Giving Thanks For Dessert: 10 Thanksgiving Treats
These sweet and scrumptious old favorites and delectable new creations will make your Turkey Day a big hit.
On Thanksgiving, you don’t have to save room for dessert — your stomach magically expands to accommodate everything! This is the day to "go big" with the best traditional and non-traditional dessert recipes: pumpkin pie, pecan pie, ice cream, bread pudding, chocolate chip cheesecake, peanut butter pumpkin pudding, and creative gluten-free confections. Finish Thanksgiving dinner with a bang!
Pecan pie was born in the USA back in the 19th century, and the recipe has remained largely unchanged since its creation. It didn’t become really popular, though, until commercial corn syrup became available to the masses in the early 20th century. Indeed, corn syrup is still a staple in most pecan pie recipes, making it both easy and delicious. Popular additions to the traditional pecan pie include bourbon, whiskey, shredded coconut, and chocolate. There are also pecan pie-cheesecake hybrids, pecan hand pies, and even versions involving chia seeds. The classic American pie recipe below is a sure winner.
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Salted Caramel Sauce
The fact that these are in mini, individual form not only makes them fun to serve, it also means they bake faster than a whole cheesecake and take less time to cool and chill. This recipe also makes enough to feed a crowd, with a yield of 24 (but it’s easy to split in half if you're serving a smaller group). Don’t be fooled by the term “cupcake” — they have the size of a traditional cupcake, but not the cakey texture. What they do have is all those delicious pumpkin pie spices we crave, a creamy, luxurious texture, and the perfect light balance of tang from the cream cheese to balance out their sweetness. When you finish them off with whipped cream or pecans, they become a show-stopping Thanksgiving dessert that will impress anyone!
Unlike some other traditional Thanksgiving staples, the pilgrims actually ate lots of pumpkins. And it’s no wonder — pumpkin flesh is packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including beta-carotene and other carotenoids. According to the National Institutes of Health, a cup of cooked pumpkin contains more than 200% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A — which aids vision, particularly in dim light. This healthier version of pumpkin pie — which uses coconut oil and whole wheat — maintains the traditional pumpkin spice flavor you love, without the fat.
Rustic Apple-Cranberry Pie
You can’t go wrong with classic apple pie. But sometimes it’s nice to mix it up just a little. You can use any kind of apple with this recipe — Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, or Gala — with cinnamon to bring out that holiday flavor. With a deep, concentrated apple flavor, this pie is dotted with tart cranberries supported by a warm, flaky pie crust that doesn't get soggy as it sits. This rustic apple pie — or, if you want to be fancy, call it a "galette" — is way easier and no less satisfying than a traditional pie.
No Churn Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
You could always go with plain vanilla ice cream to accompany your Thanksgiving desserts — but why? Get into the spirit! The “no churn” part makes this recipe really easy. Add nuts, caramel, crushed ginger snaps, or whatever your heart desires before freezing. Or wait until after it's ready and make a sundae out of it with caramel, chopped pecans, whipped cream, and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Serve with pie or all on its own.
Thanksgiving Turkey Peanut Butter Cheeseball
This sweet cream cheese and peanut butter delight could be an appetizer or a dessert! It hits all the bases: it’s cute, it’s delicious, and it appeals to both kids and adults. Who doesn’t love Reese’s Pieces and Nilla Wafers? And who doesn’t love anything shaped like a turkey? You can even take credit for the creativity part.
Pumpkin Praline Bread Pudding
This is an easy, rich, and impressive Thanksgiving dessert. If you're cooking for people who may not like pumpkin pie, this recipe lets you keep the pumpkin tradition while serving something even anti-pumpkin-pie people are guaranteed to love. It’s rich and creamy and sweet and crunchy and pumpkin-y all at once. Another bonus is that this is a great recipe to make in advance, and can be served hot or cold.
Easy Chocolate Tart
You’re going to impress your friends and family with this one. The ingredients are basic — chocolate chips, heavy cream, eggs, whipped cream, some candied pumpkin for decoration — but the result is very a high-end finish to your Thanksgiving feast.
Peanut Butter Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding
This is definitely not your typical Thanksgiving dessert. However, it tastes rich, creamy and quite indulgent, is packed with protein, and doubles as a great breakfast the next day. It takes about two minutes to stir all the ingredients in this recipe together, but you’ll then need to chill your pudding for four hours, or overnight. Wake up the next day, and it’s ready!
Spiced Chocolate Chip Biscotti
This is a lighter, more sophisticated, and truly Thanksgiving-worthy version of chocolate chip cookies. A little bit of spice adds tremendous flavor to these deliciously crispy biscotti, while mini chocolate chips promise a perfectly sweet crunch.