Thanksgiving Round-Up: The Desserts

“Begin with the end in mind.” Desserts making an appearance on my Thanksgiving table are generally very different than the ones made for Christmas. However, there are two exceptions in this year’s Thanksgiving Dessert Round-Up (the Chocolate Mousse Cake with Raspberry Sauce and the Mocha Chocolate Chip Icebox Cake). Because most anything chocolate are favorites on pretty much any holiday. Not surprisingly, no one in my family wants to see anything pumpkin in December (more than likely the culprit is pumpkin spice overload). So Thanksgiving is the last holiday of the year for everyone get their pumpkin fix. Although pie may be the quintessentially classic way to celebrate the pumpkin on the dessert table, pumpkin bars and cakes may actually be more sweet tooth satisfying. No one says you can’t have both. It is actually Thanksgiving, the one day a year where we turn a blind eye to over-indulgence.

Whittling a Thanksgiving Dessert Round-Up down to eight satisfying, sumptuous, eye-candy gorgeous desserts wasn’t easy. I could have easily added a couple more. Like the Brown Butter Caramelized Apple Crisp or the Stone Fruit and Mascarpone Tart with Triple Ginger Crust) to create a top ten list. But sometimes enough is enough and the more choices there are, the harder it is to choose.

Almost all of these desserts can be made the day before, although a couple need some Thanksgiving Day finishing touches. If you need to bring a dessert to a holiday gathering, the Pumpkin Squares are the best for traveling. All of them are delicious the day served. And if leftovers are available, maybe even tastier the next day (when we all have more room in our stomachs). There is something for everyone here. Except there are no cookies. If one cookie is Thanksgiving worthy it would be rolled, cut-out sugar cookies in the shapes of pilgrims, turkeys, and/or cornucopias decorated in royal icing. Regardless which dessert you decide to serve to your family and friends this holiday, give them with something homemade with love.

Brûléed Pumpkin Pie with Caramel Swirl 
Lemon Meringue Tart

Brown Butter Pumpkin Spice Cake

Pumpkin Squares

Chocolate Mousse Cake with Raspberry Sauce


Applesauce Spice Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting


Mocha Chocolate Chip Icebox Cake


French Laundry’s Cranberry and Apple Kuchen with Hot Cream Sauce

Lighthouse along the shore of Lake Michigan in South Haven, Michigan (November 2016)

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