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Decadent Italian Desserts You Must Try: American Apple Cannot Even Compare

Tiramisu, Cannoli, Pizzelles, and Gelato

When it comes to delicious, decadent desserts, the Italians have it mastered. Show me an Italian dessert, and I will show you an empty plate very quickly. Italians tend to think beyond the traditional cakes, cookies and pies that Americans have grown accustomed to. Italian desserts have unique textures and flavor profiles and are prepared with ingredients that blend to produce a dessert that is nothing but extraordinary. Here are some of the most delicious, decadent Italian desserts that I have had the pleasure of trying:

Top 5 Decadent Desserts For The Holidays

Calories? Who said anything about calories?!

Sick of cookies? Wanna indulge? Try one of these for your next holiday celebration.

1.    Cheesecake: I admit that I am a cheesecake snob. If it’s not mine, it better be from Carnegie Deli in NYC. That’s just how I roll. No fruit. No sour cream goo spread on top. Everyone has their own preference though and what better time to have a friendly debate than a family get-together, right?!

Cool Whip Vs. Whipped Cream: Which is Your Favorite?

Let's face it, almost no desert is complete without a great, big dollop of whipped topping on it. I come from a family that always used Cool Whip when a delicious dessert topping was desired. I would always admire whipped cream in a can when I was a child, though, because it obviously looked so fun to squirt out and make fun designs out of. I then went through a stage in high school when whipped topping was whipped topping. It all tasted the same to me, and I could not have cared less which one I ate because they were both delicious to me. I now can tell a great difference in the tastes, and love whipped cream on ice cream and Cool Whip on pie. I do not know why. There is that new commercial out for a brand of real whipped cream where the restaurant waitress asks the customer whether she wants "oil or cream" on her pie. Yes, Cool Whip does contain oil. Oil is on the no-no list of many Americans. The truth is that I believe that both toppings have their place in our society, and here is why:

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

Soft, Chewy, and Delicious

I'm picky about my chocolate chip cookies.   I like them to be soft, but not too soft.  Sweet, but not too sweet.  Milk chocolate won't work; I need semisweet or dark chocolate chunks. 

I tried tons of chocolate chip cookie recipes before finding a winner on AllRecipes.com.  My friends swear they taste just like the cookies you get at Mrs. Field's.  Hey, works for me.  

Chocolate Cookies

For the Holidays

A quick way to the heart of a cookie lover is these amazing chocolate drop cookies.  Their warm, melty scent fills the air with all kinds of happy thoughts. The recipe is over 50 years old and has been passed down from generation to generation with great success creating a family favorite.  They have been baked in my household since I was a little girl watching my grandmother in the kitchen.

These delicious cookies also make for a great gift whether it is around the holidays or simply because you want to say thank you. Just place in a decorative air tight container, put a bow on it and you have a memorable gift.

Can Holiday Desserts Be Healthy and Delicious?

It is the time of year when every place you visit will be filled with little, delicious holiday indulgences. A cookie here, a fudge square there; it is one of my favorite aspects of the holidays -- the delicious treats to be found almost everywhere I go.  While many indulge all season long and end up ten pounds heavier to show for it, I have made it my goal this holiday season to enjoy all of the delicious holiday desserts available, while still keeping my waistline in check.

The way I have decided to do this is to indulge in those little, delicious holiday treats when at a friend’s house or at a gathering, but to make (or buy) my own healthy holiday desserts to enjoy after a dinner at home.  Moderation is the key to anything, and when enjoying healthy desserts at home, I can make room for those delicious, full-fat and high-calorie desserts when at a party or holiday dinner. Here are some of my favorite healthy, holiday desserts:

This Recipe for Maraschino Cherry Mini Muffins Is Yummy

I'm not a strawberry girl.  Never have been, never will be.  Don't get me wrong - I'll eat strawberry stuff.  I like strawberry cake and strawberry bread and strawberry candy, I really do.  It's just not my favorite.

So what is?  Anything with cherries.  I love cherries.  I don't drink beer, but hand me a tropical girly drink at the bar with plenty of cherries, and I'm in heaven.  I'm not a huge soda fan, but I can never say no to cherry limeade.  Oh, and a vanilla milkshake just isn't complete without plenty of whipped cream and a bright red cherry on top.  Perfection.

Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Pumpkin!

What is my favorite part of fall? Is it the cool, crisp air? The beautiful leaves changing color? Nope. It is the delicious, seasonal pumpkin desserts only available this time of year. There is something about the taste of pumpkin that is comforting and brings back childhood memories. Maybe it reminds me of family Thanksgiving gatherings that always finished with a delicious pumpkin pie with a generous dollop of whipped cream.

Whatever the root of my pumpkin fixation is, I got to have it this time of year.  Some of my favorite pumpkin desserts include pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin drop cookies,  pumpkin lattes (not technically a dessert, but they taste like one!) and pumpkin pudding. But -- what is the absolute best pumpkin dessert of all time?

Crème Brulee

It may not stand up to croissants and baguettes when it comes to being pure French, but Crème Brulee is still a favorite around the world.

Crème Brulee is a brilliant dessert which combines seductively soft and creamy custard with a hard sugar crust topping which gives a satisfying crack when the spoon hits the surface. Popularly served in French restaurants, the true origins of the original crème brulee recipe is debated, however in general it is viewed as a French dessert today. No matter who lays claim to the invention, it is a modern delight in my book.

The traditional crème brulee recipe is actually quite simple. Heavy cream, vanilla bean, sugar and egg yolks are all that are required for the custard which gently cooks in a bath of water inside the oven. This method of baking is what gives crème brulee its amazing, moist texture. The ideal internal temperature of the custard when removed from the oven is 170 to 175 degrees. After it is baked, crème brulee is traditional chilled in the fridge until set, but it will be hard to resist digging in as soon as it exits the oven door.

The last step, the step which makes crème brulee different from everyday vanilla custard, is the topping. People use different sugars to produce the crackly top, but turbinado is often recommended because it melts well. You can melt and caramelize the sugar together using the broiling element in your oven (just be sure to watch it because it can go from golden to black pretty fast!) or you can purchase a kitchen torch which is safe for indoor use. Once the sugar is caramelized into a luscious layer the crème brulee is ready to be devoured.

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