Holiday Recipes from Rizzoli: Desserts

As we creep closer and closer to the holiday season, it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll serve your guests this Thanksgiving and beyond. Whether you’ll make a traditional turkey or choose to break away from the holiday norm, Rizzoli has tons of great recipes and entertaining ideas for you to follow.

Enjoy these DESSERT recipes below, or visit News & Publicity page for recipes for Appetizers, the Main CourseSide DishesVegetarian optionsWine & Cocktails, and a New Year’s Lobster Fest. You can also visit the Food & Wine section of our website for plenty of inspiring cookbooks to spur your creativity.

Pecan-Cranberry Linzer Torte

“Linzer torte has always been one of my favorite “underdog” desserts. It’s an old-school classic that few people make anymore. Instead of the traditional hazelnuts, I use my favorite nut, pecans. Cranberry preserves lend a pleasing tartness that makes this dessert a welcome addition to the Thanksgiving table. I get around the fragility of the dough by pressing the bottom layer into the tart pan instead of rolling it out. I freeze the dough strips for the latticed top on parchment paper. This makes them infinitely easier to work with and keeps the top looking as crisp and beautiful as the Viennese pastry shop version.”

–From Sweet & Southern

Makes one 9″ torte

2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
1/2 cup ground toasted pecans (3 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups natural cranberry preserves, chunky or smooth

In a bowl, combine the brown sugar and butter and beat with a handheld mixer on medium-high speed until lightened in color and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the egg and beat until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, pecans, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt, then add to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until just combined and smooth. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, quickly form into a rough ball, and divide the ball almost in half, with one piece slightly larger than the other. Place the smaller dough piece on a sheet of parchment paper, cover with another sheet, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Place the larger dough piece in a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and break apart into small chunks. Spread the chunks around the bottom of the tart pan. Gently begin pressing the chunks flat to form a crust covering the bottom and up the side of the tart pan. Refrigerate the tart pan for 1 hour.

Remove the smaller dough piece covered in parchment and transfer it to a work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the ball in the parchment into a roughly 10-inch square. Transfer to a baking sheet and freeze the dough in parchment for 30 minutes. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the chilled sheet of dough, still between the parchment sheets, into 1-inch-wide strips. Peel away the parchment paper from the top, flip the strips on the bottom parchment over onto a clean sheet of parchment, then peel away the top parchment again so you have the cut strips of dough exposed on top of a clean sheet of parchment. Return to the freezer.

Sweet Southern_Pecan Cran Linzer tort 2

Heat the preserves in a small saucepan until loosened, then pour over the chilled crust in the tart pan. Working quickly, arrange 4 or 5 frozen strips of dough parallel over the preserves, then lay the remaining 4 or 5 strips perpendicular, or at a 45-degree angle, over the first strips. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow the dough strips to soften slightly, then press them into the edges of the bottom crust to trim them flush with the tart pan and also adhere them to the bottom crust dough.

Heat the oven to 375°F.

Bake the tart until the preserves are bubbling in the center and the dough is cooked through and darkened, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

Serves 4
2 teaspoons curry powder
6 tablespoons extra-virgin
olive oil
1 small sugar pumpkin
Kosher salt and freshly
ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted
¼ teaspoon ground
1 cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon chile flakes
1 head frisée lettuce, root
end removed, leaves
2 teaspoons freshly
squeezed lemon juice

Tiramisu in a Glass

“Tiramisu means “pick-me-up” in Italian and in this version we build it in a glass, giving your guests a visual clue of all the recipe components. And literally, they will then “pick up” the glass filled with the tiramisu. The ladyfingers are meant to be eaten with your fingers as a vehicle to scoop the wonderful mascarpone filling from the glass.”

–From Neiman Marcus Cooks

Yields 10 Servings

7 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups miniature chocolate chips
1/2 cup instant espresso powder, or 1 cup brewed espresso
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, plus 1/8 teaspoon for dusting
1/2 cup Kahlúa or other coffee liqueur
30 ladyfingers (see Chef’s Notes)
3/4 cup shaved dark chocolate

Place the eggs and granulated sugar in a stainless-steel bowl and mix to combine. Prepare a double boiler by bringing a saucepan with 2 inches of water to a simmer and placing the bowl with the egg mixture on top, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk the mixture for about 6 minutes until it forms thick ribbons and triples in size. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold half of the mascarpone into the egg mixture and then fold in half of the whipped cream. Fold in the rest of the mascarpone and then the rest of the whipped cream. Fold in the chocolate chips and keep refrigerated.

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the espresso powder, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and Kahlúa and mix until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the stove and set aside to cool.

Assemble ten glasses (large, stemmed wine glasses work well) and divide the mascarpone filling among the glasses. (If you’re so inclined, fill a pastry bag with the filling and use it to fill each glass evenly.) Line each glass with four ladyfingers and drizzle each glass with the Kahlúa sauce. Add a couple shavings of chocolate to each glass, dust with the remaining cocoa powder, and serve.

Chef’s notes:

For the ladyfingers, use a good-quality Italian brand — they’re worth it.
Use a vegetable peeler to shave the chocolate.

p.70 Chocolate Master Class

Chocolate Soufflé

Frédéric Bau–widely regarded as one of the best chocolatiers in the world–presents his easy-to-follow recipe for moist Chocolate Soufflé. Bau is the founder, creative director, and executive chef of l’École du Grand Chocolat Valrhona, a world renowned training center for the art of patisserie and chocolate.

–From Chocolate Master Class

Serves 6

A little butter, melted, to grease the souffle molds
5 1/2 oz. (150 g) bittersweet chocolate, 70 percent cocoa
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling the molds
1 heaped teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 heaped teaspoon cornstarch
3/4 cup (200 ml) whipping cream


1 pastry brush
6 individual souffle molds or ramekins
1 whisk
1 sieve
1 flexible spatula

Using a pastry brush, carefully butter the molds with butter. Then sprinkle them all over with sugar, turning them upside down to remove the excess. Set aside in the refrigerator.

Chop the chocolate and melt it slowly in a bainmarie or in the microwave oven (on “defrost” or at 500 W maximum, stirring from time to time).

Slowly start whisking the egg whites, gradually adding the sugar. Continue until they form soft peaks.

Sift the cocoa powder and cornstarch together. Pour the cold cream into a saucepan and add the sifted ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly so that the liquid does not stick. When it simmers and starts to thicken, remove from the heat and slowly pour one third over the melted chocolate. Using a flexible spatula, mix it in energetically, drawing small circles to create an elastic, shiny “kernel.” Incorporate the second third of the liquid, using the same procedure. Repeat with the last third.

Add the egg yolks, whisking energetically until the texture is smooth and shiny. Carefully fold in one third of the whisked egg whites with a spatula.

When the consistency has been lightened, carefully fold in the remaining egg whites.

Fill the molds up to the top, cleaning the rim so that the batter does not stick to it and so that the soufflés can rise straight up. Chill until they are to be baked.

About 30 minutes before serving the dessert, preheat the oven to 425°F (210°C–220°C).

Remove the soufflés from the refrigerator and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, until well risen with a nicely done crust. Serve immediately.