Apple Pie Bars
Mary Odson’s sister Cathy came up with these bars, which have a nutty, streusel-like topping and a crisp shortbread crust.
These delightful nut bars, inspired by a recipe from Ken Oringer's mother-in-law, are both gooey and crisp. Oringer sometimes adds a pinch of curry powder to the caramel because, he says, "I like for people to bite into these and wonder what the spice is. I love that element of surprise."
Chocolate Brownie Cookies
These double-chocolate cookies are the best you'll ever taste. With crisp edges surrounding an ultralight center, they're like fudgy brownies in cookie form.
White Peach Tart
"This crust is not what you'd expect," Marco Canora says. "Instead of being crunchy, it's puffy and cakey." The dough is terrific for impromptu baking, because it doesn't need to be chilled before it's rolled out. For the filling, Canora recommends using peaches that are ripe but still firm, as drippy fruit will make the soft crust soggy.
Sarah Simmons came up with these moist, chewy blondies when she was left with extra caramel after an event. The little bit of orange zest is lovely with the sweet-salty caramel.
Lemon-Glazed Citrus-Yogurt Pound Cake
Grapefruit juice in the pound cake and lemon juice in the glaze give this sweet, tender cake an especially citrusy taste. Be sure to use cake flour rather than self-rising to ensure a feather-light texture.
Brown Butter Pistachio Financiers
Top Chef winner Kristen Kish adds ground pistachios and nutty brown butter to her adorable little cakes, based on a classic French petit four.
Bacon-Bourbon Brownies with Pecans
Kat Kinsman tops her rich brownies with bacon and pecans. To enhance the smoky flavor, she mixes some of the bacon fat into the batter.
Free-Form Blueberry Tart
Jeremy Sewall adds a little candied ginger to the tart’s crust for a hint of spice; feel free to add more or omit it altogether.
Apricot, Coconut and Almond Bars
These oat bars, packed with fruit and nuts, are like delicious granola made to go.
Traditional clafoutis does not contain almond flour, but Belinda Leong uses it to add texture to her version of the rustic dessert of fruit baked in batter.
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.
Cream Cheese Cookies with Blueberries and Lime Glaze
For cream cheese lovers, these tangy cookies pack a double dose—in the cookie dough and in the puckery lime glaze. Dried blueberries add sweetness and chew. Cooking the cream cheese before adding it to the dough eliminates some of the moisture that could otherwise make these cookies too soft. If your blueberries are too dry, plump them in hot water for five minutes, then dry them well before adding to the dough.
Applesauce-Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
Kristin Donnelly is devoted to her mother's one-bowl Bundt cake because of its clove and cinnamon spices and its simplicity. As an exchange student in France, she even paid top dollar for chocolate chips and applesauce at an American market to make it for her host family. Today she adds a kick of black pepper to the batter and serves each slice with a cool-sour dollop of crème fraîche.
Fire-Roasted Berry Crostini with Honey Crème Fraîche
Grill this super-simple dessert right before you serve it: It takes just 30 minutes.