Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Traditional--and Favorite--Thanksgiving Desserts

With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, I have been busy planning out my menu and table decorations.

In one sense, the menu is pretty standard. Probably like most people, I make many of the same dishes for Thanksgiving year after year. They are traditional family—and guest—favorites.

In particular, there are four desserts I like to make every year for Thanksgiving. You might like them too. Here are the recipes:


1 unbaked (9-inch) pie shell
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
1 (15 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 large egg
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup unsalted butter, cold
½ cup chopped pecans

Combine pumpkin, condensed milk, egg, salt, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and cinnamon. Blend well. Pour into pie shell and bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes. While that is cooking, make topping. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, mix flour, brown sugar and butter together until crumbling. Mix in pecans. After removing pie from oven, spread topping on top. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Return pie to oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Chill pie in refrigerator at least 1-2 hours before serving. If desired, serve with whipped cream.


1 unbaked (9-inch) pie shell
2 cups freshly cooked and mashed sweet potatoes or yams
3 T. unsalted butter, very soft
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. grated orange peel
1 ½ cups half-and-half

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Blend sweet potatoes and sugars together; add eggs and beat until well-combined. Stir in vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel and half-and-half. Blend thoroughly. Pour into pie crust. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until filling is set and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool, and serve with whipped cream.


2 cups Oreo crumbs (crush cookies with the white filling)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup Kahlua
2 T. unsalted butter
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 cup confectioner’s sugar
Optional: chocolate-covered espresso beans, chocolate leaves or chocolate leaves for garnish

Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).

In a bowl combine chocolate wafer crumbs and melted butter, and press into bottom and about 1-inch up the sides of 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate until time to fill.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt semi-sweet chocolate chips with 2 T. butter. Add Kahlua and stir over heat just until mixture is melted and blended together. Remove from stovetop and set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and salt until smooth and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Blend in sour cream. Pour in cooled chocolate mixture and blend well. Spoon into chilled cookie crust. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until filling is set. Remove from the oven and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

To garnish, whip cream and powdered sugar to stiff peaks. Add vanilla. Spread whipped cream on cake and garnish with chocolate-covered espresso beans, chocolate leaves or chocolate leaves.


2 cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 T. unsalted butter, melted

3 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs
½ lb. white chocolate, melted

1 can cherry pie filling
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 envelope “Whip-It” whipped cream stabilizer

First make the crust. Combine the three crust ingredients together and press on the bottom and 2-3 inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or until filling is ready.

To prepare filling, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla, mixing until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in white chocolate; mix well. Pour over crust. Bake at 350 degrees F, for 45-50 minutes, or until center is set. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.

When ready to add topping and garnish the cake, remove the cake from the springform pan. Beat whipping cream, vanilla, powdered sugar and whipped cream stabilizer together. Spoon cherry pie filling into top center of cake, leaving a 1 ½ to 2 inch border around cake to pipe whipping cream. Spoon whipped cream into decorator bag and pipe cream around top edge of cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve. With whipped cream stabilizer, cake can be garnished 24 hours in advance of serving. Makes 10-12 servings.

Happy dessert making!

No comments:

Post a Comment