From Local favorites to National Treasures, here are four essential American Sweet Recipes.

Traditional American food culture gets a bad rap sometimes (it is not just burgers and fries), but when it comes to dessert, who could deny the confectionary achievements of the 50 states? Yes, France may have the most refined pastries, and Asia has a myriad of sweets diffused with tropical fruits (and perhaps magical powers), but what is Tarte Tatin to the comforts of sweet rice cakes or apple pie to a hot-out-the-oven peach cobbler?

This does not mean American desserts reign supreme, but they are no laughing matter. If you love American classics, this article offers a taste of home on a generation of good food. That means the best cookies, best bread, and more sugary goodness. From retro-baked Alaska to Thomas Keller’s fancy coconut cake.  Here are four of the best classic American dessert recipes found in Eleanor Gaccetta’s cookbook, Generations of Good Food.  See her cooking video at www.onecaregiversjourney.com

Top 4 Classic American Desserts (Sweet!) 

Top 1. Chocolate Chip Cookies.   It has been found that rolling these cookies into more significant portions, then refrigerating them for 2 hours at least before slightly under-baking them at 350°, results in incredibly gooey, soft chocolate chip cookies. 

Ingredients

  • flour
  • baking soda
  • kosher salt
  • unsalted butter softened
  • granulated sugar
  • packed light brown sugar
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips

 Instructions

  1. Whisk together baking soda, flour, and salt in a bowl, then set aside.
  2. In a big bowl, beat the sugars and butter on medium speed of a hand mixer (about 3 minutes) until fluffy. Put in eggs (one at a time), beating well after every addition until smooth; beat in vanilla. Then, add dry ingredients, and beat until combined; stir in chocolate chips. Roll cookies into about 20 4-ounce balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet about 4-inches apart. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  3. Heat oven to 350°. Bake cookies, rotating pans halfway through, for about 15 minutes. Cool before serving.

Top 2. Cream Puffs. Cream puffs might seem fancy, but they are simple to make in the comfort of your kitchen! This top-rated cream puff recipe creates a decadent, impressive, bakery-worthy dessert at home. These homemade cream puffs puff up when baked. In this American version, they are filled with a rich vanilla cream that is easy to make with an instant pudding. For a fancy finish, drizzle melted chocolate on top!

Ingredients

  • Cream and Milk
  • Butter
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Flour
  • Eggs

Instructions

  1. Make Filling. Combine (or mix) the instant pudding mix, milk, and heavy cream in a small bowl. Then refrigerate until the filling is set while being covered.
  2. Make Choux Pastry. Bring butter and water to a boil; then add the flour and salt. Stir until the mixture forms a ball-like shape. Transfer the ball to a mixing bowl, and beat in eggs one at a time. Drop spoonfuls onto a baking sheet (ungreased). Bake in a preheated oven until they are golden brown and dry on the inside.
  3. Fill the Cream Puffs. Let the choux pastry cool. Fill the cream puffs in two ways: Split the pastries and fill or pipe the pudding mixture into the shells. 

Top 3. Moist Banana Bread. An easy and moist Banana Bread Recipe loaded with bananas, tangy-sweet raisins, and toasted walnuts. 

Ingredients:

  • flour
  • sugar
  • salt
  • baking soda
  • vanilla extract
  • softened butter
  • eggs
  • very ripe bananas

Note: Adding walnuts and raisins are optional but adds great taste and texture, turning it into a banana nut bread. 

Instructions:

It is the easiest banana bread recipe. Mix it in a stand mixer because it is easy, but you can use an electric hand mixer and make it work with a hand whisk. There is no fancy equipment required. 

  1. In the mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
  2. Mix in mashed bananas and eggs.
  3. Whisk together dry ingredients: flour, salt, and baking soda, and add to batter.
  4. Stir in vanilla, walnuts, and raisins, transfer to prepared loaf pan, and bake.

Top 4. Coconut Joy Candy. If you like coconut, you will love these no-bake, no-fuss sweets. They are cute and make a satisfying after-school snack to keep in the fridge.

Ingredients:

  • sweetened shredded coconut
  • confectioners’ sugar
  • butter, melted
  •  milk chocolate, melted

Instructions:

  1. Combine the coconut, confectioners’ sugar, and butter in a large bowl. Form into 1-in. balls.
  2. Create a hollow at the center of each ball using the end of a wooden spoon handle.
  3.  Fill with chocolate. Sprinkle with pecans. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Chill until chocolate is firm. Store in the refrigerator.

Cap-Off

These American sweet recipes will give you plenty of inspiration for taking your desserts stateside. Happy eating!

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