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Archive for April 18, 2012

TIP OF THE DAY: For Dessert, Try A Sweet Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Have you ever had a grilled cheese sandwich for dessert?

There are more than a few sweet grilled cheese sandwich recipes out there, perfect for dessert or a sweet snack. We’ll start you off with two, courtesy of the Grilled Cheese Academy, the best grilled cheese website, sponsored by the great cheese makers of Wisconsin.



Sink your teeth into this delightful combination of mascarpone, homemade dulce de leche and raspberry preserves on cinnamon raisin bread. Makes 4 servings.

  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened, condensed milk (or, you can use prepared dulce de leche)
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 8 slices unfrosted cinnamon raisin bread
  • 4 tablespoons raspberry preserves
  • Optional garnish: whipped cream
  • Optional garnish: fresh red raspberries

    Here, mascarpone is the grilled cheese. Photo courtesy Grilled Cheese Academy.



    1. To make dulce de leche, place a can of condensed milk in a deep pot and cover with water; bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 90 minutes. Turn burner off and let the can sit in the water until cool. Dry and open the can. The contents will be caramel-colored (and hard to resist eating).

    2. Mix mascarpone with vanilla; stir to incorporate air and lighten the cheese.

    3. Heat skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Butter bread slices on one side; place in pan, butter-side down and grill until golden brown and crisp.

    4. Remove and spread the unbuttered sides of 4 slices of bread with 1 tablespoon raspberry preserves, 2 tablespoons mascarpone and 1 tablespoon dulce de leche, in that order. Top with another toasted piece of bread, browned-side up, and more dulce de leche. Garnish with whipped cream and fresh raspberries, if desired.


    Bananas, bacon and peanut butter were a favorite of Elvis. But because there is already an Elvis sandwich, this one is called the Lisa Marie. Photo courtesy Grilled Cheese Academy.




    Bananas, peanut butter, butterkäse cheese and chocolate-sauced bacon caramelized with brown sugar and maple syrup: Wow! Makes 4 servings.

    Butterkäse originated in Germany. A very mild and creamy cheese with a buttery texture, the name literally means butter cheese. If you can’t find it, substitute cream cheese or mozzarella.

  • 8 slices bacon
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 4 thick slices firm white bread
  • 8 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 4 1½-ounce slices butterkäse cheese
  • 2-3 ripe bananas, sliced
  • 1 cup hot fudge or chocolate sauce


    1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

    2. Place bacon slices on baking sheet pan with sides (a jelly roll pan) and bake until lightly browned and starting to crisp, about 5-6 minutes.

    3. Meanwhile, mix brown sugar and maple syrup until smooth. Using a pastry brush, brush the hot bacon slices with mixture. Return to the oven for another 5-6 minutes, turning once and being careful not to burn the sugar. Remove to cooling rack and let cool.

    4. Heat griddle or sauté pan over medium heat. Butter one side of the bread slices. Spread other side with peanut butter. Top each slice, peanut butter-side up, with 1 butterkäse slice and some banana slices. Place butter-side down on griddle and grill until sandwich bread bottoms are light golden brown.

    5. Meanwhile, heat chocolate sauce until warm (the microwave is perfect for this). Dip each slice of bacon into warm chocolate to cover half of strip and place over bananas. To serve, drizzle sandwiches with additional chocolate sauce.


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    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Talenti Gelato

    Gelato is the original ice cream, invented in Florence in the 16th century. The key differences vis-à-vis ice cream are less cream/more milk and less air (overrun). This combination enables a more intense showcasing of the fruits, nuts and other flavors.

    Talenti Gelato is named for Bernardo Buontalenti, the impressario who first created gelato for a Medici banquet. We think the Tahitian Vanilla is the best vanilla gelato or ice cream out there.

    Five new flavors launched this month include Banana Chocolate Swirl gelato with chocolate flecks and a dulce de leche swirl, and Black Raspberry Chocolate gelato, a heartbreaking raspberry with chocolate flecks. The heartbreak comes when your store doesn’t carry it.

    Peanut butter lovers can dig into Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Gelato, PB ice cream with an organic peanut butter swirl and chopped miniature chocolate peanut butter cups. It’s not gimmicky, just great.


    Talenti: a great gelato experience in 19 flavors (plus 3 sorbetti). Image courtesy Talenti Gelato.


    The Joy Of Gelato

  • Read the full review of Talenti Gelato.
  • The difference between ice cream and gelato.
  • Find more of our favorite gelato and ice cream brands, plus recipes.
  • Check out all the different frozen desserts in our Ice Cream Glossary.

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