Thanksgiving With a Twist – Sweet Endings

No matter how stuffed we are, there’s always room for dessert.  And if you don’t have the inclination or desire to bake, don’t worry.  I was at the grocery store today and saw pecan, pumpkin and apple pies.  I even saw a gooseberry pie! 

I’m going to share with you a couple of other ideas, if you do like to stir up something sweet for Thanksgiving.

POUND CAKE

I love a good pound cake.  From a cooking stand point, they are usually very easy to fix.  And most have minimal ingredients.  From a serving standpoint, it’s a good way to feed many people.  At minimum, you can get at least 12 big slices.  At it’s best, you may even get away with 24 – they’ll be thinner slices but that’s usually fine if there are other desserts available.  NO ONE eats just ONE dessert at Thanksgiving or Christmas!

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Over 15 years ago, I discovered a book that I had to purchase – Rosie’s Bakery, All Butter, Fresh Cream, Sugar-Packed, No-Holds-Barred Baking Book.  It had great recipes for cookies and brownies, two of my favorites.  But I also found a recipe that seemed so simple…and turned out so good.  Cream Cheese Pound Cake.  The taste is outstanding…butter rich with a bit of tartness from the cream cheese, which is also the ingredient that attributes to the texture.  Speaking of texture…when you make this cake, it rises up and forms a thick, crunchy crust.  I like to break some off to make sure the cake came out right.  You’ll be breaking off a piece too.

 Rosie’s Cream Cheese Pound Cake

3 cups cake flour
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temp (1 1/2 cups)
8 oz package cream cheese, room temp
3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
6 large eggs, room temperature

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Lightly grease a 10″ tube pan.

Sift flour into small bowl and set aside.

Cream butter, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer on med-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time to the butter mixture, and mix on medium speed after each addition, until well blended. With all eggs added, mix another 30 seconds.

Stir flour gently into batter with rubber spatula, then mix on low for about 5 seconds. Scrape bowl and blend until batter smooth and even, about 10 seconds.

Pour into prepared pan and bake until golden and firm to touch, about 60 minutes. Allow to cool completely in pan before unmolding and serving.

 

BROWNIES AND BARS

Bar cookies are another great choice for large gatherings.  Most are easy to assemble and they can be cut in anywhere from 16 to 48 servings.  And they run the gamut from brownies to blondies to linzer bars. 

Brownies are my favorite.  They can be plain or with icing.  With nuts is okay but I can do without.  One of my favorite is a Triple Layer Brownie – oatmeal crust, fudgy center and smooth, creamy chocolate icing.  The flavors and textures are outstanding.

Triple Layer Brownie from Taste of Home

Triple Layer Brownies

  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • FILLING:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • FROSTING:
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon 2% milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • In a small bowl, combine the first six ingredients; beat on low speed until blended. Press into a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over low heat, melt butter and chocolate. Remove from the heat; stir in the sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually stir into the chocolate mixture until smooth. Pour over crust.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Cool on wire rack.
  • In a small bowl, combine the frosting ingredients; beat until smooth. Frost cooled brownies. Yield: 1-1/2 dozen.

A bouquet of pretty floral cupcakes

LOVE YA, CUPCAKE! 

If you haven’t noticed, cupcakes have taken over the world.  What used to be a staple at school bake sales and birthday parties had exploded to even encompass weddings.  And they are not just chocolate and vanilla…there’s carrot, red velvet, peanut butter, champagne…the list goes on. 

You have to admit…cupcakes have a lot to offer.  They are portable.  They are versatile.  Everyone loves them.  And it’s good portion control…as long as you eat just one. 

Instead of pie, how about pumpkin cupcakes!

Link for recipe – http://www.joyofbaking.com/cupcakes/PumpkinCupcakes.html

Happy Thanksgiving!

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