Beyond the Gingerbread Man: 7 Delicious Ginger Desserts for the Holidays

Certain spices evoke certain seasons. The warming zing of ginger is always welcome in wintertime. Rather than simply bake up crowds of gingerbread men and women, pastry chefs are utilizing the zesty root in creative desserts that dazzle the palate and please the eye. Here are seven delicious ginger desserts perfect for the holidays.

Ginger Apple Mousse Dome at Lincoln, Washington, D.C.
The sweet sphere contains the spicy kick of ginger intertwined with the crisp flavor of apples. Accompanied by sour apple sorbet and a ribbon of apple tuile, it sits on a field of crumbled sablé Breton crust, which adds a soupçon of salt for balance. A forkful of all the components enjoyed together recalls a cup of mulled cider. Make a reservation at Lincoln.

Ginger Desserts

Warm Ginger Toffee Cake at The Hamilton, Washington, D.C.
Move over sticky toffee pudding. Instead of a traditional date cake, the pastry team features a generous disc of warm gingerbread. The comforting creation is topped with rum soaked raisins enlivened with a little lemon juice, toffee sauce, and a sphere of vanilla ice cream. Make a reservation at The Hamilton.

Ginger Desserts

Gingerbread Caramel Custard Torte at Vermilion, Alexandria, Virginia
This is the kind of dessert we crave when we break out our Uniqlo ultra light down jacket. A velvety smooth gingerbread caramel custard torte rests in a tarn of butterscotch sauce, its peaks jutting into clouds of orange rum whipped cream. For a sweet and salty finish, candied walnuts complete the treat. Make a reservation at Vermillion.

Ginger Desserts

Chocolate-Chestnut Turinois with Ginger Accents at Kinship, Washington, D.C.
Ginger ice cream and matchsticks of ginger confit provide a firm counterpoint in this decadent dessert. They bring balance to the ridiculous richness of the chocolate chestnut cake – which eats like a stick of fudge – and the velveteen puffs of chestnut mousse. For flashes of fresh flavors, pastry chef Anne Specker includes disk of compressed pear and sweetly tart pomegranate seeds. Make a reservation at Kinship.

Ginger Desserts

Emoji Gingerbreads at THE Blvd, Los Angeles, California
😍👌🏼😍😋😋👏😍😋😋👌🏼😍😋😋👏😍 😋😋👌🏼😍😋😋👏😍😋😋👌🏼😍😋😋👏😍😋 😍😍😍👏👏👏😋😋😋👍🏻😍😍😍👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽😋😋😋👍🏾😍😍😍👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼😋😋😋👍🏼😍😍😍 😍😍😍😍😍😍🙌🏻😋😋😋😋😋👏🏽😍😍😍😍😍😍👍🏼😋😋😋😋😋👌🏼😍😍😍😍😍😍. Make a reservation at THE Blvd.

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Primo Pies: 9 Superior Slices to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

At this time of year, we want to eat pie at breakfast, elvenenses, lunch, high tea, dinner, and as a midnight snack. It’s our way of getting into the holiday spirit. But we don’t want average apple or plain pumpkin – we are looking for pies that put tempting twists on tradition or surprise us in some way. Here are nine superior slices for sweet tooths.

Pumpkin Pecan Pie at Beatrix, Chicago, Illinois
Sometimes you can’t decide between a slice of pumpkin or a slice of pecan. This twofer treat solves that dilemma by doing a layer of pecan and then a layer of pumpkin on top. Smooth and crunchy, sweet and earthy, it’s a beautiful union. Make a reservation at Beatrix.

pies

Salted Lime Pie at The Dutch, Miami, Florida
This ain’t your usual key lime pie. Pastry chef Josh Gripper tones down the tartness by sprinkling the citrusy wedge with sea salt and pairing it with passion fruit sauce and a scoop of toasted coconut ice cream. The end result recalls an afternoon at the beach, full of tropical notes and a touch of sea air. Make a reservation at The Dutch.

pies

Sweet Potato, Pineapple, and Toasted Honey Marshmallow Pie at Willa Jean, New Orleans, Louisiana
Here’s a twist on a Southern classic. Pineapple and toasted honey marshmallow sass up the standard sweet potato. The additions deepen the flavor while adding a level of nuance that’s not usually present in what is typically a one-note dessert. Make a reservation at Willa Jean.

pies

Hull Pie at SpringHouse, Alexander City, Alabama
You’ve never had pie quite like this. Chef Rob McDaniel packs his pie with intensely sweet muscadine grapes, which taste similar to Concords, and the slightly less sweet, but no less flavorful, scuppernongs. A mixture of the two is folded inside a buttery crust and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Make a reservation at SpringHouse.

pies

Brown Butter Lemon Pie at Andiron Steak & Sea, Las Vegas, Nevada
We will never get tired of lemon pie, ever. This winning rendition is graced with peaks of key lime meringue and slivers of candied lime for an extra citrus punch. Goes down best with a cup of coffee – black, no sugar. Make a reservation at Andiron Steak & Sea.

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9 Milk and Cookies Desserts: A Childhood Classic Reborn

Growing up, milk and cookies were one of our favorite treats. We loved dunking the warm rounds into a glass of cold milk and then nibbling away at the softened edges. It was always a joy to hit a mother lode of melted chocolate chips or crunch into a pecan like we had discovered treasure. Luckily, we haven’t had to give up this simple pleasure just because we’re older and, debatably, wiser because chefs are reviving the childhood classic. Here are 9 milk and cookies desserts to make you feel like a kid again.

David Burke Kitchen, New York, New York
If you’re in the mood for dessert and a drink, order the cookie plate. A seasonal selection arrives with rum-spiked coconut milk. Don’t worry, kiddies, they’re happy to leave out the hooch, so you can enjoy it as well. Make a reservation at David Burke Kitchen.

milk and cookies desserts

Cavatina, Los Angeles, California
Fresh-from-the-oven cookies spotted with sweet squares of chocolate get a dusting of sea salt. The finishing touch helps amplify the chocolate’s deeper flavors while taking the edge off the sugar rush. To help wash down the treats, they arrive with a petite pitcher of cold milk. Make a reservation at Cavatina.

Milk and cookies desserts

Summer House Santa Monica, Chicago, Illinois
Cookies and milk – now in milkshake form. Pastry chef Erin Mooney liquidates the traditional dessert by blending together vanilla bean ice cream with malted chocolate chip cookies and chocolate fudge sauce. The finished product requires a straw, a spoon, and a sweet tooth. Make a reservation at Summer House Santa Monica.

milk and cookies desserts

Untitled, New York, New York
Spotted with gooey chunks of dark, milk, and white chocolate, this hefty cookie has a crispy exterior that crunches when you bite into it. Believe it or not, this toothsome treat is gluten-free as it’s made with Thomas Keller’s Cup4Cup GF flour. It arrives with a sidecar of whole milk from Five Acre Farms. Make a reservation at Untitled.

milk and cookies desserts

Macon Bistro & Larder, Washington, D.C.
Our new favorite phrase is “bourbon milk.” A small bottle of the bliss-inducing beverage comes with a pair of straws and two cookies so you can share the dessert with your date. Or, you can hog the whole thing for yourself and pretty much guarantee the two of you won’t be going out ever again. Make a reservation at Macon Bistro & Larder.

milk and cookies desserts

Harvest Table, St. Helena, California
Whenever we’re fortunate enough to have a root beer float, it reminds us of the sweltering summer days of our childhood. Pastry chef Andrew DiClementi brings those memories rushing back with his version made with sweet cream ice cream and Boylan root beer, which comes with chocolate chip and snickerdoodle cookies. Each mouthful makes us feel like we’re nine years old all over again. Make a reservation at Harvest Table.

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Afternoon Delight: Top High Tea Restaurants

Whether it’s the iconic three-tiered silver tray with canapés and white-glove service or something fresh like al fresco iced brews and a “TeaJ” in lieu of a harp, afternoon tea is getting pinkies and thumbs up. Boston Public Library has even gone so far as to cancel its lunch service to make space for sippers all week long, and dads can get in on the game with boozy brews and heavier snacks like s’mores with maple-smoked bacon at another seaside hotel in that historic city. Blame it on an urge to celebrate British traditions with all of this Brexit talk — the union of savory and sweet in the afternoon will always win on this side of the pond at one of these top high tea restaurants.

The Courtyard Restaurant at the Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts
Tea is just as much a feast for the eyes as the stomach at Boston Public Library, where the historic McKim Building, circa 1895, was declared a U.S. national historic landmark in 1986. The Courtyard Restaurant overlooks an open-air Italianate courtyard with a vaulted ceiling and ornate chandelier originally installed over a grand staircase in the 1950s, and the aesthetic was completed with the installation of a marble floor in the nineties. “Enjoying tea in the restaurant is transportive,” says manager Akiko Yamagata. “Sitting in the serene dining room in a historic building, one’s imagination takes hold, into a different time and its customs — just like reading a captivating novel.” The extensive menu — which changes several times a year — is just as captivating and features blends from Massachusetts-based outfit MEM Tea Imports, including the popular Wedding Blend, a fruity, flowery, and herbaceous green. Make a reservation at The Courtyard Restaurant at the Boston Public Library.

High Tea Restaurants

 Pavilion at The Langham, Chicago, Illinois
Pavilion at the Langham in Chicago, truly brings a tradition from across the pond to the shores of Lake Michigan with its Afternoon Tea with Wedgwood — which first debuted at the Langham in London in 1865. Sweet and savory bites like artichoke and melted leek quiche, a grilled asparagus sandwich with petite lettuce salad, pickled mustard seeds, and fresh ricotta, lemon-cherry scones with grapefruit marmalade and blackberry jam, and chocolate verrine with dark chocolate brownie and milk chocolate mousse are served much the same way they were more than a century ago. The Pavilion serves up 25 blends including five blends exclusive to the Langham, including a fruity rhubarb for kids. Make a reservation at Pavilion at The Langham.

High Tea Restaurants

Butchart Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia
It’s no surprise that being in British Columbia the folks at Butchart Gardens would honor the British tradition of teatime — but what is unique is the way in which they incorporate West Coast flair. Both executive chef Travis Hansen and pastry chef Keith Tran — both of whom have worked at the Gardens for more than 25 years each — pride themselves on signature items such as locally smoked wild salmon, curried Cowichan Valley chicken salad, and candied ginger scones from an old family recipe. Summer is an especially ideal time to visit the Gardens for another reason, says sommelier and dining room manager Dave Lane, who notes that the Backyard Flight program is a “must-try. We’re extremely fortunate to be surrounded by wineries and orchards that provide us with world-class wines, spirits, and liquors, and every year we pick the best to pair with our teas to showcase the terroir and character of the growing conditions. It’s a unique experience not found anywhere else.” Make a reservation at Butchart Gardens.

High Tea Restaurants

Modern Tea, Chicago, Illinois
A tradition gets a makeover at Modern Tea in Chicago, where the Radisson’s swanky lobby with couches and a gold-plated mirror puts a new spin on live music from a jazz or string quartet with a “TeaJ.” There are eight Rishi teas from which to choose (available over ice when the mercury climbs) and outside seating for al fresco dining featuring sweets from the hotel’s new pastry chef Caroline Kolaja. One of her specialties is a basil passion tart, though she also admits to having a penchant for cake batter ice cream — her first industry job was as a Ben & Jerry’s scooper in high school. Make a reservation at Modern Tea.

High Tea Restaurants

Pembroke Room, New York, New York
Good things come in threes at the Pembroke Room, which features three styles of service: the classic, the Pembroke Royal, and the Lowell Imperial. Each includes a selection of more than 20 Dammann Frères fine French tea varieties, classic finger sandwiches (curry chicken, cucumber and watercress, lobster roll) a dill, egg, and cornichon salad, caviar blinis with goat cheese, scones, petit fours, and more. But the latter two options give you a chance to enhance your experience with a glass of rosé, port, or sherry as part of the Pembroke, and Champagne and caviar with the Lowell Imperial. Look for further enhancements starting in September, when the space will get a spruce-up with new furnishings, carpet, window treatments, and design elements meant to keep the spirit of the room while maintaining the tradition of classic elegance that’s been the setting for generations of bridal bashes and baby showers. Make a reservation at the Pembroke Room.

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