Baked Good

There's always room for dessert. No one knows that better than Cleveland-based chef, author and culinary instructor Bev Shaffer, whose Chocolate Desserts to Die For! (Pelican Publishing, $26.95) is full of decadent recipes just in time for the holiday season. Shaffer shares her three favorite sweet treats with us.

 

  Cookies  

Shaffer especially loves to make pressed cookies. "My mother was Hungarian, so we would call them keifles or kolatchkies," she says. "We would make them from scratch in a cream cheese-based dough." They would fill them with apricot, poppy seed and prune butter. "I think we made enough of those to feed the entire state of New Jersey when growing up."

  Chocolate Truffles  

There are quite a few of the truffle recipes that Shaffer absolutely loves. But her basic chocolate truffle with nuts, served with Grand Marnier would have to be the winner. While teaching her cooking class, Shaffer found some students creating their own twist on the item. "A lot of people mix sea salt into the batch," she says. "The salt was not in the original recipe but it adds a sweet and savory chew, making a great combination."

  Brownies  

Shaffer recommends serving this simple favorite with chocolate mousse and fruit on the side for a guaranteed hit. "For all my desserts, I use organic, unsalted butter, and really good chocolate," she says. "It becomes a real indulgence, and that's what the holidays are all about."

MORE INFO: bevshaffer.com

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