Last Saturday was the first of 3 Thanksgiving meals that I will be fortunate enough to eat and was the first of 2 meals for which I am responsible for dessert making. Never one to go light on dessert I made three options.
A pumpkin pie is requisite- at least according to my family, so I sought out what I thought would be a good choice (Fine Cooking’s Caramel Pumpkin Pie), but my family vetoed that saying they want to stick to tradition only. So plan B was KAF’S Smooth and Spicy Pumpkin Pie. I picked this because my gripe with pumpkin pie is that it’s bland, so with spicy in the name I figured I was at least on the right track. For crust I knew I wanted to experiment with some decorations (having been inspired by Fine Cooking’s Pumpkin Pie with Leafy Rim) , so to make sure I had enough crust to work with I did a Classic Double Pie Crust.
As usual I didn’t take any photos of the making process, but I did the crusts a few days in advance due to work travel and froze them in discs before the rolling out stage. When it was time to make the pie I mixed up the filling according to the instructions going with the higher quantities of spices when given an option. I ended up letting the filling sit for closer to 2 hours when I was done, but that’s a good thing for flavor. A bad thing was almost forgetting the eggs! Since you do that step after the filling has rested I totally forgot and ended up needing to ladle the filling out of the pie shell to mix in the eggs!
For the shell I actually blind baked the crust per the Fine Cooking instructions and probably could’ve done a little longer there in reality, but I’m glad I did because I feel like the crust would’ve been totally soggy if not. I used cookie cutters to make all of my leaves and found the hardest part was balancing the foil ring around the pie with the leaves on it and making sure I didn’t damage the crust putting it in and out of the oven.
So basically this ended up as a hybrid recipe with the KAF smooth and Spicy filling, KAF double crust, and Fine Cooking leaf rim and blind bake instructions. I was pretty proud of my final result!
Dessert number two was a simple one. I had a box of KAF gingerbread mix, so made that following the cake rather than cookie instructions. I couldn’t leave it plain though, so remembering a tasty icing from a gingerbread cupcake recipe I had done before I whipped up half a recipe of cinnamon cream cheese icing for the top and voila!
Well, not entirely voila because obviously there are cookies on top of it. Which brings me to dessert 3: the bonus dessert.
I wanted to do something easy to grab and not feel guilty about after a slice of pie or cake, so decided to do some gingerbread cookies too. I chose KAF’s Gingerbread Cookie recipe despite some mixed reviews. Unfortunately I did find the dough to be really wet and sticky like some of the reviewers mentioned. I actually ended up adding probably 3/4 to 1 cup additional flour. I was worried this would mean it was really bland in the end and at first this was true, but after a few days I feel like the taste improved. Either way, I’m still a tad on the fence about whether I would do this one again.
To decorate the cookies I opted to use a recipe for Hard Glaze for Cookies. I’m not sure what I was picturing, but I know I was picturing something harder and shinier than I got. The icing was so bright white because of the meringue powder I feel like when I added the gel food coloring I ended up with neon colors. The icing was nice and thick completely opaque and covered all of the cookies well, but it never really hardened like I thought it would. Basically I was expecting it to perform like royal icing and it did not. I still was pleased with the overall look of the cookies though.
I also took this chance to test out food safe markers which I’ve always been curious about. Turns out they do write just like regular markers and are precision enough that I was able to make cookie place cards! Which ended up serving as a tasty appetizer for everyone.
So in the end I had some good, some eh, but all delicious nonetheless!