Unique Thanksgiving Desserts To Make This Year

Photo from biggerbolderbaking.com

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, connect with friends and family and, of course, eat lots of delicious food! While the main course is obviously important, the Thanksgiving dessert table deserves its time to shine as well.

While the classic Thanksgiving desserts of apple, pumpkin or pecan pie are great, there are tons of other great desserts to make this year if you’re looking for something a little different. If you’re interested in bringing a little twist to your dessert table this year, VALLEY is here with some unique Thanksgiving desserts that are easy and fun to make!

Pecan Pie Cookies
Photo from Popsugar.com

This twist on a classic pecan pie is a good option for those people who don’t want to deal with the hassle of making a pie from scratch. While they’re not exactly comparable, these cookies are a good option to quickly satisfy your pecan pie cravings.

What You’ll Need:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar, divided
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
What You’ll Do:
  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Take two half-sheet pans and line them with parchment paper.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a bowl (using a stand mixer or hand mixer) beat together 1 cup of brown sugar with the butter, until light and fluffy, or about 2-3 minutes. Then add the egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and beat until smooth. Add your bowl of dry ingredients in three sections. Mix together until just combined.
  • Shape your dough into roughly 1 ¼-inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on the parchment-lined pans. In each cookie, make an indentation using your thumb, rotating your thumb to hollow out the middle into a round well.
  • In another bowl, whisk together ½ cup brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and heavy cream until smooth. Fold in the pecans. Fill in the well of each cookie with a teaspoon of the pecan filling.
  • Bake for 8-12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Cool for 2-3 minutes or until ready to serve.
Pumpkin Pie Truffles
Photo from Popsugar.com

This recipe requires only a handful of ingredients and will satisfy your pumpkin craving without the need for an entire pumpkin pie. These truffles are also super simple to make, so you can keep reusing this recipe throughout pumpkin spice season!

What You’ll Need:
  • 20 graham crackers
  • 2 1/2 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 cups white chocolate
What You’ll Do:
  • Using a food processor, pulverize graham crackers into a fine crumb, then place in a bowl and set aside. 
  • In the same food processor, add in cream cheese, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice, mixing until smooth. Add the graham cracker crumbs back in and continue mixing until incorporated. Place the mixture into a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • When the mixture is cold, roll into 1-inch balls and place on wax paper. Freeze the balls for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • In a small bowl, melt white chocolate. Take your truffles and dip them into the white chocolate one at a time to evenly coat. Set on the wax paper to harden and then dip them a second time. While the truffles are still wet, sprinkle the top with pumpkin pie spice and set them on the wax paper to harden completely. Once hardened, serve and enjoy!
Cranberry Nut Bars
Photo from oceanspray.com

If you’re looking for a new dessert that is far from the usual pies and cookies that are served, this cranberry nut bar recipe is the one. With only a few ingredients and simple directions, these bars are quick and easy to make and are sure to be a crowd favorite.

What You’ll Need:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • ⅓ cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 ¼ cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
What You’ll Do:
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch baking pan.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs until thick. Gradually add sugar, beating until thoroughly blended. Once blended, stir in the flour and melted butter and blend well. Add in cranberries and walnuts, mixing gently until combined. 
  • Spread evenly in the pan.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown (or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool and cut into bars to serve.
Caramel Apple Cheesecake
Photo from Thepioneerwoman.com

While this recipe is one of the more difficult options on our list, it’s one for ambitious bakers to try! This cheesecake adds in the fall favorite ingredients of apples and caramel to create a dense and creamy dessert that is perfect for Thanksgiving.

What You’ll Need:
  • For the crust:
    • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
    • 5 tablespoons salted butter
    • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • For the cheesecake:
    • 1 medium Honeycrisp or Granny Smith apple (peeled, cored, and thinly sliced)
    • 3 tablespoons jarred caramel topping
    • 3 eight-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
    • ¾ cup light brown sugar
    • 1 ½ tablespoon all-purpose flour
    • 3 large eggs
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the topping:
    • 2 medium Honeycrisp or Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored, and thinly sliced)
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • ½ tablespoon water
    • ½ cup jarred caramel topping
What You’ll Do:
  • For the crust:
    • Prepare an 8-inch round springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Wrap the outside of the pan with a double layer of aluminum foil. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
    • In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar and salt. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and 1 ½-inches up the sides. Bake until golden brown, 10-12 minutes. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  • For the cheesecake:
    • Heat the oven to 325°F. Arrange the apple slices in an even layer on the bottom of the cooled crust pan. Drizzle with the caramel sauce.
    • Beat the cream cheese in a bowl using a stand or hand mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add in the brown sugar and flour and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on low until just combined. Beat in the vanilla, cinnamon and salt.
    • Spread the cheesecake batter evenly over the apples. Place the springform pan in a roasting pan and carefully pour in boiling water until it comes halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
    • Bake at 325°F until the center of the cheesecake is almost set (and jiggles just slightly), about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Carefully transfer the cheesecake onto a wire rack; remove and discard the foil. Let the cheesecake cool completely, about 2 hours.
    • Cover and chill the cheesecake until firm, at least 8 hours or up to 1 day.
  • For the topping:
    • While the cheesecake is chilling, combine apples, cinnamon and water in a medium microwavable bowl. Cover the bowl slightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high until the apples are tender, about 3-4 minutes. Carefully uncover the bowl and pour off any liquid, letting the apples cool completely. 
    • Remove the sides of the pan and transfer the cheesecake to a rimmed serving plate. Top the cheesecake with the cooled apples, and then drizzle with the caramel sauce before serving.

What’s your favorite dessert to serve on Thanksgiving? Tag us, @VALLEYmag, on Instagram with your favorite festive desserts!


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