“Desserts” by the editors of Food & Wine, Oxmoor House, $34.99, 272 pages, hardcover

Forget sugarplums. End-of-the-year holiday dessert tables are more likely to be filled with decadent cakes and pastries, rich pecan pies, fudgy brownies, crumbly-crisp ginger molasses cookies, fancy puddings and nutty candies.

You’ll find recipes for all of these, along with recipes for frozen treats and sauces, in “Desserts” by the editors of Food & Wine. The magazine’s editors have compiled more than 140 of their favorite recipes from the past 30 years, beginning with a moist double-chocolate layer cake from Food Network star Ina Garten and ending with a salty, sweet, spicy caramel corn created by Phoenix chef Stephen Jones.

In between are recipes for such tempting treats as mini lemon pudding cakes, ginger-laced pear-and-cranberry slab pie, farmers cheesecake, chocolate brownie cookies, s’mores bars with marshmallow meringue, petits pots à l’absinthe, French-style ice cream and almond-pistachio nougat.

Many, but not all, of the recipes are accompanied by beautiful full-color photographs of the completed desserts.

Side Dish: Recipe for Dark Chocolate Bark with Roasted Almonds and Seeds

The cookbook’s wonderful desserts are sure to win raves from holiday guests, and the book will be welcomed by the home baker on your gift-giving list.

Wishing you a blessed and merry Christmas.


Cheramie Sonnier is a food writer and columnist. Contact her at sonnierfoood@gmail.como, and follow her on Twitter, @CheramieSonnier.