Foodie Friday: Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
Via Dinner at the Zoo

Halloween is behind us and now it's time to prepare for the next holiday - Thanksgiving!  The focus is on gratefulness, family, friends and food!  Have you thought about what dessert you will be serving or bringing this year?  We've found some festive fall desserts to consider.  Enjoy!

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
Author: Sara Welch - Dinner at the Zoo

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
7 tablespoons butter melted
cooking spray
8 ounces cream cheese softened
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 8 ounce tub whipped topping thawed
1/2 cup caramel sauce
Optional garnishes: whipped cream or whipped topping, chopped pecans

Coat a 9 or 10 inch pie pan with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom and sides of the pie pan. If you're using a 9 inch pie pan, you may not need all of the crumb mixture to cover the pan.
Place in the freezer and chill for 20 minutes.
While the crust is chilling, make the filling.
In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat together the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice and beat until thoroughly combined.
Gently fold in the whipped topping. Remove the crust from the freezer and spoon in the filling, smoothing the top with a spatula.
Chill the pie for at least 1 1/2 hours or up to 24 hours.
Prior to serving, decorate with whipped cream, whipped topping and chopped pecans if desired.
Cut into slices and drizzle approximately 2 teaspoons of caramel over each slice, then serve.

Recipe Notes:
Adapted from

Apple Crisp Shortbread Bars
Via Sober Julie

Apple Crisp Shortbread Bars
Serves: 16
Prep time:  30 mins 
Cook time:  45 mins 
Total time:  1 hour 15 mins

Ingredients -
Shortbread Base:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

Apple Filling:
3 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter - melted or room temp to cut in.

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F and line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper. Be sure to bring the parchment up the sides as it makes it easier to lift out later.
Shortbread Base:

Place butter into your mixer and turn on high for 5 minutes or until the butter turns white rather than yellow, that's how you'll know it's creamed. Next mix in the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Once combined, add in the flour and stir well. Press the mixture into the parchment lined pan and bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes.

Apple Filling:
In a bowl, combine the apples, flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until the apples are well coated.

Mix flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar. Cut in the butter and knead together.

Remove the crust from the oven and turn the heat up to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle one half of the Topping over the short bread, then layer the apples on top. You will have multiple layers so try to keep it level. Once this is finished, sprinkle the remainder of the Topping evenly on top and place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully before placing in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours. Once it's set, remove from the baking dish by lifting out the parchment paper and cut into 16 squares.

Mini Pecan Pies
Via: Live Well Bake Often

Mini Pecan Pies
Serves:12 mini pecan pies
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 55 mins

1 pie crust (store-bought or homemade)
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 and ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the pie dough out into a 12-inch circle. Using a 3-inch cookie cutter (or glass), cut out 12 circles from the dough. Place each piece of dough in each muffin cavity of a 12-count muffin pan, making sure each piece comes up the sides just a little bit (you may need to stretch the dough just a bit). Transfer the muffin pan to the refrigerator while you making the filling.

In a mixing bowl, mix together the corn syrup, brown sugar, melted butter, egg, and vanilla extract until fully combined; then mix in the chopped pecans. Remove the muffin pan from the refrigerator. Evenly distribute the filling (about 1 full tablespoon) between all 12 muffin cavities, making sure the pecan pie filling does not come up over the edges of the dough.

Bake at 350°F for about 25 minutes or until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Carefully remove the mini pecan pies from the muffin pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Mini pecan pies may be frozen for 2-3 months in a freezer bag or container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature on the counter before serving.

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