grabbed my fork, and stabbed my cake right through the top of the frosting and down through the middle of the cake, all the way down to the plate. I then turned my head and looked out the window to see that no one was there.

    “Nope,” I said, “no one there.”

    All of a sudden, my grandfather started to laugh and cough and he almost fell off his chair. He said that was the first time anyone had ever thought it through and figured out how to keep him from swiping the frosting. My grandfather has been pulling that same joke on countless people over the years. He had become an expert at slicing off the top of any cake in one quick movement and not even disturbing the cake below.

    That day I became the favorite grandchild of my grandfather. I could do no wrong. That day I also learned a very valuable lesson: when in doubt, stab the cake.

  23. Oooooh that’s a tough question! I came in thinking the molasses cookies I learned how to make from my grandmother, but now I’m thinking of a recent discovery:

    Red velvet-flavored yogurt with marshmallow drizzle… maybe throw in some Jolly Rancher pomegranate-flavored yogurt.

    It’s so deliciously sweet and lower in calories than ice cream. Plus, active yogurt cultures for digestion.

  24. SaltNVinegar crisps. Luckily they’re not available (in good quality) in Germany or I’d be even fatter than I am.

    Once, I flew to Scotland to visit some friends. I took a giant, nearly empty backpack (very little clothing since it was only for a few days). On the way back it was stuffed with crisps, crunching accordingly.

    The man at the customs center stopped me and asked me to open the backpack. When he saw all those little packets of crisps, he said, “You do know that you are only allowed to bring edibles for yourself.”

    I answered with fervor. “No one will get a bite of these.”

    My face must have shown so much horror at the thought of sharing, the custom officer still laughed when I left the airport.

      • Utz brand salt and malt vinegar chips are the best I’ve ever had. A bag of them never lasts a day in our house, so we don’t buy them often. If it weren’t for bacon, I’d call it the perfect food.

  25. Just one? How can I choose a single dessert?

    It would have to be the perfect white cake with white buttercream frosting. I would have to taste a lot to decide which was the perfect one….

  26. Why just one? I have three but I’ll pick one if I have to.
    Orange, lemon and coconut sorbet. The face squigging factor when the sour and the sweet fight for prominence. I can’t help but love it. My two boys love watching me eat it and taking a mickey at the faces that I make. Not only does it taste good but the whole family enjoys watching me eat it. Dinner and a show. I love it.

  27. My favorite all time dessert would probably be a banana split but on many trips to UK I fell in love with pavlova too, so I guess it is one for the US and one for Britain.

  28. Chocolate mousse. Or any deep, dark chocolate, for that matter. I love the creaminess of the mousse, though, and chocolate puts me in a good mood. Besides, dark chocolate is good for the heart. 🙂

  29. My friend makes a divine chocolate sauce that I can eat by the bowlful. For some reason I’ve never asked her for the recipe, but I’m happy to just have her make it for me!

  30. My dad’s chocolate chip cookies. While I was in college, he would give me a pack every day to take with me and I would often have to fight my friends off to get one since we all loved them. They’ve been teasingly renamed “the precious…”

    • LOL. My mom occasionally made her secret recipe peanut-butter-chocolate-chip brownies that I took in my lunch in 7th grade. They had the same effect.

      • Back when I was in the Navy, my wife’s macadamia nut cookies were a huge hit whenever they arrived in the mail. Usually they’d show up as a tin full of crumbs because of how long it took for packages to catch up to the ship, but people looked forward to those crumbs!

        • Hahaha! My mom used to send cookies and other treats to my cousins in Vietnam, though the food was usually stolen before it reached them. And my cube-mate’s mother sent cookies to her, in big coffee cans, packed with unseasoned popcorn to keep them from shifting and breaking en route.

          I begged Mom to send me some cookies.

          She sent me the recipe. That’s all. Just the recipe. She reasoned that since the WM student barracks had a kitchen (wild overstatement), I could make my own cookies. I never did.

          You are so lucky that your wife never found out that the ship had a galley. 🙂

  31. I am also a cookie eater. I love, absolutely could eat the whole package love, Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies. I hate that you can only get them once a year and I’m never smart enough to stock up and freeze them for the rest of the year.

    • Girl Scout Cookies. Agh. I am convinced that Girl Scouts are the Minion of Evil for selling those damn things. Samoas, Thin Mints, and the peanut butter ones are my favorites—and this year I made it through the season without buying a single box.

      • My daughter is a Girl Scout. I do agree – they are like a cult. $4.00 a box is evil. Kudos to your resolve this year.

  32. Cheesecake. If I had to pick a specific kind of cheesecake, vanilla bean cheesecake. It’s like the perfect food to me. Creamy, airy, lightly sweet, a little sour. There’s nothing about it that I don’t like.

    • Cheesecake, yes! I am so surprised this isn’t first on the list. Hate the cherry kind, but all the rest I could eat anytime. But nobody has mentioned Christmas cake, either and I could eat a whole loaf of it myself. It comes with happy memories and the taste of spices, molasses and butter, crammed with dried and candied fruit. Oh boy!

  33. No freakin’ brainer.

    My Gran’s peach cobbler.

    She’s many orbits around the sun gone but no one has been able to touch her cobbler. Curiously enough of all the women in my life, my sister has come the closest to matching my Gran’s recipe…

  34. My Oma always took me to a small konditari when I was staying with her in Hallein Austria. There I got vanilla ice cream topped with a hot raspberry sauce and whipped cream, thin wafer on the side, called a “Heiße Liebe.” Vanilla ice cream is my favorite but nothing beats “Hot Love.”

  35. I am a descendant of Scots so, when I say Irish Pudding with lemon sauce is my favourite dessert, I envision one upside the head from my ancestors. I found the most wonderful recipe for the pudding in the Montreal Gazette about twenty years ago and it is probably the only recipe in my collection that I have never found necessary to alter in any way.

  36. Of course, I love chocolate — brownies, chocolate pie, fudge cake, all of it. But last week my granddaughter made a pistachio cake that was out of this world. It was warm and absolutely marvelous. I could live on it.

    • One of my aunts uses Marshmallow Cream in her meringue. It is delicious. I’ve made some using the marshmallow cream and will never make meringue any other way. 🙂

  37. Why would I want to go on if I could only have one dessert?
    Seriously, I’d rather give them up entirely than be restricted to only one for the rest of my life.
    I have no ‘favourite’, as my favourite varies moment to moment, depending on mood, location, context and what’s available
    If I had to choose only one, I’d forego sweet entirely and opt for cheese and biscuits. I wouldn’t be able to face eating something sweet that wasn’t the sweet I wanted.

    Struggling on through the waist-land

    • I’ve pretty given up dessert. Once every few weeks, though, I’ll allow myself some oatmeal raisin cookies. And a few weeks after that, a tiny box of Godiva chocolates.

      I don’t have a precise schedule, but Friday is the only dessert day, and some weeks need to fall between any dessert Friday and the next.

  38. Pavlova. That abrosial combination of crunchy, then chewy meringue, billowy whipped cream, and tart fruit in one, heavenly mouthful. If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to clean my keyboard of drool…..

    • Kristen, The next time you make a lemon pie, try making the meringue the same way as you would for a pavlova. Cook it separately and, once its dry and cooled, assemble the pie. By doing this, the lemon filling never goes in the oven and, therefore, doesn’t ‘sweat’. The pie crust stays dry and won’t break down. It’s like eating a piece of heaven. (It’s almost as good as Irish Pudding on the enjoyment scale. I think the attraction to IP for me is the combination of the fruit, carrots and cinnamon.

  39. I’m less of a sweet person and more a savoury person – give me crisps (potato chips) any day. And we have a snack called Twiglets over here that for me are the equivalent of a class A drug. But if I am having dessert it will be creme brulee or sticky toffee pudding, normally.

  40. Ice cream. Everything else I crave (fruits, berries etc) is conveniently filed under the “healthy food I have to eat” label 🙂

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