As I mentioned back in December, I’ve been on the hunt for the best, smartest, most dependable and life-brightening dessert recipes for Genius Desserts, a happy new spinoff of the Genius Recipes cookbook. After about 9 months of testing and about 900 pounds of butter, I’m getting close to wrapping up my Table of Contents and writing the unruly thing—but there are a few white whales that I haven’t found yet, and I would love your help.
For the record, I might still be hunting for these either because I haven’t found the right recipe yet, or because I’m torn between a few options and hoping for a tiebreaker, or for any number of other reasons (there are only so many Dorie Greenspan recipes you can put in a cookbook and not have it be a Dorie Greenspan cookbook, right?)—so if you’ve recommended any of these before, they may still be in the mix! Please take a peek at the list below and if any recipes spring to mind, let me know in the comments or at [email protected]. (By the way, if you're wondering what might qualify as a genius dessert, I posed five simple questions here.)
Thank you all. I promise I’ll return the favor.
Genius Desserts I'm Still Hunting
A meringue cake, maybe layered with whipped cream or curd or the like
A really easy, last-minute flaky pie crust using oil or melted butter (I just heard about one from a caller on the Leonard Lopate show, so I know they exist!)
Pandowdies or other rustic fruity desserts with delightful names (that aren’t cobblers)
Caramels, chocolate fudge, or other candies that, ideally, don’t require a candy thermometer
Could there be a genius Rice Krispie treat?
Something with bananas—my husband Mike would appreciate that it be banana pudding, but I’m open to other options
Something with cherries
Pots de creme or similar
Panna cotta—maybe made with agar? I hear these might be lighter than those made with gelatin.
It’s not on this list and defies categorization, but is an outrageously genius dessert you must tell me about. Bring it on.
Are you looking for a genius version of something? Maybe we can help you out, too.
The Genius Desserts cookbook is here! With more than 100 of the most beloved and talked-about desserts of our time (and the hidden gems soon to join their ranks) this book will make you a local legend, and a smarter baker to boot.
I'm an ex-economist, ex-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007. Dodgy career choices aside, I can't help but apply the rational tendencies of my former life to things like: recipe tweaking, digging up obscure facts about pizza, and deciding how many pastries to put in my purse for "later."