Preparing for Thanksgiving

My apologies guys, I've been having issues with my photo uploader.  This post was written on a week ago and I've only now gotten the pictures to load to go with it.  You should still make this pie, it's delicious!
Thanksgiving might be my favorite holiday out there.  The way I show love is with my cooking or baking, so if I've made you something, I think you're pretty great.  I love the togetherness of Christmas with my family, and we have some pretty awesome traditions, but eating a big meal where everyone gets to contribute a wonderful dish made out of love, is definitely my thing.

This year, we'll have a fuller house than last year, and to ease the hosting duties, my mom asked that everyone bring their favorite dish to dinner.  That includes my nephews pulling their own weight, but I heard a rumor they have some pretty good ideas for what to contribute.  I have narrowed things down on my end, but as a food blogger I struggle with wanting to try the latest and greatest, and sticking to tradition, even if green bean casserole is mushy.  Luckily, I can pour my heart into some desserts and help my mom out in that regard.
I've been baking up a storm this weekend, and desserts tend to freeze wonderfully if you take some precautions.  Keep reading for some good tips!

I made these wonderful cranberry almond cookies, and chocolate pudding pie (with gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies so that my sister can eat it).

To freeze, the cookies can just got into a tupperware container.  I'll thaw them out in the fridge the night before Thanksgiving, and they'll be good to go.  The chocolate pudding pie should still set in the fridge for a few hours with plastic wrap placed on the surface, as instructed.  To freeze, wrap it tightly with aluminum foil, with the plastic wrap still on the top of the pie.  Hold off on making the whipped cream until serving.  Again, thaw the pie overnight in the fridge before serving.  Cool whip will work as a topping if you're not up for making your own whipped cream while dinner is still being served.
I've also added in a new pie.  Food52 blasted out an email this morning with a gorgeous pecan pie, and I had been looking for a good pecan pie recipe to try- salted caramel chocolate pecan pie.  I know, drool, right?!  It's not the most traditional pecan pie recipe out there, but this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top?  Lemme just skip dinner and go right to dessert.
I've always been really intimidated by pie crusts, but used my handy food processor to do the work for me.  I might have processed just a tad too long, but I'm getting much better.  This is my first real pie you guys!  I usually cheat and do crumb crusts, but all in.  I present to you, salted caramel chocolate pecan pie.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie, from Food52
serves 8-16, depending on slice size

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted (1 1/2 sticks)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup 100% unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup toasted chopped pecans
Your favorite pie crust in a 9-inch pie pan (I used this one), no need to pre-bake

Preheat oven to 350° F. Stir together sugar, butter, flour, cocoa, corn syrup, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Add eggs and mix until everything is uniformly mixed. Stir in chopped pecans and pour into the pie shell. Bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes. The filling might seem undercooked, but it will thicken as it cools.

Salted Caramel Topping:
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 cups toasted pecan halves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Bring the sugar, lemon juice and water to boil in a saucepan. Be sure not to stir the mixture, just swirl the pot from time to time. Watch for the sugar to change color to a nice brown amber color, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and add cream and butter. Continuously stir the mixture until bubbling stops and all ingredients are mixed. Stir in table salt. Arrange pecan halves on top of the chocolate filling as desired. Top the pecans with the caramel mixture. Let the pie cool for 15-30 minutes before sprinkling the sea salt on top. The caramel mixture will thicken and keep the pecans in place.



Popular Posts