Each time she visits it is our standing date to cook and/or bake a meal much too large for us to actually consume. During her last visit to Orlando she was gushing about her version of Chicken Bryan with a pesto pasta. I had just conquered making Sesame Semolina Bread [post coming soon], so of course I made the bread available but I could not just bring bread to the table alone. I had to do something-something summery, sesame-y, and overall spectacular. After my job, I got to work right away in my kitchen on a dazzling dessert of a home made large sesame cookie in a peaches-n-cream dish garnished with almonds and fresh mint. Yes, Becky hit a home run for dinner but I wanted to finish with a grand slam so may I present Roasted Peaches & Almond Cream Cheese Whipped Cream with Sesame Cookie...
The dish really was born out of a survey. Surveying the pantry and wanting to use more of the 2lb bag of sesame seeds purchased for the bread, I also had cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, peaches, mint, and almonds. Carefully the pieces of the puzzle fell together. First I baked the sesame cookies. The sesame cookies I found at inmamaskitchen.com were very similar to the other recipes I found online, but not at all like the Italian sesame seed cookies I remember as a child sampling wares from the bakeries. The sesame cookies of my youth were very sweet, thin, and snapped when you bit into them. The sesame cookies I just made are more biscuit like, thick, and have an excellent crumble.
I followed the recipe accordingly but I added some anise extract as suggested by other recipes and I also dipped the cookies in milk before rolling in the sesame seeds. I tried for crescent shapes and while you will notice the shape and size variation [ still practicing the fine art of presentation], I hope you will also notice the gradation of 'toastiness' from left to right. The cookies to the far left are 'toasted' while the cookies to the far right are 'lightly toasted.' Levels of toastiness are important so I wanted to illustrate the differences in color albeit the photo is quite not 'good'.
Once the cookies were baked, I started on the cream cheese whipped cream. Using a thekitchn recipe for a base, my tweaks worked out very well and in my favor because the flavor was bold yet subtle-it was so good, it was a paradox. Here is combo recipe of L&S and TheKitchn:
Cream Cheese Whipped Cream
yields about 5 cups
- 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened at room temperature for an hour
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 7 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 teaspoons almond extract
Whip the cream cheese in a small bowl until soft and aerated. In a larger bowl whip the cream until it forms soft peaks that collapse. Scrape in the cream cheese and continue whipping on high speed until it forms stiff peaks. Beat in the sugar and vanilla.
Keep refrigerated. This will stay stable and stiff but still have the soft look of whipped cream.
After we ate the Chicken Bryan, I started prepping the dessert to serve. With the cookies and cream ready, I began on the peaches and they could not be simpler.
- Heat over to 405 degrees.
- Halve 2 peaches and remove seed.
- Melt 1-2 tblsp of butter in a small bowl.
- Using a brush, brush butter all over peach halves and place buttered half on pan.
- Sprinkle surface area of each half with brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Place cut-side down when ready for the oven.Bake for 20-24 minutes. Note, peaches below are not cut-side down.
Now for the assembly!
- Put one peach half in the bottom of a latte cup or a large wine glass on top of a spoon.
- Place one sesame cookie on top of the peach.
- Spoon 2-3 heaping tblsp of the whipped cream on top.
- Sprinkle freshly chopped mint and sliced almonds on top, and VOILA!, the grand slam of summer desserts is served.
All were delighted with the multitude of flavors and textures. The taste of the peach, cinnamon, almond, cream cheese, mint, and sesame romanced their taste buds. The textures of the crunch, crumbly cookie, the velvety kiss of the cream, and the sweet flesh of the peach elevated the peaches and cream concept to gourmet. I recommend it one and all when you really want to WOW your crowd and win your rivalry.