Yes, Pumpkin Pie is a classic and I will certainly be making one for Thanksgiving next week, but in addition to the classic, I also like to make something with a little twist on the good old pie.

Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Sugar Icing are one of my all-time favorite pumpkin recipes and would still satisfy that craving for something pumpkin after turkey dinner.

Apples are probably tied with pumpkin for people’s favorite fall dessert flavor and this Apple Streusel Cake will provide comfort with warm spices and sweet apples.

Slab pies are a great way to still serve pie but without so much fuss.  This blueberry version is calling my name and could be made with frozen blueberries if fresh are not available.

If I’m making something that is not either apple or pumpkin, you know it’s going to be something chocolate like this classic Chocolate Pie from The Pioneer Woman.

Butterscotch is another flavor that makes me think of fall for some reason.  I bookmarked this Pumpkin Butterscotch Spice Cake Trifle and have been dying for an excuse to make it.  Trifles are such awe-inspiring desserts, yet they can be so easy to make.

I LOVE pecan pie maybe more than pumpkin and I am naturally drawn to any pecan dessert that incorporates chocolate into the mix.  These Caramel Pecan Turtle Bars are such a fantastically rich combination.

Tarts are so beautiful and look complicated, but actually are easy to make, especially with step-by-step instructions like in this recipe for a French Pear Tart from The Mediterranean Dish.

Maybe you want to totally step away from classic fall flavors all together and go with a much loved flavor combination:  peanut butter and chocolate.  These Peanut Butter Cup Pots de Creme from Glazed and Confused look dangerously delicious.

Still want to serve pie, but just not pumpkin?  Check out my board on Learnist for 7 other irresistible pie flavors.

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I know I went on and on about how interesting and unique Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook is and I maybe even sounded like I was complaining a bit.  I apologize for that.  I don’t want to be a downer.  It’s just that people are going B-A-N-A-N-A-S over this cookbook and it initially left me feeling frustrated and stupefied.  That is until I used the rest of that graham cracker crust I was telling you about to make this.

It’s pretty hard to feel anything but euphoric when molten brownie is oozing in your mouth.

Tell me what’s wrong with this picture.  Oh, what’s that you said?  Nothing?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.  This is not me being egotistical sweet teeth, this is just the cold, hard facts.  This brownie pie was so incredibly easy and quick to make and the results are really mind-blowing.  Imagine those molten chocolate cakes that were all the rage a couple of years ago and showed up on every dessert menu, in pie form.  That means every bite is ooey gooey, melt-in-your-mouth.  Not just the center bite.  That means that even though my husband is notorious for taking that last, best bite of whatever it is that I am savoring, there is no best bite for him to steal in this pie.  There are ONLY best bites.  No dry edges or crispy crust.  Just ooey.  Gooey.  Pure.  Chocolatey.  Bliss.

Ok, I’m done ranting.  You just need to make this.  Now.  Walk away from your computer.  I mean now.

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make graham crust (step-by-step instructions here) and press into pie tin

melt chocolate and butter together

combine eggs and sugar and whisk until pale yellow 3-4 minutes

add melted chocolate/butter mixture

and mix to combine

add dry ingredients

mix until just incorporated

scrape down sides of bowl and fold in remaining graham crust using spatula

place pie tin onto baking sheet and pour batter into it

bake until edges are slightly puffed and center is no longer liquid

enjoy, as if I need to tell you

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My Thanksgiving plans are somewhat up in the air right now due to the poor health of my grandfather.  If grandpa stays with us a few more weeks, then it will be a celebration with the in-laws.  However, if he is relieved from his suffering in the next few days, my husband and I will be heading home to be with my family under less than ideal circumstances.  Since my holiday meal plans are uncertain, I would like to share some wonderful tips, ideas and recipes from some fabulous fellow bloggers and vendors.

Is it your first time making the turkey this year?  I’m sure you want yours to look as gorgeous as perfectly golden bird from Simple Bites.  The post that accompanies this mouthwatering photo will give you day-by-day, step-by-step instructions for roasting the perfect turkey and even how to make gravy.

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I love turkey but like many of you, I also go crazy for all of the wonderful sides!  Do these Parmesan Mashed Potatoes that Lacey whipped up not make you drool?  I would love the saltiness from that cheese and they just look so fluffy and light!

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Don’t forget the brussels sprouts!  Are you a lover or do you need more convincing?  If you are on the fence, this brussels sprouts dish from A Cozy Kitchen might convert you!  Subtle sweetness from maple sugar and slight tang from balsamic vinegar.  Yes please.

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Naturally Marla over at Family Fresh Cooking has got us covered for a healthier way to enjoy our sweet potatoes.  In this recipe, she incorporates coconut milk, cinnamon and maple syrup and suggests creative toppings for your mashed sweet potatoes such as coconut flakes, dried figs and nuts.  You know I love to use recipes simply as guides and them make them my own, and Marla allows you to adapt this recipe using the ingredients that you prefer.

 

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No we have got to add a little salt to our sweet and one of my favorite salty sides is stuffing!  I don’t want sausage.  I don’t want oysters.  I want it straight up traditional just the way that Michelle that Brown Eyed Baker does it.  Her Classic Bread Stuffing Recipe has all you need:  bread, onions, sage and parsley.  What can I say?  I guess I am a traditionalist when it comes to stuffing!

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And finally, you know what my top priority is:  dessert.  Cheesecake is a dessert that I would choose last in most cases.   There is one exception the I know of and that is this Marshmallow-Sour Cream Topped Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust found on Epicurious.   I had it for the first time when I was in Guatemala on a mission trip over Thanksgiving week and it was love at first bite.  The gingersnap crust is enough to make me swoon and the cheesecake itself is lighter than most traditional cheesecakes which is why I believe it is the exception to my lack of enthusiasm about cheesecakes.

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Then there is this Caramel Apple Pie that I made last year for Thanksgiving.  You incorporate some of the caramel into the the apple filling and then also drizzle the remaining caramel over each piece as you serve it.  It takes a little more effort than your average apple pie, but the results are so worth it.

 (source:  Williams-Sonoma)

There will inevitably be some Pumpkin Cookies lying around the house for post-food coma snacking.

And if you are looking for an easy fall cocktail to serve make some ginger simple syrup and combine it with some apple vodka and ginger ale for a festive and easy to sip on drink.

I wish you all safe travels and quality time with friends and family over this next week.  I am thankful for your readership and support.  

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My dad recently returned from a fishing trip in Alaska.   Last weekend we were at the family lake cabin again and got to indulge in his fresh catches.  While dinner was being made, I was thinking about dessert (you know me and my sweet tooth).  I wanted something light and refreshing to compliment the lovely fresh fish and I did not want to go to the grocery store.  With plenty of fresh fruit around, I decided to make a galette.  The beautiful thing about this dessert is that you can make it with whatever fresh fruit you have on hand regardless of the time of year.  In the fall and winter it is wonderful with apples or pears and in the spring and summer the sky is the limit:  peaches, plums, nectarines, berries, etc.  So while preparations for the fish feed were underway,

I whipped up my favorite pastry dough, pâte brisée, sliced some nectarines, rinsed some berries and while we devoured the fresh salmon and halibut, dessert baked in the oven.  To top of this simple summer delight, I made some ginger whipped cream.

Pâte brisée                      (Recipe from Martha Stewart)

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice water
  1. Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor until combined.    Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 5 seconds.
  2. Drizzle water evenly over mixture. Pulse until mixture just begins to hold together, about 10 seconds. (Dough should not be wet or sticky.) Press dough into 1 large disk (for mini pies) or 2 small disks (for large pie), and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour or overnight.

(I was at the lake cabin and therefore did not have a food processor so I used my hands which worked just fine.)

Roll out dough on floured work surface

Place dough onto parchment-lined baking sheet

For the filling:

  • 4 cups of your fruit of choice
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Mix ingredients and pour or arrange fruit over pastry crust

 Fold crust over partially covering fruit working in a circle

Brush top of pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar

Bake at 450° for 20 minutes or until golden brown

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream (for my ginger whipped cream, mix 1 cup whipping cream, 1 tsp ginger paste and 1/2 cup powdered sugar with a mixer until medium to firm peaks form)

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