See also: How to Make a King Cake for Mardi Gras
In an effort to get scientific, I started with a list of great ingredients found in Arizona, that I love using in pastry: dates, pecans, honey, citrus, prickly Pear. Here are my nominations for Arizona's state pastry.
Date Cake: A few years ago, I worked in Yuma to help open a small farm bakery, and one of the biggest sellers in our little farm store each year were dates. As our date farmers would roll up with thousands of pounds of dates for packing, baking, and making date shakes for the snow birds, I came to loathe and love these beauties even more.
Put dates in anything, and snowbirds will flock. Our friends to the north wouldn't stop requesting date cake, also known in some regions of Canada as "matrimonial cake." I called a friend from Toronto who then called his mother, acquiring a recipe for matrimonial cake -- essentially, it's a date bar and similar to a coffee cake, but with a gooey date filling. How about a rich date cake with a honey caramel as the Arizona state pastry?
Citrus Tart: Though we aren't known as the citrus state, we do produce a sizable amount of beautiful citrus every winter. Pick it yourself at the Farm at Agritopia or grow a citrus tree in your backyard. Either way, you'll find an abundance of bright bulbs during the winter to make marmalades, spruce up your cocktails or turn into a delicious citrus tart. Enjoy on the patio while Instagramming a picture to your snowed-in friends and family back east.