11/23/2011 11:15 am ET | Updated Aug 31, 2012

Our Editors' Favorite Family Dessert Recipes

Dessert is arguable one of the best parts of any meal (yes, even breakfast). Yet, despite this fact, it is one of the first things to be cut from the dining room table lineup. It makes sense when considering how busy life gets. If there is one thing we don't essentially need, dessert is that thing. Keeping that in mind, it explains why dessert, when served at home, is an absolute joy -- a treat beyond all treats.

When there is sugar and eggs, and possibly chocolate and flour, being mixed in the kitchen, there is merriment in the home. Even if your mother's cookies came out a bit burnt on the bottom or if the cake was a bit lopsided, those less-than-perfect homemade treats are often flavors that we long for today -- in every store bought treat we purchase. And the funny thing is that they never seem to compare to the ones that came out of the oven at home.

  • Coconut Cake With Saffron Cream
    Con Poulos/Food&Wine
    Ok, I admit it: My mother's coconut cake didn't have fancy-schmancy saffron cream, but it was still amazing. I was thrilled every time she made it, especially because my brother loathed coconut. His disdain meant I got to eat as much as I wanted. - Jess Adamiak Get the Coconut Cake with Saffron Cream recipe
  • Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
    New Media Publishing
    Whether it was my mom, an aunt, or a baker at a bake sale who made them, cheesecake-swirl brownies were something I could not resist as a child -- nor now, as an adult. Cutting the sweetness of the chewy, dark-chocolate brownie base is a tart swirl of cream cheese that brightens up your taste buds. I still get excited when someone bakes them. - Kristen Aiken Get the Cheesecake Swirl Brownies recipe
  • Ganache-Stuffed Chocolate-Chip Cookies
    Con Poulos/Food&Wine
    I grew up outside of Washington, DC and we would often take car trips to visit my grandparents in New York. My grandmother always sent us home with a big tin of homemade chocolate chip cookies. Definitely made the car ride feel a little shorter. - Carey Polis Get the Ganache-Stuffed Chocolate-Chip Cookies recipe
  • Dark Chocolate Mousse With Candied Orange
    Julie Toy
    My mother was never really into sweets -- she was always very good at watching her figure and staying trim. When it came to chocolate, however, all bets were off. She always explained that it was her Belgian roots that drew her to the rich, dark cacao. So when she did make dessert, chocolate was always the star, and it came in the form of a silky chocolate mousse. - Julie R. Thomson Get the Dark Chocolate Mousse with Candied Orange recipe
  • Lemon Curd
    Flickr: French Tart
    My family lived in California for three years; while we were there, we had a beautiful Meyer lemon tree in our backyard. A couple times a year, we would pick a huge basket of lemons and make their juice into a curd. In the following weeks, we'd put the luscious lemony spread on everything: toast, fruit, cakes. Sometimes one of us would even be caught eating a spoonful, alone, straight of the refrigerator. - Joe Satran Get the Lemon Curd recipe
  • Grapefruit Brulee
    There wasn't a heavy dessert regimen in our home (much to my brother's and my dismay) but broiled grapefruit occasionally made an appearance and was an almost-adequate stand-in for the hot fudge sundaes we truly craved. It may not be the easiest way to win over a dessert crowd but it's hard to deny the deliciousness of this slightly caramelized grapefruit preparation. -Colin Sterling Get the Grapefruit Brulee recipe
  • Crepes
    Crepes aren't just a French confection, you can find them all over eastern Europe, including Hungary, where they are called palascinta. My mom made them all throughout my childhood. Perched on a stool, I used to watch her cook humongous batches using two frying pans. The crepes would go to our church for selling at the flea market to raise money. Of course, there were always some left for me. Even today, I can never refuse these crepes. The traditional filling is apricot jam, spread thinly onto the crepe and then sprinkled with ground walnuts and rolled up like a cigar. I love them this way, but sometimes I spread mine with Nutella! Here is a video to easily learn how to make them yourself. -Joseph Erdos Get the Crepe recipe