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Meyer Lemon Tart

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Moravian cookies lend a subtle sweet spice to this bright lemony tart, which makes an impressive ending to a celebratory meal. If Moravian cookies are unavailable, substitute graham crackers. To streamline prep, use a jarred lemon curd.

Meyer Lemon Tart

6 3/4 oz. (210 g) Moravian cookies or 9 graham crackers (about 5 oz./155 g)
3 Tbs. sugar
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) (3 oz./90 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/2 jars (15 oz./470 g) Meyer lemon curd
Lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving
Freshly grated lemon zest for garnish (optional)

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 325°F (165°C).

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the cookies until fine crumbs form. Add the sugar and pulse until combined. Add the butter and process until the crumbs begin to stick together.

Transfer the crumbs to a 9 1/2-inch (24-cm) tart pan. Using the bottom of a 1/2-cup (125-ml) dry measuring cup, press the crumbs evenly and firmly into the bottom of the pan and up the fluted sides. Place a piece of parchment paper over the crust and add pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment and weights and bake for 5 minutes more. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Spread the lemon curd evenly in the cooled tart shell and refrigerate until chilled, 2 to 3 hours. If using a tart pan with a removable bottom, let the sides fall away, then slide the tart onto a serving plate. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving. Top with whipped cream and lemon zest, cut into slices and serve. Serves 8.

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Bourbon Pecan Tart

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Gooey and sticky sweet, pecan pie is the quintessential Southern dessert. Here it is transformed into a buttery tart that requires less sugar than the original but preserves the crisp top layer of nuts. A shot of bourbon is added for good measure.

Bourbon Pecan Tart

For the pastry:

1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./235 g) all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) chilled unsalted butter

3 Tbs. ice water

For the filling:

2 large eggs

1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) sugar

1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

2/3 cup (7 1/2 oz./235 g) molasses

2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

2 Tbs. good-quality bourbon

1 1/2 cups (7 oz./220 g) pecan halves

To make the pastry, in a food processor, combine the flour and salt and pulse briefly to blend. Cut the butter into 8 pieces and distribute the pieces evenly over the flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle the ice water over the surface and pulse 7 more times. The dough will appear rather loose but should hold together when pressed between your fingers. Shape the dough into a disk 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a round 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter and 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Roll the round loosely around the pin, then carefully unroll it over the top of a 9-inch (23-cm) tart pan with a removable bottom, allowing the excess to drape over the sides. Press the pastry gently into the bottom and sides of the pan, then roll the pin across the top of the pan, trimming off the excess dough.

To make the filling, in a bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the eggs, sugar, salt and cinnamon until smooth. Add the molasses, butter and bourbon and beat until thoroughly combined. Stir in the pecans. Pour the filling into the prepared tart shell.

Bake until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, let cool for 10 minutes then remove the pan sides and let cool completely. Carefully slide the tart pan bottom onto a serving plate.

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Sticky-Sweet Pecan Caramel Rolls

sweet

You’ll probably want a fork and a knife to dig into this delicious mess. Enjoy with a steaming mug of coffee this cold February weekend, or serve as part of a brunch buffet.

Sticky-Sweet Pecan Caramel Rolls

1/3 cup (2 oz./60 g) vegetable shortening
1 3/4 cups (14 fl. oz./430 ml) whole milk
1/3 cup (5 oz./155 g) honey
1 package (2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
1 extra-large egg
5 to 6 cups (25 to 30 oz./780 to 940 g) all-purpose flour
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 1/2 cups (20 fl. oz./625 ml) heavy cream
2 1/2 cups (17 1/2 oz./545 g) plus 1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) firmly packed brown sugar
6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g) unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup (5 oz./155 g) granulated sugar
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon

For the salted pecans:
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (6 oz./185 g) coarsely chopped pecans
1 tsp. kosher salt

In a saucepan, melt the shortening over low heat. Add the milk and honey and heat to 105° to 115°F (40° to 46°C). Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle in the yeast, and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve.

Stir in the egg. Add 5 cups (25 oz./780 g) of the flour and the salt. Fit the stand mixer with the flat beater. With the mixer on low speed, add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough that does not stick to the bowl. Remove the flat beater and fit the stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Knead the dough on medium-low speed, adding more flour if needed, until the dough is smooth, 5 to 7 minutes.

Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface. Cut the dough in half, and shape each half into a ball. Place on the floured surface and cover with a moistened kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm spot until it doubles in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, whisk together the cream and 2 1/2 cups brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, whisking frequently, until slightly reduced, about 9 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Butter a 15-by-10-inch (38-by-25-cm) baking dish with some of the melted butter. Spread 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) of the caramel sauce into the bottom of the dish. In a bowl, mix together the granulated sugar, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and the cinnamon. Roll out 1 ball of dough on a lightly floured work surface into a 15-by-19-inch (38-by-23-cm) rectangle, with the short side facing you. Brush with 1 1/2 Tbs. of the melted butter, leaving a 1-inch (2.5-cm) border at the top. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar. Starting at the bottom, roll up the dough into a log. Pinch the seam to seal. Cut the log crosswise into 6 slices with a sharp knife. Arrange the slices, cut side up, in the prepared dish. Repeat with the remaining dough, butter, and cinnamon sugar. Cover with the towel and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

To make the salted pecans, in a frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the pecans and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until toasted, about 3 minutes. Drain on a double thickness of paper towels.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Bake until the rolls are golden, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush the rolls with the remaining butter. Let stand for 3 minutes. Place a large rimmed baking sheet over the dish. Using pot holders to protect your hands, hold the baking sheet and dish together, and invert the rolls onto the sheet. Let cool for 5 minutes. Separate the rolls with two forks and let cool for 5-10 minutes more.

In a small saucepan, reheat the remaining caramel sauce over low heat just until warm enough to pour. Serve each roll on an individual plate, topped with 3 to 4 Tbs. of the sauce and a handful of the pecans. Serve the rolls warm. Makes 12 rolls.

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15 Decadent Chocolate Desserts

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It’s National Chocolate Day! Time to treat your inner chocoholic to something rich, decadent and melt-in-your-mouth chocolatey. These recipes will do the trick.

 

Chocolate Chip-Pecan BarsChocolate Chip-Pecan Bars
Chocolate chips and pecans add texture and contrast to this big batch of blondies — a delicious twist on on the classic chocolate chip cookie.
Dark Chocolate CupcakesDark Chocolate Cupcakes
When all you want is a simple, classic chocolate cupcake, this recipe does the trick. Moist, tender dark chocolate cake topped with smooth, creamy dark chocolate frosting feeds the chocoholic in all of us.
Chocolate-Dipped Coconut MacaroonsChocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons
These chewy coconut stacks are great make-ahead morsels, as they keep well for several days. Dipping them into dark chocolate only makes them more decadent.
Dark Chocolate PuddingDark Chocolate Pudding
This bittersweet chocolate pudding is easy to adapt. You can turn it into a parfait with layers of whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Or, try stirring in a little rum, Amaretto or Frangelico, then garnish the top with crushed chocolate wafer cookies or shaved semisweet chocolate.
Chocolate Caramel TartChocolate Caramel Tart
This tart takes a bit of work to make, but the result is well worth the effort and is always a crowd-pleaser. A thick layer of chocolate, plus a gooey caramel center and a crispy crust — what more could you want?
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie PiesChocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
A retro treat, these whoopie pies feature cakey chocolate cookies sandwiching a creamy filling. For a classic version, swap out the peanut butter filling for marshmallow creme.
Chocolate SouffléChocolate Soufflé
Soufflés are spectacular and surprisingly easy to make. This chocolate version should be devoured immediately, still hot from the oven and topped with big scoops of vanilla ice cream.
Coconut, Almond and Chocolate BarsCoconut, Almond and Chocolate Bars
Nutty, chewy and chocolaty, these bars hit every craving. A toasty almond crust is topped with a creamy coconut and dark chocolate filling, and finished with a thick bittersweet glaze.
Chocolate TrufflesChocolate Truffles
Truffles are easy to make — especially when you get friends involved! These require just 5 ingredients, and they can be stored in the freezer (well wrapped) for at least 3 months.
Chocolate Chip CookiesChocolate Chip Cookies
There are chocolate chip cookies, and then there are these chocolate chip cookies: large, chewy, buttery and with just the right amount of chips and nuts.
Chocolate Brownie CakeChocolate Brownie Cake
This dessert has all the moist richness of brownies but is served like a cake for an elegant presentation. The secret to success: good-quality chocolate and a dusting of unsweetened cocoa powder to finish.
Chewy Chocolate MeringuesChewy Chocolate Meringues
Crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside, these gems not only are a cinch to make but also are completely addictive—you won’t be able to stop at one (or two or three). The cocoa nibs add a nice crunch and nutty flavor.
Devil’s Food Layer CakeDevil’s Food Layer Cake
This time-honored favorite, layered with velvety chocolate frosting, makes the ultimate cake for a birthday or other celebration. It’s a chocolate lover’s dream.
French Chocolate MacaronsFrench Chocolate Macarons

Delicate chocolate macarons are one of Paris’s most delicious treats. If you’re not traveling to the City of Lights soon, whip these up and pretend — the contrast between the crisp cookies and creamy ganache filling is a revelation.

 

S’mores BrowniesS’mores Brownies
Within this recipe is a fantastic brownie—just the right balance of fudgy and cakey with a crackle top—embellished with crunchy graham crackers and big melting marshmallows. If you’d prefer the classic, just leave those two ingredients out and bake as directed.