Cook the Book: Unforgettable Desserts

"Unforgettable Desserts is a book for dessert junkies."

20091228-unforgettabledesserts.jpgThe time between Christmas and New Years are some of the most lighthearted days of the year. Holiday cheer remains in the air, parties are going on, and New Year's resolutions have yet to start weighing heavily on everyone's minds.

And since we all basically have a free pass to indulge, at least for the next couple of days, we bring you the final installment of Cook the Book: A Cookie Month 2009. A few more cookies couldn't hurt, right?

In preparation for New Year's Eve we are bringing you a spread of special occasion cookies courtesy of Dede Wilson's Unforgettable Desserts. Wilson has written many baking books covering everything from cupcakes, to truffles, to wedding cakes, hosts her own cooking show on PBS, Seasonings with Dede, and is a contributing editor to Bon App├ętit magazine, specializing in all things dessert related. With a resume like that, it goes without saying that Wilson can turn out some pretty impressive desserts.

Unforgettable Desserts is a book for dessert junkies, for those who thrive on the purest form of pastry porn. The photos bring to mind 1960s pinup girls and Vaseline-smeared camera lenses. This is a book for people who love to bake, to experiment with unfamiliar ingredients and techniques, and thrive on baking desserts that are met with gasps of awe and appreciation.

The cookies we are going to share with you this week from Unforgettable Desserts serve two purposes: they are all geared to be a sweet finish to any New Year's Eve celebration (elegant, unusual, and Champagne worthy), and, for all of you who are planning on a New Year's resolution involving diet or weight loss, these cookies are meant to be a last hurrah, enjoy them with reckless abandon while you still can.

Here is just a taste of the cookies that we have in store for you in the upcoming week: Matcha Tea Leaf Shortbreads, Florentine Bars with Candied Orange and Cherries, and Mallowmores. It's going to be a very sweet way to end 2009.

Win 'Unforgettable Desserts

Thanks to the generosity of the folks over at Wiley, we are giving away five (5) copies of Unforgettable Desserts this week. All you have to do is tell us your favorite special occasion dessert in the comments section below.

Five (5) people will be chosen at random among the eligible comments below. We're sorry, but entry is only open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. Comments will close Monday, January 4 at noon ET. The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.