It's National Pastry Day

It's National Pastry Day

Food & Drink

It's National Pastry Day

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Seven Chefs Share Their Holiday “Go To” Desserts

Just give in!  The holidays should leave you no option but to surrender and indulge in sugar. In honor of National Pastry Day, here are the “go-to holiday desserts” chosen by seven top chefs.
 
Aurora Inn & E.B. Morgan House, Aurora, N.Y. – Pastry Chef Trina Myers: Christmas Cookies
“I really don’t have one favorite holiday dessert, but I do love making—and, of course, eating—Christmas cookies, like cut-outs, spritz, and Russian teacakes.  All day, as family begins arriving the day before Christmas, one by one we gather together around the kitchen table to share in making caramel corn, cookies, and popcorn balls.  The spirit of Christmas really comes alive on that day through conversation and a lot of laughter.”
 
Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery, Arlington, Va. – Pastry Chef David Guas: Pecan Pie
“I’ve probably been eating pecan pie since I was in diapers.  Nut allergies?  Please.  Southerners are weaned from the bottle with pecan pie, celebrate marriage with pecan pie, and say goodbye to loved ones with pecan pie.  Like most Louisianans, I ate the bulk of my pecan pie at the kitchen table surrounded by relatives and friends, and Christmas always provides the perfect opportunity for pecan pie.”
 
Brasserie Beck, Washington, D.C. – Chef Brian Klein: Pineapple Upside Down Cake
“My favorite dessert is my grandmother’s pineapple upside down cake.  She always had it sliced so it was easy to sneak pieces from the plate, and I ended up ruining my appetite for dinner every year.  Now, whenever I design a holiday menu there is always my grandmother’s cake, and an extra slice put away for me.”
 
The Clifton Inn, Charlottesville, Va. – Pastry Chef Christine Ward: Chocolate Mousse Cake
“My favorite Christmas dessert would have to be my chocolate mousse cake that I make every year for my parents’ Christmas Eve party.  I always make sure that I have one cake for the party, and then one more cake as a backup for us to eat after the party.”
 
The Inn at Dos Brisas, Washington, Texas – Chef Craig Shelton: Bûche de Noël
“Every single year since my birth my mother has baked a Bûche de Noël for Christmas Dinner.  It’s not Christmas until we dig right in and take that first bite!”
 
Mesón 923 – Chef Baruch Rabasa: See’s Candy Nuts and Chews
“For me, my favorite holiday dessert is not actually a dessert, but candy.  Every year my grandfather would send my sister and me a small box of See’s Candy Nuts and Chews for Christmas.  The tradition started thirty years ago when See’s Candy was just a small enterprise and special candy maker in California.  Now, it has become an American classic, but it is still very special to our family.  My mother carries on the tradition, and there has not been a single year when I did not receive a box of See’s Candy for Christmas.  Nothing but ‘Nuts and Chews!’”
 
PassionFish, Reston, Va. – Chef Chris Clime: Chocolate Heath Bar Cake
“My absolute favorite holiday dessert is this chocolate fudge cake Chef Jeff Tunks’ wife, Katherine, introduced our family to on our first Christmas with the restaurant group.  You start off with a thick chocolate fudge cake, poke holes in it with a straw, fill the holes with sweet condensed milk, and then cover the entire cake with smashed Heath Bar pieces.  It is awesome!”

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