Our Favorite Comfort Food Dessert Recipes
Don't let the comfort food end with the main course. Top off your mealtime with a delicious and comforting dessert that will prove to be the perfect finishing touch.
First up, Rich Chocolate Pudding Pie. Melted chocolate binds cookie crumbs for the crust—and makes it extra delicious. Substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for the rum.
Apple Galette with Vanilla Yogurt Drizzle
Rustic is gorgeous—that’s never been more true than with this fall apple tart. We save on sat fat and make the crust more tender by swapping in low-fat yogurt for some of the butter (use standard yogurt, not Greek-style). Make dough ahead and refrigerate or freeze (just remember to thaw completely before rolling). Cutting the apple crosswise for a “star” shape in the center of each slice adds a special touch, but any slice will work. You can sub the scraped seeds from one vanilla bean pod or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for the vanilla bean paste.
Try this in a cocktail glass with a shot of chilled dark rum spooned over the top. FYI: Make sure you buy ripe fruit. Papayas yellow as they ripen: Look for full, yellowish skin with slightly soft flesh for the best musky melon flavor. The base of a pineapple should be red-orange in color. Smell it and check for a sweet aroma.
Think of these tasty little tassies as your own personal pecan pie. They're both salty and sweet, with a hit of oaky bourbon. Whole-grain rye flour adds the perfect touch of sour to the shortbread-like crust, while toasted pecans do double duty in the crust and in the maple-splashed filling. As if that weren't enough to jingle your bell, we drizzle warm bittersweet chocolate over each bite to ensure maximum satisfaction.
Chipotle Peanut Brittle
This smoky-sweet brittle is a great snack; substitute pecans or almonds, if you prefer. For plain peanut brittle, omit the chile powder.
Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes
We had the greatest success using a pan with 2 1/2-ounce cups, such as Chicago Metallic's 12-Well Mini Cheesecake Pan ($25). This pan has removable bottoms (similar to a tart pan) so that you simply push each cheesecake up to remove it. You can also bake them in a standard muffin tin; line it with foil liners for easier removal.
Vanilla Bean Shortbread
This half-oil, half-butter version yields a crisp, delicate cookie. The cookies can be made in advance and will keep for several days stored in an airtight container.
Lemon Cream Pie
Fluffy, topping, silky filling, and crisp crust: This cream pie is truly dreamy.
Banana Split Ice-Cream Sandwiches
Crisp vanilla cookies add a textural twist to conventional banana split ingredients in this delightful sweet treat.
Fresh Coconut Cake
If your coconut water does not measure 1 cup (8 fluid ounces), add enough tap water so the liquid measures 1 cup. Even though fresh coconut is sublime, you can use Goya brand coconut water in place of fresh coconut water and buy coconut flakes in the baking aisle. A cooked Italian-meringue does big-time nutritional pinch-hitting for a high-fat cream-based frosting.
Sponge Cake with Orange Curd and Strawberries
Matzo and almond flour sponge cake is delightful—floral and sweet, with lemon, orange, and tangy berries. This cake is a winner year-round.
Roasted Banana Pudding
Many folks say banana pudding is best the next day, after the flavors have blended overnight and the cookies have softened. In our classic recipe makeover, roasting the bananas in the peel intensifies the flavor.
Giant Chocolate Chunk Cookies
These cookies are big with lots of chocolate chips. They're also easy to freeze—just wrap individually in heavy-duty plastic wrap, and store in a zip-top bag.
The cranberry steeping liquid clings to the berries and helps the sugar adhere for the sparkling, jewel-like effect. You can use the liquid drained from the cranberries in cocktails or over ice cream. If you can't find mascarpone cheese, use regular cream cheese.
Warm spices and brown sugar add rich, caramelized flavors to this carrot cake. If you can't find fromage blanc, use more cream cheese.
Vodka keeps the sherbet from freezing rock hard, but it's optional. For a delicious garnish, boil julienne strips of grapefruit rind in simple syrup for 30 minutes; drain and toss in sugar.
Spiced Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
Vegetable shortening gives this piecrust—which we've deemed our best ever—a delicious, flaky texture. Be sure to read the nutrition labels and buy a brand with no trans fats though.
Fresh Mint Ice Cream
This make-ahead creamy treat makes an ideal dessert for summertime entertaining. Not a mint fan? Substitute toasted coconut for mint.
Salted Caramel Ice Cream
It is hard to beat the sweet and salty flavor of this indulgent yet lightened ice cream.