Gallery: The Best Sweets We Ate in July

Peaches in Chrysanthemum Iced Syrup
Peaches in Chrysanthemum Iced Syrup

"Inspired by a recipe in Simple Thai Food by Leela Punyaratabandhu,
this dessert was refreshing and quick to make. Instead of infusing the simple syrup with anise pods as the original recipe called for, I added
dried chrysanthemum. Sliced peaches are then soaked in the chrysanthemum syrup and served with ice."—Shao Z., Contributor

[Photo: Shao Z.]

Pecorino Gelato at Carapina, Florence
Pecorino Gelato at Carapina, Florence

"This one came out of left field. I only asked for a taste of this gelato at Carapina in Florence because I was curious and certain I wouldn’t want a whole cone, but its balance of sweet and savory combined with the bits of sheep’s milk cheese swirled in made it something of a mind-blower."—Ben Fishner, Ad Sales Account Manager

[Photo: Ben Fishner]

Chocolate Babka from Breads Bakery
Chocolate Babka from Breads Bakery

"We had some chocolate babka in the office from Breads Bakery for me to photograph. Styling it was quite a challenge - everytime I needed to adjust something, my fingers got covered in a rich chocolate coating that I couldn't stop tasting. Eventually I got the shot, and the entire babka was devoured within about 30 minutes."—Vicky Wasik, Visual Editor

[Photo: Vicky Wasik]

Three Nut Cookies at Pi Bakerie in NYC
Three Nut Cookies at Pi Bakerie in NYC

"There's a new Greek bakery in the West Village, cutely called Pi, and they're doing a killer take on traditional kourabiedes, a crunchy cookie loaded with butter and almonds, then dusted in powdered sugar. Pi's version, which they call a three-nut cookie, adds hazelnuts and pecans to the almonds for a nuttier, more complex flavor, and works in enough butter that these torpedoes just melt away on your tongue. Perfect."—Max Falkowitz, National Editor

[Photo: Vicky Wasik]

Durian Shaved Ice in Queens
Durian Shaved Ice in Queens

"This Malaysian dessert at Malay Restaurant in Flushing is a great introduction to durian for those who haven't learned to love its funky flavors yet."—Daniel Gritzer, Culinary Director

[Photo: Daniel Gritzer]

New York-Style Cheesecake from Hope's Cheesecake in Alabama
New York-Style Cheesecake from Hope's Cheesecake in Alabama

"This cheesecake, which was sent to me, is one of the smoothest, creamiest, most perfectly-textured cheesecakes I've had. And it's amazing to me how well it survived shipping."—Donna Currie, Contributor

[Photo: Donna Currie]

Smoked Honey Mint Chip Ice Cream
Smoked Honey Mint Chip Ice Cream

"Smoked cream is totally the new black. This brilliant creation from our own Max Falkowitz balances that campfire flavor with a tingly pop of mint, mellow honey, and crunchy bits of dark chocolate for a surprisingly complex yet summery dessert. Seriously, time to fire up that smoker and get to work."—Niki Achitoff-Gray, Associate Editor

[Photo: Vicky Wasik]

Panna Cotta at Il Ristoro, Florence
Panna Cotta at Il Ristoro, Florence

"To be honest, if I were to choose my favorite dessert this past month, it would be a three-way tie between Max's smoked mint ice cream, pistaccio gelato at Vivoli, and this. Niki's already called dibs on Max's ice cream and I was always too busy chomping down on the gelato to grab a picture so this my pick. This panna cotta just was a simple dish executed perfectly, conservatively punctuated with fresh golden raisins and pine nuts. Sometimes austerity is good."—Leang Chaing, Sales Operations Manager

[Photo: Leang Chaing]

Almond Croissant at Ceci-Cela
Almond Croissant at Ceci-Cela

"For some reason, I think it's impossible for me to eat a substantial breakfast of any kind on my way to SE HQ. Taking a tip from the French, I often opt for coffee and a croissant, and the croissant at Ceci-Cela is indeed worthy of its title as SE's favorite. Their croissants aux amandes are decidedly different in texture and flavor, but equally worthy of praise."—Ben Miller, Intern

[Photo: Vicky Wasik]

Coffee Coconut Cream Popsicle from People's Pops, NYC
Coffee Coconut Cream Popsicle from People's Pops, NYC

"I was tired and hungry on the way to my restaurant job one afternoon, and the tiny People's Pops stand in the East Village appeared like a mirage in front of me. One coffee-coconut-cream popsicle later, granita-like in texture, intensely flavored, and topped with a thin layer of espresso powder, I was no longer tired or hungry. Mission accomplished."—Carolyn Mortell, Intern

[Photo: Carolyn Mortell]

Peach-Rhubarb Pie from Three Babes Bakeshop in San Francisco
Peach-Rhubarb Pie from Three Babes Bakeshop in San Francisco

"Local fruit right now is so amazingly sweet that a pie filled with peaches is almost over the top. My friends at Three Babes Bakeshop create beautiful balance by including rhubarb in the mix: tart, tangy, and fresh-tasting, piled into a flaky pie crust and topped with buttery crumble. I was supposed to bring this pie to our beer writer Mike Reis's birthday barbecue. I was sorry that I forgot it when racing to car (luckily the ice cream still made it to the party) but not sorry that I got to hoard this summer treat for myself."—Maggie Hoffman, Senior Editor

[Photo: Maggie Hoffman]

Peach Melba at Lafayette, NYC
Peach Melba at Lafayette, NYC

"I was so happy to see old-school Peach Melba on the menu at Lafayette, and the dessert lived up to my hopes. Every element had a distinct, crisp flavor; from the tart raspberry syrup to the strong vanilla notes of the ice cream to the velvety peaches. It was so good that I didn't want to share it with anyone!"—Tracie Lee, Designer

[Photo: Tracie Lee]

Quick and Easy French Toast
Quick and Easy French Toast

"Last weekend I found myself with a few ingredients I rarely have on hand: milk, bread, and maple syrup. Naturally, I made Daniel's Quick-and-Easy French Toast recipe. True to its name, it's quick and easy. And delicious."—Paul Cline, Developer

[Photo: Paul Cline]