Thanksgiving: Dessert edition

My favorite Thanksgiving course: dessert. If I were to be honest, I would skip the turkey and the stuffing and green beans and go straight for the dessert. Every. Single. Time.

If you’re still in need of something to bring to family dinner, or you want to change up your menu at the eleventh hour, here are 3 Thanksgiving desserts I’ve made in the last week. Each one delectable!

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake from Betty Crocker

My layers didn’t turn out quite so exact, but it still tasted great. Even if you’re not a pumpkin pie person, this one is tasty. Mostly cream cheese, with a hint of pumpkin, on a crust of gingersnaps. Delicious.

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Apple Pie from allrecipes.com

This is the only apple pie I will ever make. For a tutorial on lattice tops, click here.

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Spiced Apple Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting adapted from Naturally Ella

IMG_0873You’ll need:

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 green apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly

For the frosting, you’ll need:

  • 1- 8 oz package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and butter a bundt pan.

2. Add the milk to a small sauce pan and whisk in the spices and vanilla. Heat over medium until the milk simmers. Remove from heat, add butter, and stir until the butter is fully melted. Allow to cool.

3. Peel and core your apples, slicing them thinly.

4. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. In a smaller bowl, combine cooled milk mixture, eggs, yogurt, and sugar.

5. Pour a small amount of batter in the bottom, and then layer on about 1/3 of your apple slices. Continue to repeat, making batter the last layer. The original recipe recommends three layers of apples.

IMG_08696. Bake for 40-45 minutes at 375 degrees. Allow to cool in pan. Once it is nearly cool, flip cake onto serving platter.

7. When the cake is entirely cool, make your frosting. Cream butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add vanilla and heavy whipping cream. Add half of the powdered sugar. Once incorporated, add 1 more cup. If the frosting is still not this enough, add the remaining half a cup. Frost your cake! Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you will be filled with good food and refreshed with good fellowship.

Apple Dumplings

Apple dumplings just scream down home cooking. Nothing gets more authentic. It’s like apple pie, taken to a higher level of awesome. I’m not sure why. It’s just the way it is. Try it for yourself. I dare you.

Apple Dumplings

Based on The Alternative Consumer

Serves 3

First, make your dough. This is easy.

You’ll need:

  • 1/3 cup butter, chilled
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Cold water, about 6 Tbs.

1. Chop 1/3 of a cup of COLD butter into small pieces. Cut the stick the long ways so it’s cut in half. Then flip the stick and cut it in half the long way again. Now, the stick is in long quarters. Cut through, resulting in small cubes of butter.

2. Mix 1 cup of flour with 1/2 tsp. salt. Use a pastry cutter or a fork to cut the butter into the flour. The ultimate goal: little bitty chunks of butter coated in flour.

3. One tablespoon at a time, add COLD water to the dough. You want to add just enough water to bind the butter and flour together into a ball. I used about 5 Tbs. to make this happen. You may need more or less. Once mixed, form the ball into a log, and cut into even thirds.

4. Move the chunks to the fridge to chill.

Second, prepare your apples. Small granny smiths are best, but any baking apple will suffice.

1. Peel.

2. Core. If you don’t have an apple corer, follow steps 1 through 3 of this wikihow.

Third, assemble your dumplings.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 2.5 Tbs. butter (the leftovers from the stick of butter from the dough)

1. Mix 1/2 cup sugar with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Cut the butter into thirds.

2. Remove dough chunks from the fridge. Roll each chunk into approximately a 6 by 6 inch square.

3. Put an apple in the center. Fill the core with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Put one of the thirds of butter on top of the filled core.

4. Pull the dough up around the apple. Dip your fingers in water if you’re having difficulty getting the dough to seal. Transfer to pie tin.

Repeat steps 2 through 4 for remaining apples.

5. On stove, dissolve half cup sugar in 1 cup water. Pour mixture over apples.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until apples are golden brown.

Sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top and serve with a hearty scoop of ice cream.

There you have it! Delicious. Heavenly. Apple. Goodness. You won’t be sorry.

Just for the record….

…it still tastes fine.

Appel Pannenkoeken

I’m Dutch. I generally think it’s pretty cool. I’ve been to the Netherlands, that was a good time. I love hearing my aunts, uncles, and grandparents chat in Dutch when we gather for family reunions. I like the food. Other than that, there’s nothing about me that is intrinsically Dutch. I don’t speak the language, except for a handful of words. I can introduce myself. And label a bunch of foods. The important stuff.

Because of my vast food oriented vocabulary (kidding), I know that pannenkoeken means “pancake.” And the Dutch are big on their pancakes. Through some research around the interwebs, I’ve learned that the Dutch pancake comes in two basic varieties. There’s one that is cooked in butter on the stove. It is more like a crepe than it is a pancake. Though some people vehemently disagree, these are the traditional dutch pannenkoeken. The other is made in the oven, in a dutch baby pan or an oven proof skillet. Like this! This one is more Minnesotan than it Dutch. Though they claim otherwise. Silly, Minnesota.

Appel Pannenkoeken

Adapted from The Dutch Table

Makes 6-8 pannenkoeken, depending on size.

The batter:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp (generous) salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of milk (add more, if needed)
  • 2 Tbs butter, melted

Whisk all ingredients until you make a thick, liquid batter. Add milk as needed. Set aside.

For the filling:

  • 4-6 apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp butter

The steps:

1. Cook your apples. Melt butter in a small skillet. Add apples. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and cook until they are done enough for your tastes, whether that be still a bit crunchy or soft.

(one pannenkoek’s worth of apples shown)

2. Heat 1/2 Tbs butter in a 10 inch skillet. Once melted, pour 1/3 cup batter into the pan. Remove pan from heat, and swirl it around until the batter coats the bottom of the pan.

3. Leave pannenkoek until the top is almost cooked through, and the bottom is slightly browned. Take heart! Your first one or two will not go well.

4. Flip! Once browned on the other side, move to a plate and set aside. Stack subsequent pannenkoeken on top, covering with a tea towel to keep warm.

To fill, transfer one pannenkoek to a plate, and spoon apple deliciousness into the middle.

Roll it up! If you want it sweeter, feel free to add maple syrup. Totally legit.

The Dutch will eat pannenkoeken sweet as well as savory. Common fillings include  apple syrup, bacon, gouda cheese, chocolate sprinkles, or powdered sugar.

For more information and insight into the wonderful world of pannenkoeken, check out The Dutch Table.

I wanna know: What is your family’s heritage? Are there any special and unique foods that you eat as a result?