As I gathered recipes for my favorite sweets of 2012, I noticed one very startling trend--the near absence of chocolate. I don't know what happened. I'm a serious chocolate lover. Really, I am. But somehow I ended up with only two recipes featuring my favorite indulgence. Don't be too worried, though. I've replaced the chocolate treats with cocktails, ice cream, and fruity desserts. I hope that's okay with you.
Pumpkin donut muffins--breakfast or dessert? You decide. Because I can't.
Cranberry-dark chocolate scones--with fresh cranberries and chunks of dark chocolate, these scones can warm up any winter morning.
Yogurt cake with fruit purée--this simple cake was a surprising hit. When baked, it retained a subtle birthday cake batter flavor I actually liked. The fruit purée will work with nearly any of your favorite fruits, so this is one versatile dessert.
I had tons of fun in my kitchen this summer. I churned out several batches of ice cream, but I had the best time making this blueberry ice cream with my precious niece.
Bourbon-cherry ice cream--the first of two frozen desserts I made just for the grown ups. I have a serious love for bourbon, ice cream, and fresh, sweet summer cherries, so this was a no brainer for me.
Fresh grape and champagne sorbet--my sweet friend Jessica got married and her virtual shower was the perfect opportunity to make this unique and very grown up dessert. I served it in my Mammo's champagne glasses, a touch I know Jessica loved.
My favorite holiday of the year is Fourth of July and I really got after it with the patriotic treats. I parlayed my love for red velvet cake into these very festive red, white, and blue velvet cupcakes and was overjoyed with the outcome.
Grapefruit margaritas--I've only recently come around to the deliciousness of pink (and ruby red, if I can find it) grapefruit. These margaritas may or may not have had something to do with that...
Aperol spritz--before preparing for my trip to Venice, I'd never heard of this drink. I read about it in one of Rick Steves' guidebooks and decided I had to try it. Thank you, Mr. Steves. You helped me (and my beautiful mom, the model in this picture) find a new summer favorite.
Double lemon tart--my favorite lemon curd paired with a layer of lemon cheesecake. The crust was a challenge to work with, but so, so worth it.
Peppermint mocha fudge--as if the famous holiday beverage wasn't treat enough, I turned it into a decadent dessert that's sure to please any holiday party goer or gift recipient.