Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanksgiving Recipes Part 3 - Dessert

Did someone say dessert? I can't tell you how excited I get planning all the goodies to bake and prepare for Thanksgiving. I do change the line up a here and there but I've definitely got my standbys that I either make for or around the big day. To say I did A LOT of digging in my box for this one is something of an understatement...mostly because the dessert section of my recipe box is 14 times bigger than the rest. But I've come out with a good representation of my favorites! So without further ado...

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Makes about 3 doz

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt; set aside. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add pumpkin, egg and vanilla; mix well. Mix in dry ingredients well then fold in chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoonfuls on greased (or parchment lined) baking sheets. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until set all the way through and lightly browned on the bottom.
These are very much on the cake like side of cookies and similar to a lot of quick breads they get somewhat sticky the longer you store them. I also find the flavor gets richer over time like quick breads as well. Store these in an airtight container for 2-3 days. If I'm feeling particularly indulgent I'll sometimes drizzle a little extra melted chocolate on top of the cookies after they've cooled.

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread (this is a Libby's recipe) Makes 2-9 x 5 inch loaves
3 cups all purpose flour
5 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 cups sugar
1(15 oz) can pureed pumpkin
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease two 9x5 loaf pans and set aside. Combine dry ingredients and set aside. In a large bowl or mixer combine vegetable oil, sugar, pumpkin and orange juice and beat until well blended. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until just blended. Fold in cranberries. Divide batter evenly into both loaf pans and bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes; remove loaves from pans onto rack to cool completely.
*I actually prefer dried fruit in this recipe but fresh or frozen is good too. Like the cookies above this loaf is fantastic warm from the oven but seems to get better as it sits.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake
For the crust:
2/3 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup almond flour
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbs sugar
4 tbs cold butter
For the filling:
2-8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup white sugar, divided
1 tbs vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup pureed pumpkin
2 tsp ground allspice
1 tbs ground cinnamon
3 tsp espresso powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor or with a pastry cutter blend crust ingredients until the mixture resembles course sand. Press into the bottom (not sides) of a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake 10 minutes, cool completely.
Using a mixer combine cream cheese, 1/2 cup of sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Remove 1 cup of mixture and transfer to another bowl. Add the espresso powder to the 1 cup of filling and mix until the coffee has dissolved and is uniform in color; set aside. Blend 1/4 cup sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon and allspice into the remaining filling. Pour the pumpkin mixture on top of the crust in the spring form pan. Top pumpkin mixture with the 1 cup coffee filling mixture. Bake for 55 minutes or until filling is set. The cheesecake will puff up in the middle a bit as it bakes and then relax back down as it cools. Run a knife around the edge of the pan for easy unmolding. Allow the cheesecake to cool before removing the rim of the spring-form pan. Chill until ready to serve.

Roasted Pears with Carmel Sauce*
For the pears:
4tbs butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 pears halved and cored
1/4 cup walnuts (or your favorite nuts)
For the caramel sauce:
1 cup sugar
6 tbs butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Place butter in a baking pan large enough to hold the pears in a single layer: set in the heating oven until it melts. Sprinkle sugar over melted butter, then place pears, cut side down, on top. Bake until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven, turn pears over and baste with pan sauce. Return to oven; bake until golden and glossy, about 10 minutes longer.
Let cool slightly. 
While the pears are cooling prepare the caramel sauce. Before you begin the sauce, make sure you have everything ready to go - the cream and the butter next to the pan, ready to put in. Making caramel is a fast process that cannot wait for hunting around for ingredients. If you don't work fast, the sugar will burn. Be very careful during the process of making the caramel; boiling sugar is much much hotter than boiling water.  Heat sugar on moderately high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart or 3-quart saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. You can swirl the pan a bit if you want, from this point on. As soon as all of the sugar crystals have melted (the liquid sugar should be dark amber in color), immediately add the butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted. Transfer pears to dessert plates or bowls. Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate. Note than when you add the butter and the cream, the mixture will foam up considerably. This is why you must use a pan that is at least 2-quarts (preferably 3-quarts) big. Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for several minutes. Place pears into serving dish/dishes then drizzle with caramel sauce; sprinkle with nuts. Serve immediately.
*The caramel sauce may be made in advance then stored in a glass jar (after its cooled completely) in the refrigerator until needed.

Pinto Bean Pie (I promise you if you didn't know what this was you would think it was pecan pie)

1 tsp cornmeal
1 prepared unbaked pie crust
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup pinto beans
1/2 cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of cornmeal in pie crust and set aside. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Beat in sugar, butter, vanilla and pinto beans. Pour filling into pie shell. Place pecans decoratively on top of pie. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until golden brown and filling is set.

This is just the tip of the iceberg but mostly they are the recipes I get the most enthused about making. As always I hope you enjoyed the recipes and maybe added a few to your box. I'll see ya next week for what to do with your turkey leftovers!

1 comment:

  1. That Cranberry Pumpkin Bread sounds sooo good..might have to try that... maybe even make muffins out of it. hehe.. (I love muffins!)

    Side Note: Pumpkin Pie Spice...