Thanksgiving: Save the Dessert

Dessert.  It’s the reason for life, right?  It’s the point, right?  I think some people have their priorities out of line.  The problem is that many diners eat all of the savory foods for Thanksgiving and they are all moaning face-down into the bed because they ate too many rolls and turkey and stuffing and peas and brussels sprouts and potatoes and carbs.  Meanwhile, I’m like, “uhhh, hey guys, I think we have some dessert,” to empty silence.   It’s heartbreaking.  Seriously, people, don’t be mean to the pie.  Just practice some self restraint in the name of the savory rolls and stuffing (or fourth meal that dessert!!!!).

Ok, let’s get down to brass tacks.  If you are like me, you loath making a pie crust.   The Cooks Illustrated method saved me.  While unorthodox (it uses vodka!), it works beautifully and I adore it.  (Note to self: buy vodka.  Somehow Hurricane Sandy drained that part of my cupboard.  Can’t imagine what it is about no power for a week that could do that to a girl.)

This year, I am going to try to step up my pie crust game and make this braid  as a decorative edge.  Pray for me.

I love pecan pie and I love chocolate so every year I make Tyler Florence’s Bourbon and Chocolate Pecan Pie .  If you do the crust ahead of time, it comes together so quickly.  I take it on the plane and everyone wants to be my friend.  Served with some whipped cream, it is a delight.  Note: I make the Cooks Illustrated crust with this pie.

If I were surrounded by coffee lovers, I would make a variation and substitute espresso for the bourbon in Fine Cooking’s Chocolate Espresso Pecan Pie, but I haven’t tested this one!

A few years ago, I made the Pioneer Woman’s Dreamy Apple Pie and it was a hit!

If I decide against the Bourbon Pecan Pie, I will make Fine Cooking’s Ginger Spice Apple Cranberry Pie.  The streusel on top is amazingly spicy from the ginger and the filling is gorgeous, studded with cranberries.  It is an awesome dessert.

Finally, if you aren’t into pie, which I can understand, Rachel Ray’s Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes (pictured above) are hands down, my favorite pumpkin baked good.

No matter what you chose to bless your table with at Thanksgiving, regardless if you celebrate it on a different day, I wish you and yours the happiest of Thanksgivings.  I hope you have a chance to pause and experience the day with your loves.


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