The height of the summer season is next weekend with the Fourth of July. Chances are you will either be having guests if you live in the country, the seashore, or like me, on a lake; or you will be going somewhere as a guest. If you are having guests, come on over to my country blog and check out my game plan, including easy menus and recipes, for the entire weekend. If you are a guests, come and see what your poor hostess has to go through in order for everyone to have an enjoyable weekend.. It would be wonderful if you could alleviate her load and bring over some cookies, dessert, muffins, jams or anything else that would make things easier for her. You could bake some cheese wafers and stick them in a tin. They would be great to have with cocktails over the weekend. Yes, flowers and wine are wonderful, but what your hostess really needs is some help with the menu.
If you can't cook or bake, or don't have time for either before you leave, offer to make dessert one night. This desert is one of those easy and simple recipes that look like a million dollars but can be prepared in a jiffy. Some things you can bring with you but others, like the ice cream, will need to be purchased nearby. Amaretto cookies can be made or they can be bought in a tin at most gourmet stores. I see them all the time at Marshall's! The peaches are beginning to show up at the markets and you can buy some early next week so they will be ready for the weekend. And the liquor, well you know where to get that! Put everything in a basket and presto! you have a nice and very original hostess gift!
If on the other hand you are the hostess, this is the kind of dessert you will definitely need to keep handy for the rest of the summer. Trust me, you will be pulling it out all the time
Juicy peaches, crushed cookies and vanilla ice cream spiked with brandy and amaretto add up to the perfect summer dessert.
yield: Serves 6
2 pints vanilla ice cream, softened slightly
5 tablespoons amaretto
2 tablespoons brandy
6 ripe peaches, peeled if desired, pitted, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup crushed amaretti cookies
mint leaves for decoration (optional)
Combine ice cream, 3 tablespoons amaretto and 1 tablespoon brandy in large bowl. Stir to blend well. Cover and freeze until firm. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Keep ice cream mixture frozen.)
Combine peaches, sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons amaretto and remaining 1 tablespoon brandy in another large bowl. Toss to coat. Let peach mixture stand until sugar dissolves, tossing occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Divide sliced peaches among 6 dessert bowls or wineglasses. Spoon vanilla ice cream mixture atop peaches. Sprinkle desserts with crushed amaretti cookies. Decorate with mint Serve immediately.
Adapted from Bon Appetit