The first holiday dessert that Miranda and I baked was a simple and fragrant apple crisp from Garten's Back to Basics Cookbook. 5 pounds of apples goes a long way and most of the ingredients are typically found in a well-stocked pantry.
While the apple crisp was fun to make, it was the French Bark from Garten's Barefoot Contessa Parties that Miranda and I really loved creating. Made with a combination of good-quality semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolates, the bark came out smooth, not-too-sweet, and delicious.
As Garten explains, what makes this a French bark rather than an American one is that the candied/dried fruits and nuts are layered on top of the bark instead of mixed into the chocolate. We put a more varied combination on one half and simply Crasins and almonds on the other.
Both desserts were a hit but the dessert table wasn't complete without my sister Kathy's fantastic pumpkin roll and pumpkin pie, my niece Kristina's beautiful blueberry pie, and my other niece Nicole's sugar cookies. Heavens knows how we had room for these desserts, but don't worry ... we did!
|Xavier, Miranda, Nicole, and Kristina|