Sweet Sweet Heat; Dessert Time

By Claire Fountain

Changing seasons might mean new clothes and long days, yet one thing remains the same all year long; people love dessert. And summer is the perfect time for all the ice cream and unique treats New York City has to offer. From frozen lemonade cups bought street side in the park, to the late night dessert, there is no challenge in finding a good dessert in the city that never sleeps and, well, always eats.

At the West Village Blue Ribbon Bakery (www.blueribbonrestaurants.com) you could be sampling a banana walnut bread pudding that could be a meal in itself if on the hunt for desserts that could double as meals. An afternoon treat for the heat can be found at Stogo (stogonyc.com/), the newest spot for allergen-free vegan ice cream that does not disappoint. For all the cupcake believers, Sugar Sweet Sunshine (www.sugarsweetsunshine. com) just makes you want to smile with their vast and cheery selection of cupcakes and cakes. Try some sassy red velvet to make you feel as perky as a July Saturday. Even later into the evening when the urge for a cocktail strikes, Sweetie Pie Restaurant (www.sweetiepierestaurant.com), open ‘til midnight everyday except Monday and offering an extensive bar, will have you drifting into a wonderland of desserts in an sugar sweet yet elegant pop décor where a trio of micro cakes is the perfect ending to the day.

Though as times are changing for many city dwellers and the option of eating out is no longer the regular, many are opting for the most cost effective and still delicious option of staying in. Roof top socials and dinner parties are where folks can show their own dessert skills. With summer being high time for fresh fruits and berries sweetened perfectly by the sun drenched days, cobblers and bowls of berries with lemon zest and cream are tops. Try grilled peaches drizzled with honey or  chunks of watermelon tossed with mint and served super cold. Here is a dessert recipe that is not only rich in fresh berries, but also placed atop the always reliable summer cooler, vanilla ice cream. So whether eating out or dining in, keep summer sweet with these tasty choices.

Blackberry Almond Cups
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup butter
1 ½ cups fresh blackberry
¾ cup roasted or toasted almonds, coarsely
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or lime, use
cashews instead of almonds)
1-2 pints vanilla ice cream
(1) Melt butter in a large skillet are sauce pan, stir in brown sugar until melted, stirring frequently. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in berries, nuts and lemon juice. Gently stir.
(2) Place scoops of ice cream in cups or bowls and top with fruit and nut mixture. Top with lemon (or lime) zest if desired Makes 8 to 10 dessert servings.