What will your New Year’s resolution be? If you’re like 95 percent of the world, losing weight will be high on the list. Pack the gym, cut the carbs, dust off the Shake-Weight. It’s time to get fit.
But not now! It’s the holiday season, so why not live it up before cupcakes, pies and ice cream become strictly forbidden? Here are seven Austin desserts to try before your New Year’s resolution kicks in.
1/ Quack’s 43rd Street Bakery: Shortbread Cookies
With love and respect to Austin’s vastly exploding food scene, there’s something special about this class neighborhood bakery in Hyde Park. And while nearly everything at Quack’s is on point, their shortbread cookies bring special warmth to my heart. Crispy without being brittle, flaky and beautifully decorated, these tiny treats will brighten your holiday.
2/ Barley Swine: Sunflower Seed Tart
Bizarre in description, but beautiful in execution, this dessert is fantastic. In short, it’s a pecan pie your friends with nut allergies can enjoy. By filling a tender tart with traditional cinnamon filling and sunflower seeds, you get the consistency of a pecan pie, without the nuts. Top it off with a dollop of homemade banana ice cream and a few drops of Meyer Lemon Curd for citrusy brightness, and this dish doesn’t even feel like cheating. Plus it’s dang pretty to look at.
3/ Churro Co.: Campfire
Ah, how I love Churro Co. With respect to all their offerings, the Campfire still makes my taste buds tap dance. It’s also perfect for this time of year. Tender yet crispy churros tossed in a graham cracker crust topped with Mexican chocolate, whipped cream and torched marshmallows? Unfairly good! And from now until the Dec. 23, they’ll be at Trail of Lights next to the bonfire. Seriously. How perfect is that?
4/ Juliet: Torta Barozzi
Flour? Who needs flour? Juliet’s Torta Barozzi strikes a balance between delicate and decadent. A flourless chocolate cake is paired with light, airy homemade hazelnut gelato. The two stars of the dish blend beautifully, while the supporting characters of hazelnuts and to-die-for amarena cherries seal the deal. Plus, it’s gluten-free without sacrificing flavor. Yum!
5/ Irene’s: Peanut Butter Pudding
Feel free to read that three times and let the concept wash over you. Yes, the Peanut Butter Pudding at Irene’s is as legit as it sounds. This dessert combines the finest pairing of food stuffs known to man (chocolate and peanut butter). Dash up the sweetness with a line of marshmallow fluff, add corn flakes for texture and you have a wonderful marriage of fantastic flavors. Take that, New Year’s resolution!
6/ Cow Tipping Creamery: Southern Charm Stacker
With all respect and love due to Amy’s, Cow Tipping Creamery is where you need to go for sensational soft serve. Navigating the insane menu of cones, shakes and toppings can be daunting, so I go straight for the recommended creations. Of these, the Southern Charm is fantastic. Your soft serve of choice (they change constantly) topped with a rum caramel sauce, honey dusted pecans, southern cracker candy and sugar. Heavenly!
7/ Vince Young Steakhouse: “Forever Young” Chocolate Cake
But sometimes, you just need chocolate cake. Vince Young’s version of the classic dessert looks simple, but features a number of subtle flourishes. A brushing of amaretto lends a subtle nuttiness and the cake itself is rich without being a chocolate bomb. Add some fresh whipped cream for texture, and you have down-home deliciousness.
@BillTuckerTSP wants to know:
How are you gearing up for your New Year’s Resolution?
Disclosure: Vince Young Steakhouse, Barley Swine and Juliet comped my desserts for the purposes of this article. All opinions are my own.