Tag Archives: thanksgiving desserts

The Happy-ish Hunchback of Queens Humbly Presents… An Apple Galette!

25 Nov

There is a chance that all of this pre-holiday food prep is the best diet ever. No one ever talks about it, but prepping for Thanksgiving leaves a person with very little time to eat. Especially if you work a full-time job, live a half-mile’s walk away from the closest grocery store, insist on purchasing twenty pounds of Turkey Day-related food items at said grocery store right after work, and then head home… to start cooking. (Btw, I have absolutely no idea how people with children/various family members to care for also manage to do all of this. Props to you. I do not know what I will do when I make the babies. I will probably try to turn them into helper elves as soon as they’re strong enough to sit up unassisted.) Four hours later, here I am, watching some crappy medical procedural and nursing a fancy cocktail while also nursing some busted shoulders that are giving me serious Quasimodo vibes. 

I wouldn’t trade a single second of it. The last week and a half or so have been a whirlwind of ups and downs– awesome shows and get-togethers with people I love, but also moments of feeling forgotten and sort of inadequate for various reasons. This is a welcome distraction. It’s nice to be focused on what’s cookin’ in our small-as-all-hell kitchen and NOT on what I’m missing out on (or fearing missing out on) on social media. I highly recommend this as a form of rapid-fire therapy. 

Speaking of therapy… an apple a day something something hooray. Right? I’m so good at this. Anyway, how about working on a rustic, sweet n’salty apple galette to add to your Thanksgiving table? 

Apple Galette (adapted from Bon Appetit)

For the dough

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 cup of all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons of cold salted butter, cut into small chunks

1 large egg, beaten

For the filling

1/4 cup of salted butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 pound of baking apples (I used Pink Lady apples and needed 2 big ones to fill this), washed and sliced to about 1/8″ thickness

1/4 cup of dark brown sugar

1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon of water

1 tablespoon of white sugar

So, I’m going to start off by saying this: a food processor would come in EXTREMELY handy for the recipe. I am proud and happy to say I have successfully made my first easy pie crusts by just sort of hanging back, not stressing, and using the bejeebus out of mine. 

On that note, if you are working with a food processor, here’s what I did. First, pulse together flour, sugar and cinnamon until combined. Add in cold butter chunks and pulse until pea-sized chunks form in the dough. With food processor running, pour in beaten egg and continue to pulse until dough forms in a ball, about one minute.

Jabba the Hutt, OR the easiest pie dough ever? You decide. (It's the second one, guys)

Jabba the Hutt, OR the easiest pie dough ever? You decide. (It’s the second one, guys)

If you’re not working with a food processor, sift together dry ingredients until combined, then cut in butter chunks with forks or a pastry cutter until pea-sized chunks are formed. Fold in egg mixture gently until dough is wet, then gently use fingers to bring dough together.

Form dough into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for at least two hours.

Now, preheat your oven to 375°F. (My food processor also hooked me up when it came to slicing apples, which is something I do not enjoy doing, especially when my hands are medium-rare from burns and I am bent over like a gargoyle. It’ll slice the apples for ya, people! Keep your apples set aside for the time being.)

Add butter and vanilla to a small saucepan and place over low-medium heat until browned and fragrant. Set aside. 

On a floured surface, roll out dough to a 14 x 10 inch rectangle or a 12 inch circle, whichever you prefer. Transfer dough to parchment-covered baking sheet. Overlap apple slices on top of dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Brush browned butter over apples, then sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the top. Fold edges of dough over gently to keep the shape you want. Brush egg/water mixture over dough, then sprinkle with white sugar.

Bake on the middle rack of your oven for 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Remove when the crust is browned and the apples are nice and bubbly.

Let cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. OR, you can make this up to two days ahead, just wrap it tightly and keep at room temperature.

Sooooo…. about that. This is a make-ahead deal for me, so it’s currently resting until Turkey Day. And our city apartment is such a city apartment that my galette is currently wrapped up and resting comfortably on our coffee table with a sign over it… 

Animal acts as a sort of bouncer. Earning his keep over here. 

Animal acts as a sort of bouncer. Earning his keep over here. 

Yep. If you, too, plan on resting this, you can reheat gently… 200°F for 15 minutes should do it. Then, you can serve this with cheddar ice cream. Oh you heard me correctly. Stay tuned, friends, recipe’s a-comin!

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They See Me Rollin’ (These Easy Peasy Peanut Butter Banana Rum Rolls)

23 Nov

Do you ever feel like you’re being… watched? Holy bleepers guys, Dove be spying. 

But seriously, somebody stop me, and not in the quirky Jim Carrey way. I need to either not purchase anything for a long while or come into a large sum of money, stat. I think I’d do well with a great sum of money. I’d add the word “Von” before my last name and wear silk gloves and roll all of my R’s, like fancy people do. This is fancy, yes. Stop asking questions. Questions aren’t fancy. 

Anyway, I know I said I’d be back last week with some serious sweets, and I was totally planning on it, but then the only “sweets” I could permit myself for a while came in a bottle of gross cough syrup. Yup, of course, just as I was talking about exciting plans and busy days and fun fun fun, I was hit with a dumb friggin’ cold. Though I still did follow through on all of my plans. One of which fell on one of the rainiest days we’ve had in a while. I almost fell into a pile of garbage. Twice. It was awesome. I think it extended my cold by a few days. More on that in my next post. 

For now? GUYS! THANKSGIVING STUFF! How psyched are you? I’m crazy psyched, especially since I’ve just recently gotten my taste buds back (colds + loads of garlic + chicken broth = fresh hell on earth) and have spent the better part of the last three days recipe testing. While we get to the good, someone more time consuming stuff, why don’t we talk sweet snacks? I picked up couple of rolls of phyllo dough and want to gift you all with a quick, easy peasy treat. Let’s [chocolate peanut butter banana rum] roll.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Rum Rolls (makes one dozen) 

6 sheets of phyllo, thawed

1/4 cup of butter, melted

cinnamon sugar for sprinkling, optional*

2 large ripe bananas, sliced

1 cup of powdered sugar

1 cup of peanut butter, smooth or chunky, depending on your tastes (I used chunky)

1/4 cup of dark rum, optional but recommended if you’re feelin’ it

1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips or chunks

*for cinnamon sugar, sift together 1 teaspoon of cinnamon with 1/4 cup of white sugar until combined.

To begin, preheat your oven to 375°F and butter a large cookie sheet. In a large bowl, mix together banana slices, sugar and peanut butter. Using a hand mixer on medium speed (Jimmy got me this one, and it’s the absolute nicest gift ever, just in case you want to buy something frivolous *wink*), combine until pureed. Add in rum until fully incorporated, then fold in chocolate chunks and set aside.

Lay phyllo sheets out on a clean surface and place a clean, damp kitchen towel over the sheets to keep them from drying. Gently lay one sheet out on a clean surface and delicately brush with melted butter. Place another sheet over this one and brush again with butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar if desired. 

Drop a heaping tablespoon of the peanut butter mixture at the top of one of the sheets, then roll carefully and tightly into a roll. Brush lightly with more butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, until the top and sides are lightly browned and crisp. Let cool for 10 minutes, and serve while still warm.

So, these would totally be perfect as part of your Thanksgiving desserts, but I pretty much ripped into them as soon as they were cool enough to eat… the common cold meant that I had basically been without proper sweets for, like, three days. Do you know what that could do to a woman?!

Yup. Nuts. 

Yup. Nuts. 

If you’re cooking the entire Thanksgiving feast for your guests and are tired as all hell and kind of at a loss for the sweet portion, these should be your go-to dessert. They’re easy, quick and the yum game = strong. You could even swap out or add in some ingredients– mini marshmallows instead of bananas, pecans instead of peanut butter, etc. Get crazy, ya’ll. 

Sweet And Sappy And Pies And FOOD! A Sad Shibow Thanksgiving

27 Nov

FRIENDS!
How was your Thanksgiving? Seriously, tell me. As you all [hopefully] know by now, Thanksgiving is, according to yours truly, the best holiday there could possibly be. There is food and booze (uh, where I come from at least…) and desserts and, most importantly of all, the people you love and lurrrrve for whom to be especially grateful. I love it.

So, this year, we went to my parents’ house and insisted on doing almost all of the work. My dad handled the turkey, mostly because a 15-pound bird would be screwed in my care. More importantly, the people who would be consuming that 15-pound bird would be screwed in my care. It’s just not my thing.

Know what is my thing? Fresh baked bread, three-cheese macaroni and cheese, fresh cranberry sauce, roasted brussels sprouts, and three pies. (I only kept it to three desserts since there were six of us and I had to make some savory dishes as well 😉 ) Boyfriend made the most amazing mashed potatoes, and Sylvapotamus killed it with homemade stuffing and some chocolate mousse that I did very bad things to (more on that later).

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Take a look at that bird! Gorgeous, right? Ahhhhh….

So, anyway, it has been quite an interesting year. It’s been both trying and wonderful, stressful and blissful. I’m honestly kind of shocked by how different things are from the way they were last year. And by different, I mean better. I’ve got a lovely, handsome gentleman to share a couch (and a kitchen, and a hamper, and, well, a home) with, and I have parents and sisters who’ve welcomed him with open arms and three fingers of Johnnie Walker Black (nice job, Dad). Certainly, life is far from perfect and there is a LOT of work to be done in many aspects of my life. But I’m grateful to have the time to do it, and I’m really fortunate to have the company I have while I do it.

Well, that’s enough of that sap. Geez. Who invited the mushball to this sad-fest? Let’s move on to my favorite part of all of this: DESSERT!

Now, I need to confess something that is incredibly embarrassing for me: I cannot freaking make a freaking pie crust. I have freaking tried so many freaking times and every time my freaking pie crust sucks. Many recipes call for a food processor, which I am too boogie-down-broke to have right now, but I can’t even seem to follow the ones that don’t call for one. I mean, I’ve watched Youtube tutorials and consulted cookbooks and food blog forums, and I just have not gotten down the freaking process. I am so angry about this that I spent time debating whether or not to bust out ANOTHER f-word, but then I decided to keep this post a family show. How lucky are YOU?

So, yeah, there’s that. If you’re making a pie crust from scratch, please consult some other, better resources. I’d provide you with some but I’m not going to help you fail. :(. Anyway, I used frozen ready-made pie crusts. Now, these do not suck, but as many of you know, I hate the idea of not making all dessert components from scratch. But, after many tries and many sticks of butter wasted (R.I.P. hopes and dreams), I decided I had to go with the store-bought stuff, since pies are pretty much mandatory at Thanksgiving dinner.

Now, which pies, you wonder? I went with pumpkin, pecan and chocolate meringue. All three were deemed “must-haves” by various sweet-toothed guests. Since I used a pretty standard recipe for the pumpkin pie (the one found on the Libby’s Canned Pumpkin label), I’m only going to get into the latter two pies. Let’s start with the pecan!

Pecan Pie (makes one 9″ pie)

1 9-inch unbaked pie crust of your choice 😦

2 cups of coarsely chopped pecans + a few whole pecans for the top if you’d like to get fancy up in this pie

2 eggs

1/2 cup of light corn syrup

3/4 cup of brown sugar

1 tablespoon of molasses (if you’d like something milder, I would suggest pure maple syrup)

2 tablespoons of melted butter

2 tablespoons of flour

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Preheat your oven to 375ºF. Distribute your chopped pecans evenly along the bottom of your crust. Mix the remaining ingredients and then pour them over the nuts (pecans will rise to the top of the crust at this point).

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Top with whole pecans if you please.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the filling is set. If you’re worried about the crust burning, you can create a pie shield (basically a foil ring cut to cover the pie crust) and place it on top of the crust about halfway through baking. Once the pie’s done, remove from the oven and allow to cool on the counter completely.

Now, on to the next pie (don’t worry…the pictures are coming 😉 ). Now, the chocolate meringue is something I’m very fond of, mostly because it was one of the first successful desserts I ever made. Heart you.

Chocolate Meringue Pie(makes one 9-inch pie)

1 9-inch baked pie crust of your choice 😦

For the filling

3 egg yolks

1 cup of granulated sugar

3 tablespoons of flour

4 tablespoons of cocoa powder

1/8 teaspoon of salt

2 cups of milk (I used skim)

1 tablespoon of butter

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

For the meringue

3 egg whites

1/8 teaspoon of salt

1/3 cup of granulated sugar

Preheat your oven to 400°F. In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together egg yolks, sugar, flour, cocoa and salt. Whisk in milk, and cook over medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture comes to a full boil.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Remove from heat, stir in your butter and vanilla, and then pour into pie shell.

Now, let’s make our meringue. So, it’s really important, when beating egg whites, to work with an absolutely spotless bowl, and clean whisks. There shouldn’t be any moisture or bits of batter kicking around, or else you won’t have the stiff peaks a meringue needs. To start, using a stand or hand mixer on high, beat egg whites and salt together until foamy.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Gradually add in your sugar while mixer is on, and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. This may take a little while, so just be patient.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Once done, spread meringue evenly on top of custard, making sure to spread so that the chocolate isn’t visible. Obviously I took the above picture before I finished spreading. Anyway, bake for 10-12 minutes, until the meringue is lightly browned.

So, how did it all turn out?

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Pretty well, if I do say so myself. Boyfriend was partial to the pecan, which I was not as crazy about (I guess pecan’s just too sweet for my blood), and I was all about the chocolate meringue. I was also really into Sylvapotamus’s chocolate mousse, to the point where when I accidentally knocked the entire bowl of it over (and broke the bowl) I was still trying to figure out ways to eat it off of the floor. I am sorry Sylvapotamus. 😦

So, that was my Turkey day. And I miss it already.

Sweet And Sappy And Pies And FOOD! A Sad Shibow Thanksgiving

27 Nov

FRIENDS!

How was your Thanksgiving? Seriously, tell me. As you all [hopefully] know by now, Thanksgiving is, according to yours truly, the best holiday there could possibly be. There is food and booze (uh, where I come from at least…) and desserts and, most importantly of all, the people you love and lurrrrve for whom to be especially grateful. I love it.

So, this year, we went to my parents’ house and insisted on doing almost all of the work. My dad handled the turkey, mostly because a 15-pound bird would be screwed in my care. More importantly, the people who would be consuming that 15-pound bird would be screwed in my care. It’s just not my thing.

Know what is my thing? Fresh baked bread, three-cheese macaroni and cheese, fresh cranberry sauce, roasted brussels sprouts, and three pies. (I only kept it to three desserts since there were six of us and I had to make some savory dishes as well 😉 ) Boyfriend made the most amazing mashed potatoes, and Sylvapotamus killed it with homemade stuffing and some chocolate mousse that I did very bad things to (more on that later).

A small portion of the spread. Oh yeah. We bad.

Take a look at that bird! Gorgeous, right? Ahhhhh….

So, anyway, it has been quite an interesting year. It’s been both trying and wonderful, stressful and blissful. I’m honestly kind of shocked by how different things are from the way they were last year. And by different, I mean better. I’ve got a lovely, handsome gentleman to share a couch (and a kitchen, and a hamper, and, well, a home) with, and I have parents and sisters who’ve welcomed him with open arms and three fingers of Johnnie Walker Black (nice job, Dad). Certainly, life is far from perfect and there is a LOT of work to be done in many aspects of my life. But I’m grateful to have the time to do it, and I’m really fortunate to have the company I have while I do it.

Well, that’s enough of that sap. Geez. Who invited the mushball to this sad-fest? Let’s move on to my favorite part of all of this: DESSERT!

Now, I need to confess something that is incredibly embarrassing for me: I cannot freaking make a freaking pie crust. I have freaking tried so many freaking times and every time my freaking pie crust sucks. Many recipes call for a food processor, which I am too boogie-down-broke to have right now, but I can’t even seem to follow the ones that don’t call for one. I mean, I’ve watched Youtube tutorials and consulted cookbooks and food blog forums, and I just have not gotten down the freaking process. I am so angry about this that I spent time debating whether or not to bust out ANOTHER f-word, but then I decided to keep this post a family show. How lucky are YOU?

So, yeah, there’s that. If you’re making a pie crust from scratch, please consult some other, better resources. I’d provide you with some but I’m not going to help you fail. :(. Anyway, I used frozen ready-made pie crusts. Now, these do not suck, but as many of you know, I hate the idea of not making all dessert components from scratch. But, after many tries and many sticks of butter wasted (R.I.P. hopes and dreams), I decided I had to go with the store-bought stuff, since pies are pretty much mandatory at Thanksgiving dinner.

Now, which pies, you wonder? I went with pumpkin, pecan and chocolate meringue. All three were deemed “must-haves” by various sweet-toothed guests. Since I used a pretty standard recipe for the pumpkin pie (the one found on the Libby’s Canned Pumpkin label), I’m only going to get into the latter two pies. Let’s start with the pecan!

Pecan Pie (makes one 9″ pie)

1 9-inch unbaked pie crust of your choice 😦

2 cups of coarsely chopped pecans + a few whole pecans for the top if you’d like to get fancy up in this pie

2 eggs

1/2 cup of light corn syrup

3/4 cup of brown sugar

1 tablespoon of molasses (if you’d like something milder, I would suggest pure maple syrup)

2 tablespoons of melted butter

2 tablespoons of flour

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Preheat your oven to 375ºF. Distribute your chopped pecans evenly along the bottom of your crust. Mix the remaining ingredients and then pour them over the nuts (pecans will rise to the top of the crust at this point).

Top with whole pecans if you please.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the filling is set. If you’re worried about the crust burning, you can create a pie shield (basically a foil ring cut to cover the pie crust) and place it on top of the crust about halfway through baking. Once the pie’s done, remove from the oven and allow to cool on the counter completely.

Now, on to the next pie (don’t worry…the pictures are coming 😉 ). Now, the chocolate meringue is something I’m very fond of, mostly because it was one of the first successful desserts I ever made. Heart you.

Chocolate Meringue Pie (makes one 9-inch pie)

1 9-inch baked pie crust of your choice 😦

For the filling

3 egg yolks

1 cup of granulated sugar

3 tablespoons of flour

4 tablespoons of cocoa powder

1/8 teaspoon of salt

2 cups of milk (I used skim)

1 tablespoon of butter

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

For the meringue

3 egg whites

1/8 teaspoon of salt

1/3 cup of granulated sugar

Preheat your oven to 400°F. In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together egg yolks, sugar, flour, cocoa and salt. Whisk in milk, and cook over medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture comes to a full boil.

Remove from heat, stir in your butter and vanilla, and then pour into pie shell.

Now, let’s make our meringue. So, it’s really important, when beating egg whites, to work with an absolutely spotless bowl, and clean whisks. There shouldn’t be any moisture or bits of batter kicking around, or else you won’t have the stiff peaks a meringue needs. To start, using a stand or hand mixer on high, beat egg whites and salt together until foamy.

Gradually add in your sugar while mixer is on, and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. This may take a little while, so just be patient.

Once done, spread meringue evenly on top of custard, making sure to spread so that the chocolate isn’t visible. Obviously I took the above picture before I finished spreading. Anyway, bake for 10-12 minutes, until the meringue is lightly browned.

So, how did it all turn out?

Pretty well, if I do say so myself. Boyfriend was partial to the pecan, which I was not as crazy about (I guess pecan’s just too sweet for my blood), and I was all about the chocolate meringue. I was also really into Sylvapotamus’s chocolate mousse, to the point where when I accidentally knocked the entire bowl of it over (and broke the bowl) I was still trying to figure out ways to eat it off of the floor. I am sorry Sylvapotamus. 😦

So, that was my Turkey day. And I miss it already.

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