How to CookDessert

Are You There, Genius Lemon Bars? + 17 More Desserts I’m Hunting

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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.

These Genius, 3-Ingredient Cookies Will Be Ready Before the Oven Beeps
These Genius, 3-Ingredient Cookies Will Be Ready Before the Oven Beeps

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

  1. Lemon bars
  2. Bread pudding
  3. Rugelach
  4. A meringue cake, maybe layered with whipped cream or curd or the like
  5. 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!)
  6. Pandowdies or other rustic fruity desserts with delightful names (that aren’t cobblers)
  7. Caramels, chocolate fudge, or other candies that, ideally, don’t require a candy thermometer
  8. Could there be a genius Rice Krispie treat?
  9. Snickerdoodles!
  10. Something with bananas—my husband Mike would appreciate that it be banana pudding, but I’m open to other options
  11. Something with cherries
  12. Upside-down cake
  13. Sandwich cookies
  14. Pots de creme or similar
  15. Panna cotta—maybe made with agar? I hear these might be lighter than those made with gelatin.
  16. Clafoutis?
  17. It’s not on this list and defies categorization, but is an outrageously genius dessert you must tell me about. Bring it on.
  18. Are you looking for a genius version of something? Maybe we can help you out, too.

Tags: Community, Genius Recipes, Books