I can’t believe it’s almost Turkey Day! Where’d the time go? For the past few years, I have helped my mom cook for Thanksgiving. She usually handles the main parts of the meal and I am left with the desserts, the appetizers and the signature Thanksgiving cocktail. Since Thanksgiving is almost here, I have been racking my brain to think of just the right recipes. I’ve consulted a few friends and family for help and have done some research online. I think I’ve come up with some great options and would love to share them with you. Who knows, maybe you’ll want to try one out at your Thanksgiving celebration this year. Fancy that!
Honesycrisp Apple Sangria (from sallysbakingaddiction.com)
- 3 cinnamon sticks (plus more for garnish)
- 2 honeycrisp apples, chopped
- 1 orange, thinly sliced
- 1 (750 ml) bottle red wine (I suggest a light-bodied Spanish variety)
- 1 and 3/4 cups apple cider*
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1/4 cup orange juice (or juice from 2 medium oranges)
- Juice from 1 lemon
- Club soda, to taste
Place the cinnamon sticks, apples, and orange slices in a large pitcher. Add wine, apple cider, brandy, orange juice, and lemon juice. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for 6 – 24 hours.
For decoration, you can also moisten the rim of your glass with water and dip into a mix of cinnamon and sugar.
*Makes 6-8 servings
Sparkling Pomegranate Punch (from Huffingtonpost.com)
- 3 tablespoon(s) sugar
- 1 cup(s) pomegranate juice
- 2 750-milliliter bottles sparkling wine, chilled
- 3/4 cup(s) late-harvest white wine, such as late-harvest Riesling chilled
- 2 oranges, thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 cup(s) diced fresh pineapple, 1/2 inch
- 1/4 cup(s) pomegranate seeds
- Ice cubes, for serving
In a punch bowl, dissolve the sugar in the pomegranate juice, stirring vigorously. Add the sparkling wine and late-harvest white wine, and then add the orange slices, diced pineapple and pomegranate seeds. Serve the sparkling pomegranate punch over ice cubes.
- 1 large sheet of puff pastry dough (usually in the freezer section)
- 1 round or wedge of Brie cheese (do not remove rind)
- 1/3 cup cranberry jam
- 2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 F
Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease with cooking spray. Lay the pastry sheet on the baking sheet.
Center the Brie in the middle of the pastry. Spread the jam evenly over the top of the Brie. Sprinkle the walnuts on top of the jam. Fold the pastry over the top of the Brie, sealing the openings.
Bake about 20 minutes until golden brown.
Put on a nice platter and surround with crackers.
Caramelized Onion, mushroom, Apple and Gruyere Bites (from Williams-sonoma.com)
Note: I made these last year for Thanksgiving and they are definitely a lot easier to make than they seem. I might just have to make them again this year!
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 4 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1½ granny smith apples, cubed into ½” cubes
- 1 tsp. granulated sugar
- 1½ oz. grated gruyere cheese
- 2 tbsp. chives, minced
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- 1 package (1 pound) of frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg, beaten
In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and the 1 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let the filling cool to room temperature.
Position 1 rack in the upper third and 1 rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the same pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the apples and sugar and stir to coat the apples. Cook, stirring, until the apples are just starting to caramelize and have softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the onions and stir in the cheese, chives, thyme and the 1/8 tsp. pepper.
Cut the puff pastry into 2-inch squares and place on the prepared baking sheets, spacing the squares about 1 inch apart. Brush the pastry squares with the egg mixture and place a heaping 1 Tbs. filling in the center of each square. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, until the pastry is crisp underneath and golden brown on top, about 25 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the tarts cool to room temperature. Serve at room temperature.
*Makes 32 tarts.
Apple Crumb Pie
- 1 already made pie crust
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup quick-cooking rolled oats
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 6 cups thinly sliced, peeled cooking apples
- ½ cup chopped pecans
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 12-inch circle. Transfer pastry to a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate, being careful not to stretch pastry. Trim; crimp edge as desired.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt.
Add apple slices and gently toss until coated. Transfer apple mixture to the pastry-lined pie plate. Sprinkle crumb topping over apple mixture (see below for directions).
To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of pie with foil. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes more or until top is golden. Remove from oven; sprinkle pie with pecans (sometimes I leave out the pecans). Cool on wire rack.
Crumb topping directions:
Stir together brown sugar, flour, and rolled oats. Using a pastry blender (I usually just use my hands and a knife), cut in butter or margarine until the topping mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Mini Pumpkin Pies (from allrecipes.com)
- 2 prepared pie crusts
- 3 eggs, divided
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Roll each pie crust out onto a floured surface to a rough rectangle about 11 inches square. Cut each pie crust into 12 3-inch rounds. Fit the little pie crust circles into 24 mini pie dishes.
Separate one egg, and place the egg white into a small bowl. Beat the egg white until slightly frothy, and brush the edges of each mini pie crust with egg white. Place the remaining yolk into a bowl, and beat with remaining 2 eggs. Mix the softened cream cheese, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla extract, and pumpkin pie spice into the eggs to make a smooth filling. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the filling into each crust.
Bake the pies in the preheated oven until the crust edges are golden brown and the filling is set, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool before eating.
*Makes 24 mini pies