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Toasted Baguette with Dark Chocolate and Salt
Just when the last dinner dish is washed, someone wants dessert. Over the years Lucinda Scala Quinn has amassed a bunch of ideas for sweet treats that can be made at a moment's notice from a few staples.
Slice a piece of a baguette in half horizontally, and toast until golden brown. Place a dark chocolate bar on one half. Sprinkle with Maldon sea salt. Top with the other half, pressing toast halves together while hot to melt the chocolate.
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Pears with Walnuts and Gorgonzola
Toss walnuts in either light or dark brown sugar, and toast in a 375 degree oven until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Place a wedge of Gorgonzola dolce and a small bowl of honey on a cutting board. Slice a pear. Smear some cheese and drizzle some honey on each pear slice. Serve with walnuts.
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Softened Ice Cream with Peanut Butter
Scoop softened vanilla ice cream into a bowl. Top with crunchy peanut butter and salted dry-roasted peanuts.
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Frozen Bananas with Cocoa and Cinnamon
Peel a banana, and cut on the bias into 4 pieces. Freeze on a flat plate, about 2 hours. Combine unsweetened cocoa powder with a pinch of ground cinnamon. Dip 1 side of each banana piece in the mixture.
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Sorbet Soda with Muddled Strawberries
Hull and chop fresh strawberries. Put in a tall glass, and muddle until a chunky sauce forms. Add 3 scoops of strawberry sorbet. Fill to the top with plain club soda, and garnish with a strawberry.
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Gingersnaps with Date Puree
Pit and chop a handful of dates, and place in a bowl. Pour enough hot coffee over the dates to cover, and let steep 15 minutes. Puree dates and liquid in a food processor, and sandwich between 2 gingersnaps.
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Biscotti with Wine
Pour some of a favorite dessert wine (such as Vin Santo) into a small glass. Dip store-bought or homemade biscotti (try the Cranberry-Pistachio Cornmeal Biscotti recipe) into the wine to soften, and eat.
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Meringues with Vanilla Cream
Place a store-bought meringue on a plate. Whip heavy cream with a little pure vanilla extract. Place a dollop of whipped cream on top of the meringue, and sprinkle with either light or dark brown sugar.
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Combine equal parts vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet in a blender. Mix together, adding enough orange juice to achieve desired consistency. Garnish with an orange slice.