23 November 2009

Operation Thanksgiving dessert

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Food

The men and women in my family have a simple rule: recognize our strengths and outsource our limitations.

For me, this includes the kitchen.

But after a recent successful baking weekend, I decided to give it another try by volunteering to bake a dessert for our Thanksgiving this year. Yes, there will still be the best apple pie ever (Elegant Farmer) and a tragically uneaten pumpkin pie, but I’m excited to make something special.

Except now Thanksgiving is this week and I can’t decide what to make! Eeek! This weekend I spent a ton of time online to find recipes and everything is either pumpkin, apple pie or too difficult for a beginner like me.

So after all my research, I found three recipes I’m interested in:

Martha Stewart – Apple-Raspberry Pie (yeah I know this is still apple, but it’s a little different than a traditional one)


Photo from MarthaStewart.com

Smitten Kitchen – Cheesecake-Marbled Brownies

3907578311_fe6e27a8d7Photo from SmittenKitchen.com

Food Network – Paula Deen Five Layer Bars (could be a nice pie alternative)


Photo from FoodNetwork.com

I like all of these, but I dunno. I feel like there is something else I should be making. Cake seems too heavy, brownies seem a little casual. Blah!

I’m not opposed to more pie, I think I’m just unsure of other pie options.

What do you think? Which one do you like more? I’m also open to suggestions for easy dessert options or sites I should check out for great recipes.

Blosse help me!


  1. Emily Jane says:

    Do you have any leftovers? :)

  2. Nicole says:

    One of my all time favourites is from one of jamie olivers books, it is very easy just stewed fruit and batter. Nearly foolproof. http://www.oneforthetable.com/oftt/christmas/xmas-dessert-with-jamie-oliver-2.html

    I have found that you can substitute for any hard fruit you may have and even if you have just a couple of apples you can also use the frozen raspberries or blueberries from the supermarket but not too many as they do go mushy.

  3. Bing says:

    I kind of want to eat them all right now! I say either do the apple raspberry pie or the 5 layer bars. We usually make the 5 layer bars for Christmas, and they are amazing!

  4. allison says:

    cheesecake brownies!!!! yay

  5. Erin says:

    I’ve made those bars before, and they are to die for! So yum!

    You could also do tarts, or mini-bundt cakes which would be fun.

  6. I feel like pie is more Thanksgiving than brownies. But they all look yummy, so I have a feeling I would be eating anything you brought!

  7. blaez says:

    you could always make cake. cheese cake. strawberry short cake :)

  8. I’m making a pumpkin roll :) but those layer bars are super delish too!

  9. Melissa says:

    Google Spiced Pumpkin Cheese Cake. There is a great recipe for a spiced pumpkin cheesecake with bourbon pecan sauce.

    Here I saved you some time:

    Use fage yougart and double the spices. the best cheesecake. I made it recently for a dessert contest and won two categories….it is good.

  10. katelin says:

    oh those cheesecake brownie things look delicious. my mom also makes a pumpkin spice cake maybe try one of those? man i can’t wait for thanksgiving dessert.

  11. Angela says:

    I’d definitely go with the pie. It’s a Thanksgiving tradition. Or, at my family, we also have fudge! You can make some of your own!

  12. Kyla Roma says:

    Ooh!! What if you make tarts? If you’re having other apple pie apple crumble tarts might be too much, but you could try butter tarts? Something a little smaller but still sweet?

    Or you could try making truffles- that’s my next project… take pictures either way? =)

  13. mandy says:

    I have a peanut butter pie repcipe that is out of this world and completely easy to make. I’m not much of a pie maker but this has become my go to when I need one. I’ll email it tonight!

  14. Kate says:

    Those brownies look amazing! I’m terribly partial to cookies and brownies as opposed to pie. The only thing that trumps them is cake … and let’s face it, I’m too lazy to make cake from scratch. ;)

  15. Natalie says:

    Dang, too bad apple pie is already spoken for because I have a DELICIOUS and easy apple pie recipe. What if you did peanut butter pie? (on my blog, here: http://mclaurysweets.blogspot.com/2009/09/frozen-peanut-butter-pie.html

    It’s easy, delicious, and still has the pie theme. Granted, it’s frozen and I realize it’ll be cold in the North (where I’m headed as well)…but I think it’s worth it :)

  16. Cass says:

    Ooooh, five layer bars all the way. Seriously, if there’s already going to be pie there it’s a wonderful alternative and all kinds of tasty.

  17. Ray says:

    These are in no way, shape, or form fancy. But I make them for most holidays and they get totally devoured.

    Scotcheroos: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chocolate-Scotcheroos/Detail.aspx

  18. Cheryl says:

    I exploded the oven once when I was 16. I was never allowed to bake in my parents’ house.

    I swear I can cook now.

    Those desserts look delicious. Can you just fedex some my way? K, thanks. I don’t think China will be really stoked about me spreading my North-American holidayness all over Shanghai.

  19. Cheryl says:

    I exploded the oven once when I was 16. I was never allowed to bake in my parents’ house.

    I swear I can cook now.

    Those desserts look delicious. Can you just fedex some my way? K, thanks. I don’t think China will be really stoked about me spreading my North-Americaness all over Shanghai.

  20. Mack says:

    I think the Paula Deen bars would be great! They’re a little fancier than just brownies and a nice change from pie.

  21. Kara says:

    Go with the 5 layer bars! If those were avaiable at my Thanksgiving celebration I would limit myself to one piece of pumpkin pie to save room for those bad boys!

  22. Suz says:

    I like the cheescake brownies the best out of those option because casual or not, you gotta have some chocolate. If you want a little more fancy, I would go with the pecan pie suggestion and put some chocolate in it.

    Paula Dean has a recipe for one:

  23. cassie says:

    how about something with cranberries?
    maybe this?


    cranberries are pretty thanksgiving-y. :)
    plus crisps are usually pretty manageable.

    let us know what you end up with!

  24. Lauren B. says:

    I would go with what was said a couple comments up and make a pecan pie- we always make one and when you throw in some chocolate chips it becomes to DIE FOR. So good.

    Good luck!

  25. bianca says:

    The Paula Deen recipe looks amazing. Another easy alternative – Thanksgiving inspired cupcakes. I’m a big fan of pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. It’s something a little different and fun but still very thanksgiving-y. I’m a girl that’s pretty anti-pumpkin, but the cream cheese frosting makes these delicious. And a bonus – they’re super easy to make!

  26. Caz says:

    oooh make the brownies! Seriously! with pumpkin and apple you need something non-fruit based to balance it out.

    Well that’s just my opinion since I hate pumpkin pie and could care less about apple (I hate pie crust -weird I know!!). So if there was something rich and chocolatey there I would be in Heaven!

  27. phampants says:

    How about all of them and deliver it to my apartment? Please? =D

  28. Caroline says:

    (I like Jenn’s applesauce cake suggestion!)

    In my family, Thanksgiving dessert is pie, pie, pie, and more pie. I think last year we had more pies than people. Pumpkin, rhubarb, chocolate, lemon meringue, walnut, apple, minced meat, it doesn’t really matter, we make and eat them all. It helps that my mom makes the BEST CRUST EVER and loves making pies.

    If you don’t want to do more pie, I can’t really help.

  29. jenn says:

    how would you feel about an applesauce spice cake? it’s very thanksgivingish and delish. if you want the recipe – i can email it to you. i got it from a real simple magazine about 4 years ago and i think it’s online on their website, too!

  30. Lil' Woman says:

    I’m def. pulling for the Paula Deen 5 layer bars! :)

  31. I think all three look great. Dessert doesn’t have to be fancy. I’m pretty partial to spice cookies and vanilla ice cream this time of year.

  32. maris says:

    OMG OMG I made those cheesecake bars today. You know what, good, but not Thanksgiving dessert worthy. A little too buttery and mine turned out soggy, which my brownies nevvvvvvvver do.

    Color me prejudiced but this was AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING I know you don’t like pumpkin but you might impress others: http://www.ingoodtasteblog.net/in_good_taste/2009/11/pumpkin-cheesecake-with-gingersnap-crust.html

  33. can you make a little bit of all 3 and send it to new jersey?

    haha :)

  34. Erin says:

    What about pecan pie? I’ve been told it’s really easy to make!

  35. A Super Girl says:

    I’m all about either of the bar options. But I don’t believe fruit should be in my dessert, so that nixes Option 1!