Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving Desserts...and Drinks!!!

Last week I gave you some suggestions on Thanksgiving side dishes (sausage stuffing plus a few sides from last year's post). This week we're dipping into the fun stuff...the dessert! As I said in my previous post, Thanksgiving is all about tradition, and there is nothing more traditional than pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving dessert (don't forget the whipped cream!). Since there are countless recipes out there for pumpkin pie, what I thought I would do is post a couple of alternative pumpkin desserts.

As you probably know by now, my wife is the baker of our house. Just last week, she made a Pumpkin Ribbon cake for my dad's birthday. To say anything less than this cake was off the charts would be a dishonor. It was AMAZING. She found the recipe in a Pampered Chef book, and topped it off with a dollop of cool whip and drizzled it with melted caramel. Sounds decadent, but the cake was actually much lighter than we expected. This one is definitely a winner!

Next up is Pumpkin Tiramisu. I love pumpkin pie, and will probably make one for home. But what kind of Italian would I be to turn down a tiramisu, especially if it's combined with my other favorite dessert! I'll be making this for the first time this week, but I have no doubts that it's a knock-out.

Courtesy of Pampered Chef
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon blend (mixture of cinnamon, ginger and allspice)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 c granulated sugar
3/4 cups butter or margarine softened
3 eggs
3/4 cups solid pack pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a deep baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, spices, baking soda and salt in small bowl. In large bowl beat sugar and butter till light and fluffy. Add eggs, pumpkin,milk and vanilla. Beat well! Slowly add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture. Set aside.
3. Filling- Whisk cream cheese and sugar till well blended. Smooth 2-1/2 cups cake batter on bottom of pan. Spoon cream cheese mixture over cake batter using a large spreader. Pour remaining batter over top and spread evenly.
4. Bake 45-50 minutes . Cake tester will come out clean.

Before serving- sprinkle with powdered sugar-serve with whipped cream sprinkled with a bit of the cinnamon spice mix if desired.

Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens
1/4 cup pure maple syrup or maple-flavor syrup
1 tablespoon bourbon
1/2 of a 15-ounce can (3/4 cup) pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 of an 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese, softened
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 3-ounce package ladyfingers, split
Ground nutmeg or freshly grated nutmeg

1. Line a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap; set aside. For syrup, in a small bowl, combine maple syrup and bourbon. Set aside.
2. For filling, in a small bowl, combine pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. In a small mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup whipping cream and granulated sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gently fold whipped cream into pumpkin mixture.
3. For topping, in another small mixing bowl, combine mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar. Beat on low speed until combined. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup whipping cream just until thickened (do not overbeat).
4. To assemble, arrange half of the ladyfingers in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared pan. Drizzle evenly with half of the syrup. Top with half of the filling, spreading evenly. Arrange remaining ladyfingers in a single layer over filling. Drizzle with remaining syrup and top with remaining filling. Dollop topping over filling. Using the back of a spoon, carefully spread topping evenly over filling. Cover and chill for 8 to 24 hours.
5. Use the plastic wrap to lift tiramisu out of pan. Place tiramisu on a serving platter. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Carefully cut the dessert crosswise into slices. Makes 6 servings.

Now, if you enjoy a tasty holiday cocktail, be sure to check out these fun Thanksgiving drinks. My friend John made his own pumpkin pie shot concoction last year that went over really well at his dinner. The Pumpkin Pie-tini is the closest to his drink recipe, but I'm sure that both of these suggestions will help crank up the fun during dessert.

Wishing you and yours a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!

1 oz. good quality Gin
1/2 oz. canned cranberry sauce
1/2 oz. Ginger ale
Garnish: 3 roasted walnut halves, speared cranberries or a sprig of rosemary
Shake vigorously with ice and strain into martini glass. Add a float of ginger ale after straining. Garnish with 3 roasted walnut halves, speared cranberries, or a sprig of rosemary

1 oz milk
2 tbsp Pumpkin puree
1.5 oz Three-O vanilla vodka
1.5 oz creme de cacao
Using a small amount of honey, rim martini glass with graham cracker crumbs. Shake milk and pumpkin puree over ice to combine. Pour in remaining ingredients and shake well. Strain into the martini glass.

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