Thanksgiving dessert - need some help

Is there a rule that says you have to bake it? Honestly, with all of the driving I would stop at a local grocery store, pick up a couple of pies and some whipped cream and call it done! But this is more so if you guys are aiming for the traditional Thanksgiving type of dinner.

Also, you mentioned earlier that the dinner is more of a family dinner rather than "Thanksgiving" so I do think that cookies, or one of the cakes mentioned would work perfectly.

Have a great time!
I agree that cookies are fine but if you wanted to make something a little different, whatever you make will probably stay cold if it's left in your trunk. The weather is supposed to stay cold through next weekend. Perhaps a bar-type cookie would be more festive? What about a shortbread base with a fruit topping?
Originally Posted by mrspoppers
That's a good point about the weather. Its freezing today!

Bars are a great idea! Maybe I'll do brownies and some kind of fruit bar. Serve with ice cream and that should be a festive, filling dessert.
Originally Posted by mad scientist
If you're going to do the shortbread bars, plz consider topping some w/ chocolate and caramel!
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

I make a really easy caramel brownie (it's actually made with german chocolate cake mix) that is SO GOOD. If there is ice cream, I'd be all about topping a warmed brownie with a scoop of vanilla!! I can post the recipe if you'd like.

I also second the cooler idea. I've done mini pumpkin cheesecakes in cupcake pans, and they turned out great. Those would easily keep in a cooler.
Thanks everyone again for so many yummy solutions to my "problem".

The mother of the host called me yesterday to request that I bring the same dessert that I brought last year. So apple-cranberry crisp it is!

But I also found this recipe for toffee-chocolate bars that I want to try also (sorry Spiderlashes, no caramel, but toffee is close enough, right?): http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2010/...read-bars.html

I will definitely be trying out the other bars and scones recipes that everyone has posted!


Thanks everyone again for so many yummy solutions to my "problem".

The mother of the host called me yesterday to request that I bring the same dessert that I brought last year. So apple-cranberry crisp it is!

But I also found this recipe for toffee-chocolate bars that I want to try also (sorry Spiderlashes, no caramel, but toffee is close enough, right?): Chocolate Toffee Shortbread Bars

I will definitely be trying out the other bars and scones recipes that everyone has posted!
Originally Posted by mad scientist
Yes, that's what I was referring to! So good! My fave dessert!
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

I would avoid making macarons if you've never made them. They are very finicky.

http://www.syrupandtang.com/200712/l...acaron-recipe/
Not So Humble Pie: Macaron 101: Italian Meringue Part 2

And for what it's worth, I like macarons okay but don't really find them worthy of the devotion that can be found all over the internet for them. When good, they're very good, when bad, toothachingly sweet and destined for the garbage bin. And even the good ones are often too sweet for me and many other people.

Me, I'd make something like Dorie Greenspan's cranberry lime galette. It's a favorite of mine and very festive. Like all galettes, it's a cinch. Or Pichet Ong's kabocha pie. Or chocolate pots de creme. Or the Chilean kuchen borracho I've had my eye on forever (it's a boozy, custardy cake with layers of apples). Or the dulce de leche apple or pecan pie I've been dreaming up as a way to use up what remains of my batch. Sigh, there's so many things I'd love to bake and simply can't, actually.

For cookies, I think a properly made cookie is spectacular, but if you want to make them a bit more special, you could go for something like a marbled lemon square. Biscotti ends can be dipped in chocolate.
You could try whoopie pies, either the regular type or the pumpkin kind for a cookie with a bit more to it.
Originally Posted by Saria
Good gravy. I just looked at these macaron recipes. I had no idea they were that hard to make. Grack. I wanted to make them for an upcoming cookie swap. Perhaps not.
No MAS.

I am the new Black.

"Hope the Mail are saving space tomorrow for Samantha Brick's reaction piece on the reactions to her piece about the reactions to her piece." ~ Tweet reposted by Rou.

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They're certainly hard to get perfect, but you can get pretty good ones that most people won't find any fault with after a few practice runs. I do think it takes doing it a few times to get a feel for mixing and what it should look like because the difference between undermixed, overmixed, and just right really is a few folds. And that's the difference between odd, runny things that barely resemble cookies let alone macarons and a good, or even perfect one.
So I don't see why you shouldn't try it so long as you keep in mind that it's definitely on the more advanced side of things and that if you're used to baking and used to meringues and folding, a few tries will get you on the right path. Plus the weather is nice and cool (and mostly dry), which is a huge factor.
On the other hand, if you don't have time to practice, I'd probably pick a different cookie.
Also, I definitely agree about going with French meringue method.
Not So Humble Pie: Macaron 101: French Meringue
While Italian meringue tends to be what places selling macarons use because it's suited to high volume, I like how the French meringue doesn't need as much sugar and it's less fussy than going through the process of Italian meringue. The reason Italian meringue is the go-to in high volume places is how stable it is. You make large batches of it then split it according to how many flavors you want. Obviously with French meringue you can pretty much only do one flavor at a time. But this isn't an issue for most people making macarons at home.
Plus these tips that apply to any (and pretty much all) baking:

1. Kitchen scale
Why don't you own one of these? Really. They're inexpensive and open up a whole new wonderful world of baking! That is, baking by weight rather than volume (which is totally unreliable). The scale I personally use is (here). It is roughly $25, very accurate (I've tested) and allows you to be precise with your measurements. Trust me, eventually you'll wish you could just weigh out all your ingredients in your mixing bowl and never deal with the tedium of scooping, tapping and leveling measuring cups ever again.
(Yeah, macarons with measuring cups is not a great idea)

2. Oven Thermometer
Turn that dial to 350F on your oven and let it heat up. Once that pre-heating indicator light goes off, what temperature is it? 350F? Probably not. These are not precision dials. I have two very nice ovens and mine are never accurate.

Invest in a oven thermometer and I use the word 'invest' loosely as they cost almost nothing ($3-$25). A small price to pay compared to the cost of tossing out batches of bad macarons. All that almond meal gets expensive, trust me. If you're curious, the type I use in my ovens is the following: Taylor Oven Thermometer

3. Good pans
Good quality, heavy guage aluminum sheet pans. Again, compared to the macaron ingredients, they're really not all that expensive. My first three Mac attempts were mired by lopsided feet. Why? Lack of insulation from the bottom and my ancient cookie sheets were no longer perfectly level (not that I could tell just by looking at them).

So much frustration could have been avoided had I figured out early on that it was my pans not my technique.

And yes, age those egg whites. At least 24 hours left out.

Last edited by Saria; 12-12-2010 at 03:44 AM.
Wow, thanks, Saria! Those macarons are fussy little buggers. I think I will do some practice runs.
No MAS.

I am the new Black.

"Hope the Mail are saving space tomorrow for Samantha Brick's reaction piece on the reactions to her piece about the reactions to her piece." ~ Tweet reposted by Rou.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Kimshi4242

http://www.tumblr.com/blog/kimshi4242
I made some French macaroons! And they're not bad tasting. They look like crap, but I'm OK with that. I've never made them before.
The batter, pan 1:

The batter, pan 2:

The assembled macarons:




The batter came out very thick (and grainy), so the 'nipple' never flattened. A few more trial runs and maybe I'll be able to give some away!
No MAS.

I am the new Black.

"Hope the Mail are saving space tomorrow for Samantha Brick's reaction piece on the reactions to her piece about the reactions to her piece." ~ Tweet reposted by Rou.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Kimshi4242

http://www.tumblr.com/blog/kimshi4242
Look at those! Well done, Phoenix. I'm impressed.


Phoenix - Those look so cute! What is the filling? I've never attempted macaroons, so I am impressed.
Use a 1/2-inch or so plain tip to pipe and just one dollop, nice and easy. Holding the end of the bag with your left hand and twisting the bag at about 3/4 of the bag down with your right hand gives a bit more control.
Don't move the bag when you're piping out a circle. Just squeeze as much batter as you need and it will continue to expand.
Thanks, guys!

Misspam~

The filling is seedless raspberry jam.
No MAS.

I am the new Black.

"Hope the Mail are saving space tomorrow for Samantha Brick's reaction piece on the reactions to her piece about the reactions to her piece." ~ Tweet reposted by Rou.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Kimshi4242

http://www.tumblr.com/blog/kimshi4242
Phoenix that is awesome!!!!




Byron,GA> Charleston, SC> Jacksonville, FL> Guilford, CT> Rohnert Park, CA! A southern drawl in sunny Cali! .
The amount of time from slipping on the peel and landing on the pavement is exactly one bananosecond.
I do have a secret yen for pink in unexpected places. ~ninja dog
I've decided that I'll never get down to my original weight, and I'm OK with that--After all, 8 pounds 2 oz. is just not realistic.
Thanks so much, Spring!
No MAS.

I am the new Black.

"Hope the Mail are saving space tomorrow for Samantha Brick's reaction piece on the reactions to her piece about the reactions to her piece." ~ Tweet reposted by Rou.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Kimshi4242

http://www.tumblr.com/blog/kimshi4242

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