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Friday, November 16, 2012

Extreme holiday desserts

Almost everyone has a sweet tooth, and I am no exception. This past week has consisted of my mother preparing for the extreme holiday cooking she is going to be doing for Thanksgiving, and I am happy to be the guinea pig for her desserts.

The first of these desserts (chronologically; there is no way I could pick a favorite) is the cherry and pistachio meringue. Mother used dried organic cherries, which are already bursting with sweet, tangy flavor, and soaked them in vanilla extract.

The strong, pure aroma of the vanilla mingled with the cherries, making them almost like a candy, while still avoiding being overly sweet. I will admit, I snatched more than few out of the bowl before they were mixed in with the crunchy, dried pistachio and the fluffy egg whites.

After baking for six or so hours (which builds anticipation) the meringue had transformed into a cloud-like, sugary confection that was crispy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside. The experiment was a success.

Then, for Food and Wine Weekend, my mom made comfort food -- more specifically, apple pie. It's pretty hard to impress someone with an apple pie, because everyone already has already picked favorites, be it their mother's, grandmother's, or aunt's. But after tasting that pie, I can tell you that my mother's is top tier.

And this pie happens to be gluten free. You just can't say no! The buttery no-wheat crust makes the perfect complement to the softened, caramelized apples. The apples somehow manage to even retain some freshness with a slight sourness.

To be thorough, or maybe because my whole family is chocaholic, my mom made one more delicious desert: chocolate tart that turned out to be more of a thin, crumbly cookie with a layer of smooth dark chocolate on top.

Good luck resisting the urge to try these at home!

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