Top Thanksgiving Dessert Options

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Can you believe it? Seems strange to me. It’s almost like it snuck up on us, right? This year, we are doing a much smaller Thanksgiving celebration and, officially, it’s on Saturday, not Thursday. But, I’m still tasked with making dessert and currently in the process of narrowing down what I should make.

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A Simple Cookie with a Fall Twist – MB Recipe 37

Over the weekend, I felt the desire to bake. It had been quite a long time since the baking bug hit me. Since it was a last-minute, I had to find a recipe where I had all of the ingredients already on hand. For the most part this meant that I was limited to cookies and/or bars. While combing through the Cookies chapter of the Magnolia Bakery Handbook I came across Snickerdoodles. Thankfully, I had everything in the ingredients, except for one, but I was able to make a substitution.

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A Return to Baking

Last weekend, I hung up the headset for the final time. The show I have given my life to for the better part of October played its final performance on Sunday. This show taught me a lot about myself, stage management, and theater. Even though the schedule is grueling and I lack sleep during the performance weekends, I always end up looking back on these experiences with nostalgia and joy.

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Magnolia Bakery #11 Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones

Friday was the first day of October, and to be honest, I couldn’t have asked for a better Fall day! The sun was out, but it was a cooler day, and the air was nice and crisp. After taking my usual morning walk, I had the urge to make yummy Fall treats. I was craving the scent of pumpkin spice, warm baked goods, and maybe even chocolate!

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Recipe #8 – Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tart

From Barefoot Contessa Family Style! page 151

Nothing says Fall in New England like pumpkin! And what better was to celebrate a very “fall” weekend with a pumpkin tart?

(Not to mention I got to use my new tart pan again — I need to get its monies worth!)

So I found that Ina’s recipe for Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tart only needed a few additional ingredients from the grocery store. Plus I wanted to make a tart to try to redeem myself from the last one…..

Well now that I have made it and tried it, this one did turn out much better than the chocolate mousse tart I tried to make last weekend. However, I think there is still room for improvement.

The empty tart shell….much thicker and more even than the first one I made last week.

In contrast to last week’s tart recipe, this one called for gelatin which did help the mixture firm up quickly and nicely. However, I think the pumpkin mixture had to cook for an additional few minutes over the double boiler.

This ended up being a good recipe for me to learn from. Not only did I have another chance to improve my tart shell making skills, but I also received experience working with a double boiler. I have only a double boiler setup a few times in my life. Once when I made a homemade herbal medicine salve and the other was when I melted orange colored chocolate for Halloween.

While the double boiler worked fine the previous times since I only needed to melt something, I think I need more experience actually using it to cook/heat something well. To be honest, I think the real issue here is the fact that I do not let eggs cook long enough to allow things to thicken.

Overall this week’s tart was tasty. I was able to taste the banana throughout even though there is only one banana in the whole tart. The orange zest also made my tongue jump for joy since it was a nice, unexpected flavor profile that you wouldn’t automatically associate with a pumpkin dessert.

This tart did require A LOT of dishes, but will make a nice substitute for a pumpkin pie at the Thanksgiving table. One of the nice things about the tart over a traditional pumpkin pie is that the mousse tart is creamy and lighter than a pumpkin pie.

Completed Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tart

Since I did not feel like fighting with a piping bag, I decided to just spread the whipped cream on top of the already chilled tart. I then attempted to sprinkle the orange zest over it, but the zest was rather juicy, so it didn’t spread too well. Oh well! Still tasted good!!