Beyond Pumpkin Pie: Nontraditional Thanksgiving Day Desserts

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Everybody’s expecting pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. While it is a classic dessert, why not surprise your loved ones with something else to tease their taste buds? While pumpkin pie may have staked its claim as the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert, there’s no rule that says you can’t serve up something equally delicious but totally different to end your annual feast. This Thanksgiving, wow your guests by thinking beyond the classic pumpkin and pecan pies – venture into creative, fall-flavored treats from apple crisp to cheesecake to international sweets. Put a unique stamp on your holiday table this year with these sensational seasonal desserts. If you are looking for something new to take to Grandma’s house, check out these non-traditional Thanksgiving Day desserts.

Brownie Bark
This recipe is fairly easy and puts a whole new spin on brownies.
Ingredients:
– 2 eggs whites
– ½ cup flour
– ¼ cup vegetable oil
– ¼ teaspoon salt
– 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
– ¼ teaspoon baking soda
– 1 tablespoon milk
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 cup chocolate chips

To make:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper on a cooking sheet. Mix together the salt, baking soda and flour. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites. Add the cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, milk and oil. Whisk the items together until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the flour mixture. Stir in ½ of the chocolate chips. Pour the brownie mixture evenly onto the parchment paper. Spread the batter over top of it and sprinkle the rest of the chocolate chips on top. Let the bark cook for about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cut into squares, but do not separate the squares. Place the bark back into the oven for about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool before breaking the bark into pieces.

Pumpkin Roll
This is the perfect dessert to serve for those who enjoy the taste of pumpkin, but aren’t a fan of pies.
Ingredients:
– 1 cup sugar
– 1 cup powdered sugar
– 1 cup pumpkin puree
– ¼ cup butter
– 3 eggs
– 2/3 cup self-rising flour
– 1 teaspoon lemon juice
– 1 tablespoon cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 8 ounces cream cheese
– 1 teaspoon nutmeg

To make:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 10 inch by 15 inch pan with cooking spray. In a bowl mix together the pumpkin, sugar, eggs and lemon juice. In a separate bowl mix together the cinnamon, flour and nutmeg. Slowly stir in the pumpkin, sugar, egg and lemon juice mixture. Place the mixture in the pan and let bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool just enough so that you can handle it. Remove the cake from the pan and place on a cutting board. Whisk together the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and cream cheese. Spoon this mixture onto the baked cake. Gently roll the cake up and wrap it in plastic wrap. Place it in the refrigerator for an hour so it is set. Remove and slice into 8 pieces.

Pie Crust Cookies
This recipe is not only delicious, but it puts your leftover pie crust to good use.
Ingredients:
– Leftover pie crust
– 1 egg
– 1 tablespoon water
– ¼ cup sugar
– ¼ cup flour
– 2 tablespoons cinnamon

To make:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Roll the leftover pie crust into a ball. Pour the flour onto a cutting board and gently spread it out. Place the pie crust ball on top and use a rolling pin to flatten it. Use cooking cutters to cut the pie crust into various shapes. Put the cutout dough onto the parchment paper. In a bowl mix together the egg and the water. Brush the top of each piece of dough with this mixture. In a separate bowl mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle this mixture on top of each of the cut outs. Place in the oven and let bake for about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool before serving.

Give Apple Crisp a Fall Twist

Apple crisp is a simple, comforting dessert that highlights seasonal fruit. For Thanksgiving, use cranberries, pomegranate arils, chopped dates, and apples to make it feel special for the occasion. Topping the fruit mixture with a streusel oat topping keeps this dessert easy to throw together. For a cool contrast, serve warm with a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Surprise Guests with Maple Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is an underrated comfort food dessert. The classic version uses raisins or dried fruit, but maple bread pudding is ideal for autumn. Tear up slices of cornbread, brioche, or challah to use in place of white bread, then pour a maple custard over the top dotted with pecans or walnuts. The result is a sophisticated, seasonal twist perfect for Thanksgiving dinner.

Give Cheesecake Fall Flavor

Everyone loves cheesecake, so put it on your Thanksgiving dessert menu with a spiced peach compote, cranberry topping, or swirl of pumpkin pie filling blended in the batter. Mini cheesecakes also make great single-serving options if you’re serving a dessert spread. Take this treat up another notch by topping each mini cheesecake with something different, like candied pecans, sautéed apples, or bourbon-spiked whipped cream.

Embrace International Traditions

Each culture has its own take on Thanksgiving dessert. Expand your options by looking at the sweet finales enjoyed in other countries for autumn holidays. Some delicious ideas to try are Mexican buñuelos fritters dusted with cinnamon sugar, French crepes filled with chestnut cream, or Chinese mooncakes with roasted nut fillings.

The Thanksgiving dessert course is the perfect place to get creative with flavors and try food traditions from around the world. Just because pumpkin pie has a permanent seat at the table doesn’t mean you can’t also offer your guests tantalizing new sweets to discover. The possibilities for nontraditional Thanksgiving desserts are practically endless once you start thinking outside the pumpkin pie box. From comforting to decadent to wholly unexpected, an array of tempting sweets awaits you. So be bold this Thanksgiving, and give your guests a delightful dessert surprise they won’t soon forget. Serve up apple crisp, maple bread pudding, fall-flavored cheesecakes or explore sweets from around the world. With options like these, you can easily take your dessert spread to tasty new heights.

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