The perfect spring desserts and apps: Recipes for Easter, Mud Season and Derby Day

Spring brings romance renewal, and that’s why we’ve been writing about honeymoons and mini-moons in New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut.  Don’t worry, we’ll continue our honeymoon and mini-moon series, but with beautiful spring weather upon us, we thought sharing some fabulous recipes for your Easter dinner, mud season malaise and Derby Day – all offered by innkeepers from Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE) – might be a great way to make your day.  After all, the 12 Distinctive Inns of New England are all about fabulous food on top of distinctive accommodations.  Whether it’s a romantic getaway or a culinary caper, you can count on finding fabulous food each time you visit any of the Distinctive Inns of New England.  Perhaps it’s really not a coincidence that this New England inn association’s acronym is DINE. It’s certainly fitting.

Let’s explore some sweet spring treats for your Easter table and Derby Day party.

Rabbit Hill Inn recipe for Chevre & White Chocolate Pots de Crème – as pretty as they are delicious

A note from Leslie: This fine dining dessert recipe can be easily made at home. Pots de creme is lovely and versatile French custard style dessert. This pots de creme recipe has a heavenly flavor profile of fresh chevre goat cheese, white chocolate, and a touch of vanilla. Yes! Chevre is a key ingredient for many wonderful desserts. You’ll soon get hooked on this if you haven’t already.

Your lucky friends and family will be very impressed by this delicate beautiful dessert. (We’ll never reveal how easy it was.). It’s perfect for Easter dinner.

Pots de creme is a great make ahead dessert recipe for dinner parties. Just pull them from the refrigerator, decorate, and serve. Only 7 ingredients needed.

Prep Note: You will need a blender and eight 6 oz individual ramekins.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup chevre (goat cheese)
8 oz white chocolate, chopped
6 large egg yolks
1 1/2  Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt


  • In medium size sauce pan, bring heavy cream to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and stir in white chocolate and Chevre until melted.
  • In blender – place egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, and salt. While running blender, pour warm cream / chevre / white chocolate mixture over egg yolks. Blend until smooth.
  • Your oven should now be at 325 degrees.
  • Prepare a pan water bath for your ramekins, using very hot water. Place ramekins in the water bath. Water level should be half way up the ramekins.
  • Fill ramekins almost full.  Cook in water bath at 325 degrees just until center is set. KEY POINT:  The center should still have a slight jiggle to it, not a loose wavy motion. If you have the slightest doubt, don’t over cook. The custard will firm more when chilled.
  • Remove and cool.
  • Then chill for service (about 3 hours).
  • Serve with fresh whipped cream and seasonal fruit

Dyed Deviled Eggs from Cliffside Inn

They’re really not a sweet treat or a dessert, but Easter is simply not the same without dyed eggs, and everyone loves these deviled eggs at Easter.  However, while these were created for Easter, but there is no reason you couldn’t do Red, White and Blue for Memorial Day or 4th of July, red and green for Christmas, or any other color scheme you like.

Deviled colored eggs from Cliffside InnIngredients:

6 eggs

1 cup water

5 drops of each color food coloring

1 tsp (per color) white vinegar

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp sweet relish

1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard


  • Put 6 eggs in a pot.  Cover with cold water. Turn eggs on high and set timer for 20 minutes.  When done, drain eggs and cool.  Peel and halve eggs.  Remove yolks to another bowl.
  • Meanwhile, use a different bowl for each color of eggs you want.  In the bowl put:  1 cup water; 5 drops of food coloring in the color desired; 1 tsp white vinegar.
  • After eggs are cool, soak the whites in the food coloring mixture for 5-10 minutes or until desired shade of color.  Remove and dry the now colored egg whites.
  • Filling:  combine ½ cup mayonnaise; ½ tsp salt; 1 Tbsp sweet relish; 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard.
  • Place filling inside colored egg whites and place on tray.  Sprinkle with paprika or parsley as desired.

Captain’s House Inn Mississippi Mud Cookies

Unlike other parts of the country, New England observes five seasons.  Mud season follows winter when April showers bring May flowers and plenty of MUD. New Englanders have learned to embrace and celebrate mud with everything from Mud Mask Facials to these Mississippi Mud Cookies created to celebrate the messiest season of the year! Now you can enjoy them too.

Mississippi Mud recipe from Captain's House InnIngredients

1 cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips

½ cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 ½ Cups All-Purpose Flour

1 tsp. Baking Powder

½ tsp. salt

1 Cup chopped pecans

½ Cup  Milk Chocolate Chips

1 Cup + 2 Tbsp mini marshmallows


  • Microwave semisweet chocolate chips in a small bowl on high for 1 minute or until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds.
  • Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Beat in vanilla and melted chocolate.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to chocolate mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in chopped pecans and ½ cup milk chocolate morsels.
  • Drop dough by heaping tablespoons onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Press 3 marshmallows into each portion of dough.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until set. Cool on wire racks.

Yield 3 Dozen

Chesterfield Inn Kentucky Derby Pie

The 2017 Kentucky Derby will be the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby, and is set for Saturday, May 6, 2017. If you can’t make it to Churchill Downs, bring out the fancy hats and have your own party right to watch the festivities.  And with Derby Day comes bourbon.  With bourbon comes this delicious Kentucky Derby Day Pie recipe from Chesterfield Inn.

Kentucky Derby PieIngredients:

¾ cup butter, melted and cooled

¾ cup sugar

3/8 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup flour

3 eggs, beaten lightly

4 ½ Tablespoons bourbon

¾ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup walnuts, coarse chopped

1 8″ pie shell, unbaked


Preheat oven to 350-degrres F

  • In mixer, cream together butter and sugars. Add flour, then eggs, bourbon, salt and vanilla.
  • Spread the chocolate chips and nuts in the bottom of the pie shell.
  • Pour in the filling
  • Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until it set.
  • Cool

Serve with bourbon caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.

Plan your next scrumptious New England getaway at the 12 Distinctive Inns of New England by clicking below on links that will take you directly to each of their websites.

In Rhode Island: Cliffside Inn in Newport

In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic

In New Hampshire:  Manor on Golden Pond in Holderness & Chesterfield Inn in West Chesterfield

In Vermont:  Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford & Grafton Inn in Grafton

In Massachusetts:  Harbor Light Inn in Marblehead, Gateways Inn & Restaurant in Lenox, Deerfield Inn in Historic Deerfield and Captain’s House Inn in Chatham on Cape Cod.

In Maine:  Captain Jefferds Inn in Kennebunkport & Camden Maine Stay Inn in Camden.