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5 Desserts I Would Bake If I Actually Had Someone to Bake For

I love to bake. Cooking, no; baking, yes. It may be because I’m a scientist, and I like that being successful in baking doesn’t rely on you putting a pin on a recipe but on following it precisely to a tee. Here are 5 out of my arsenal + little stories to go along with them. These dessert recipes are a combination of ones I have tried in the past (when I actually had house parties, holiday dinners, and birthday parties to attend in person) and those I hope to in the future (hope to the heavens that I get a significant other one of these days)! Go forth and bake.

1. Pear Galette

In my 20s, I once hosted a wine and dessert party at my apartment for my friends. I made all the desserts and went to Whole Foods to talk to their resident sommelier to pick up the very best wine pairings. I bought that black chalkboard table cloth (ya’ll know this exists?) to sketch out pairing connection when I placed bottles and serving plates of desserts on my decorated table. It was all very fancy (in my mind). One of those desserts was the galette, something I never knew existed until I saw this recipe online.

Makes 4 medium galettes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • a pinch of ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups (cold) butter
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 pear
  • caramel sauce

Directions Blend together the all purpose flour, wheat flour, and butter in a food processor. Add in the 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and the sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Mix. Add in the eggs and water. Knead the dough, and press into a ball. Cover in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator (30 minutes).

Divide in four and roll out on a lightly floured surface. In the center of the crust layer on think slices of pear. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon. Roll up the edges. Bake at 375 F (25-30 minutes). Drizzle on the caramel during cooling.

(Photo credit to and recipe adapted from A Beautiful Mess)


2. White Chocolate and Nutella Truffles

Truffles are just one of those desserts that you just pop into your mouth and it brings you so much joy. It was the perfect thing to make when I wanted to bake for one of my friends as a birthday gift. I can attest to how good these are (and she can too!). Try it out for yourself.

Makes 12-15 truffles

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup Nutella
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Directions Fill a small pot with water and heat until boil; once boiling, lower the heat to low. Mix together the dark chocolate, butter, whipping cream, and Nutella in a glass bowl set the bowl over the pot to melt the ingredients. Once melted, remove and cool. Cover and refrigerate for just 2 hours. Use a spoon powered with cocoa to scoop out and form truffle balls. Once you have all the truffles formed, place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.

Melt the white chocolate and oil in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until fully melted. Dip each truffle in the melted chocolate to coat it, then place on parchment paper. Drizzle the top with on chocolate. Let these set over night.

(Photo credit to and recipe adapted from A Beautiful Mess)


3. Sponge Layer Cake

Even before COVID-19, I worked from home (love it) for 6 years. I don’t think I could ever work in an office again but I did have some great times socializing everyday with coworkers. I started getting into baking around 2011 when I picked up a visual dessert receipe book from a discount pile when I hung out at Barnes & Noble one afternoon. I decided to try one recipe every week and break it into the office for my coworkers. I think everyone enjoyed that! Here is one yummy dessert I made and shared. I’m not a big cake fan, but anything with strawberries is an automatic win.

Makes 1 cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cut superfine sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tsp raspberry jam
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy whipped cream
  • 16 fresh strawberries

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 /180 C. Line the bottom of two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and grease. In a large bowl, shift the flour and baking powder. Add the butter, sugar, and eggs. Beat until smooth. Divide the mixture evenly between the pans. Bake (25-30 minutes) or until well risen and golden. Cool. Turn out onto a wire rack. Spread jam, then cream on one half. Halve strawberries and place on top. Place the other cake half on top. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.

(Recipe adapted from the cookbook Step-by-Step Baking)


4. Homemade Samoas Cookies

I grew up living with my uncle (mother’s brother) and his wife for most of my childhood. My uncle was this gruff black man who fell sleep to baseball playing loudly in his room, would take off his socks in random place and leave them there, and who also loved coconut cake with vanilla icing then sprinkled with more coconut. It looked disgusting and I wanted no part of it. I was a never-coconut-er.

Fast forward to my teenage and adulthood and my seduction by samoas courtesy of the Girl Scouts (damn them). One day I remember retelling my “I hate coconut” story to a friend and they are like, “but…. I thought you love samoas?” Me: “What does that gotta do with coconut?” Them: “Uhh, there is coconut on top under the chocolate”. Me: “Well, damn.” Here is a very good-looking homemade samoa recipe that I must try one day (yeah, coconut all up in there).

Makes 14 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup canned full fat coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 2 1/2 cups finely shredded unsweetened, toasted coconut
  • 12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, beat until combined until doughy. Roll out the dough with a floured roller to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut the cookies using a 3 inch circle cookie cutter. Cut the center of each using a 1 inch circle cookie cutter. Transfer the cookies to a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden.

Combine 3/4 cup maple syrup and the coconut cream (do not add the water) and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 5-8 minutes or until thickened to a caramel-like sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond butter. Cool. Stir in the toasted coconut. Press 1 tablespoon of the coconut mixture onto the tope of each cookie. Place the cookies in the freezer to chill (15-20 minutes).

Melt the chocolate. Dip the bottoms of the cookies in the chocolate and return to the parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle the tops with chocolate. Return to the freezer to set (10 minutes).

(Photo credit to and recipe adapted from Halfbaked Harvest)

5. Malted Milk Cookies n’ Cream Ice Cream Sandwiches

I have the best memories as a kid growing up in the 80s and 90s, hearing that magical sound of the ice cream truck before I even saw it round the corner of my block and running out with my change. I would always get the same thing – an ice cream sandwich. I didn’t want anything else, just that cold and sweet vanilla ice cream between those two soft chocolate wafers. So simple yet so brilliant.

When I recently saw this creative spin on making your own ice cream sandwiches at home, I fiddled with the recipe a bit and quickly put it on my list of future baking to-do’s.

Makes 12 sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup malted milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups crushed Oreo cookies
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky salt
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions Filling: Whip the cream with the malted milk in a large bowl until you have whipped cream (3-4 minutes). Add sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and salt and whip until combined and fluffy. Crush oreo cookies and fold in. Spread the ice cream out in an even layer in a baking pan lined with parchment paper, freeze 2-3 hours until solid.

Biscuit: Preheat over to 350 degrees. Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until evenly combined. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined and the dough forms a ball.

Divide the dough in half and roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into 2×4 in rectangles (should make about 24!). Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake (9-10 minutes). Cool.

Sandwich: Cut slab of ice cream into 12 rectangles and put between 2 cooking. Freeze for 2 hours until firm.

*I curiously googled “who invented the ice cream sandwich” because I needed to know who that genius was (I swear the very best things come out of NYC). Oh and apparently this post just missed National Ice Cream Sandwich Day (August 2)!

(Photo credit to and recipe adapted from Halfbaked Harvest)

I hope you guys enjoy all these recipes! Tell me if you make any of them!

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: 5 Desserts I Would Bake If I Actually Had Someone to Bake For — curating stories – Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

  2. Hannah Graham says

    I also despise coconut yet love samoas… it probably has so do with all the yummy chocolate and caramel toppings. I’ve never home made them though so saving this so I can!! They look delicious

    Like

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