“In these cookies, you start with a sweet dough and the sesame seeds push it over on the sweet-savory continuum,” says Dorie Greenspan. Blending ground almonds with the flour emphasizes the nutty sesame flavor.
“I’ve always been a fan of any food high in salt and starch,” Grant Achatz says, “and soft pretzels right out of the oven are awesome.” You can eat these slightly sweet, chewy, dark pretzel sticks plain or with mustard; Achatz goes for ranch dressing.
More suited to a cocktail party than a baseball game, this riff on Cracker Jack by Atlanta pastry chef Taria Camerino is sweetened with agave nectar and spiked with tequila. Slow-baking turns the popcorn-nut mix fabulously crunchy.
After rolling out this buttery dough, stamp out all different kinds of shapes (Ginna Haravon likes making animal crackers). It’s important to chill the dough before and after rolling it out so the crackers are tender.
Neal’s Deli serves tender, oversize pork-and-beef meatballs stuffed into a warm hero roll with melted provolone cheese. Although Matt Neal makes his own chunky tomato sauce for the sub, it's fine to substitute six cups of jarred sauce.
Dulce de Leche, Coconut and Chocolate Chip Magic Bars
This is Grace Parisi’s sophisticated version of magic bars, that chocolate-coconut bake-sale favorite. Browning the butter gives the crust a nutty flavor; cooking it in a metal baking dish makes it extra crisp. In a touch inspired by pastry chefs’ favorite new ingredient, Grace adds bacon to the filling.
This quick pickle was inspired by Japanese cucumbers dressed in sesame oil, salt and sesame seeds. Joanne Chang and her mother created the recipe together, and it’s now a customer favorite at Myers + Chang.
“I like the idea of making a healthy kind of potato chip that’s not one of those packaged, dehydrated vegetable chips,” Seamus Mullen says. He roasts kale with extra-virgin olive oil and garlic until it's crunchy.
Pecan halves sautéed with butter, sugar, and ground ginger are positively addictive. Serve them with ice cream, a selection of cookies, or fruit desserts, or on their own after dessert as petit fours. They’re quick to make and, presented in tins, are great gifts. If you prepare the pecans more than two days ahead, add another half teaspoon of ginger, since the flavor dissipates over time.