15 Desserts to Learn If You Want to Seriously Impress Everyone With Your Insane Baking Skills

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15 Desserts to Learn If You Want to Seriously Impress Everyone With Your Insane Baking Skills

One of my New Year's resolutions is to learn how to bake. Like really bake — I'm talking insanely decadent desserts that take actual effort in the kitchen, not just cake mix and a tub of pre-made Betty Crocker's frosting (although let's be honest, Betty has that recipe nailed). 2015 is the year I learn how to make complex cakes, cookies that require more than two kinds of flour (lookin' at you Jacques Torres), and cheesecakes fit to be served at Cheesecake Factory (or at least close). 

So, I scoured the Internet and found a bunch of dessert recipes that are slightly more difficult to make, and a thousand times more delicious and beautiful than anything you could purchase out of a box or a tube. 2015 is your year to bake, so make sure you have plenty of flour and sugar on hand. Oh, and butter (duh). 

Image: Joy the Baker

Chocolate Espresso Macarons

Macarons seem like they’re the most unattainable to make, and so I’m probably going to start with them first, using The Simple Sweet Life’s wonderful recipe. The combination of chocolate and coffee definitely has my attention.

Image: The Simple Sweet Life

Cauldron Cupcakes

Hi, Harry Potter fans. This one is for you. I totally suggest throwing a Harry Potter marathon, and whipping these up as a magical snack. A Pastry Affair shows you exactly how to create these cool little cakes.

Image: A Pastry Affair

Sweet Lemon + Rosemary Madeleines

How does one make an adorable little madeleine? Follow the recipe from A Better Happer St. Sebastian, and you’ll have yourself a perfectly sweet and slightly tart morsel of awesome.

Image: A Better Happer St. Sebastian 

Peppermint Marshmallows

I know you can just go to the grocery store and pick up a bag of marshmallows, but where is the fun in that? Learn how to make your very own marshmallows using Pastry Affair’s recipe, and give them a minty twist. It still is winter, after all. 

Image: Pastry Affair

Toasted Almond and Candied Cherry Ice Cream

Making ice cream is definitely a process, even if you own an ice cream maker. However, if you’re over paying crazy prices for a gourmet pint from Whole Foods, learn how to make your own! This recipe combines just the right amount of nutty flavor and tart sweetness. Find the recipe on  Brown Eyed Baker

Image: Brown Eyed Baker

Valentine's Day Cheesecake

It’s not that cheesecakes are hard to make, they’re just hard to maintain. When you bake a cheesecake, you have to follow the very, very specific instructions, otherwise your cake will crack down the middle and be a hot mess. This simple (but pretty) recipe from Dessert Now, Dinner Later is just what you need to get started on your cheesecake endeavors. 

Image: Dessert Now, Dinner Later

Melting Snowman Oreo Cookie Ball Recipe

For some reason, every single time I’ve tried to make truffles, they have turned into balls of chocolate-y disaster. Hopefully, in 2015 I will perfect my technique. These step-by-step instructions by Cookies and Cups show you how to make the cutest (and the most tasty) little truffle snowmen.

Image: Cookies and Cups

Chocolate Curry Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream

Curry adds just the right amount of spice to this sweet and fluffy cupcake. Visit London Bakes for the recipe, and experiment with fun, delicious flavors.

Image: London Bakes

24 Hour, 24 Dollar Chocolate Chip Cookies (Jacques Torres' Recipe)

Oh, Jacques Torres. You and your coveted chocolate chip cookie recipe that calls for like a thousand obscure ingredients. Supposedly these are the “best cookies ever,” according to every single media and cooking outlet. Let’s put that assertion to the test this year, shall we? Get the recipe from Hummingbird High.

Image: Hummingbird High

Mini Salted Caramel Chocolate Pies

OK, so this recipe is actually very easy. However, the results look astonishingly beautiful, as though you bought them from an exquisite, exclusive bakery. This recipe from My Baking Addiction  gives you the choice to buy pre-made pie shells, but you can always try making your own!

Image: My Baking Addiction 

Creme Brulee Cream Puffs

These cream puffs by Hummingbird High are small but mighty. Filled with extremely rich custard (made with whole milk, sugar, and Grand Marnier) and topped with burnt sugar, these little morsels basically define “heaven.” 

Image: Hummingbird High

Homemade Oreos

Not only are these DIY Oreos super fun and look awesome, but they’re way better for you! Short & Sweets shows you how you can make these even healthier by substituting butter for vegan ingredients.

Image: Short & Sweets

Gluten-Free Almond Stout Cupcakes

Alcohol and cake go together really, really well. Learn how to use more booze in your baking this year, using Brave Tart’s chocolate-y recipe. 

Image: Brave Tart

Coffee & Doughnut Holes

While I guess you can call this “breakfast,” I would enjoy it after dinner, too. In fact, I would enjoy it FOR dinner (and maybe lunch). Doughnuts, especially doughnut holes, are delicious — so why don’t you learn how to make your own? This recipe by  Crepes of Wrath will show you the way.

Image: Crepes of Wrath

Salted Caramel Cheesecake Pie

Another cheesecake to blow everyone’s minds, but this time, it’s topped with salted caramel. Stomach, meet your new best friend. Get the instructions from Joy the Baker.

Image: Joy the Baker