Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Whether you’re hosting the holiday for family and friends or sitting down as a guest this year, it’s about time to finalize menus or let the host know what you’re bringing to the table. Everybody loves the stuffing, turkey, and potatoes; more than likely, you’re eating the same dishes every year — which is totally okay. But that’s why we love the dessert portion. You can get a little more creative because people aren’t expecting as much tradition as they do with the dinner. So we asked some of our favorite restaurants and chefs to share their best Thanksgiving dessert recipes so you can handle a table of sweet teeth like a pro.
Chocolate Pudding Pie with Salted Peanut Brittle
(From chef Frederick Aquino of The Standard Grill)
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate shortbread crumbs (or substitute Oreo cookie crumbs)
- 4 tbsp butter, melted
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
Method: Combine thoroughly and press onto a spring form pan. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about 12 minutes.
- 1 egg
- 6 oz butter
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp coffee extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
Method: Cream butter, sugar, and cocoa powder until fluffy. Add extracts and eggs. Mix in dry ingredients. Roll out very thinly between two parchment papers and bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about 12-16 minutes, or until dry. Process through a food processor until fine.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 250 grams bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Method: Simmer cream and milk in a medium pot. Whisk yolks and sugar together. Temper egg mixture into cream and cook on low heat until thick while whisking constantly; it should take about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate. Pour into prepared crust and refrigerate for at least 2-4 hours, or preferably overnight.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon sugar
Method: Whip until you see stiff peaks. Spread evenly on top of the pudding.
Salted Peanut Brittle
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
Method: Cook sugar with some water until golden caramel in color. Fold in peanuts and salt. Transfer onto a tray with parchment and cool. Roughly chop and sprinkle on top of the pie.
Warm Apple Crisp
(From pastry chef Deborah Racicot of Narcissa; yields two servings)
- 2 sticks butter, melted
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups oatmeal
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Method: Mix dry ingredients before slowly mixing in melted butter. Spread final mixture in baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes. Rotate sheet and bake for another 5 minutes.
- 3 apples, diced
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 dash of lemon juice
- 1 dash of salt
Method: Cook half of the apples with sugar, lemon, and salt in a medium saucepan on medium heat until broken down. Add remaining apples. Make cornstarch slurry (two parts cold water, one part cornstarch). Add and cook until thoroughly mixed.
Method: Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take two sheets of filo dough and gently fold around the bottom of a greased pan. Brush dough with melted butter. Bake filo dough for 15-20 mins or until golden brown.
- Oatmeal streusel
- Apple compote
- Filo dough
- Crème fraîche-vanilla ice cream
Method: Plate apple compote and top with oatmeal streusel. Cover with baked filo sheets and top with crème fraîche-vanilla ice cream (or your preferred flavor) as desired.
Chocolate Pecan Tart
(From patissier Francois Payard; yields 10 servings; requires 9-inch flat tart tin, mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, piping bag, and sauce pot)
Method: Take some homemade or store-bought sugar dough and roll it to 1/4-inch thick. Take the tart ring and line the bottom and the sides. Trim the sides to make it even and clean and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to rest. Store in fridge until ready to use.
- 1 stick, 5 tbsp melted butter
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup, 3 tbsp corn syrup
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- Pinch of salt
Method: Place the flour, eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, and salt in a mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat the mixture on medium speed until well combined. Melt the butter and add it to the mixture. Filling can be made up to twodays in advance, just be sure to whisk well to combine.
- 1 1/2 cups whole pecan halves
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
Method: Boil the water and sugar together to make a simple syrup. Place the pecans in a bowl and toss with the syrup. Place on a sheet pan and bake for five minute segments in an oven set at 350 degrees Fahreneigh or until the pecans are candied and golden brown.
- Candied pecans
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Method: Place candied pecans and the chocolate chips into the tart shell. Pour the pecan mix onto the nut mixture, about 3/4 full. Pour the pecan mix in the tart to fill and bake for about 30 min in an oven set at 350 F. The tart shell should have a golden color and the filling should be still soft in the middle. Remove the tart from the oven and set it aside to cool. Serve warm with ice cream.
While you’re working your culinary magic in the kitchen, listen to our delicious cooking playlist:
Originally published on November 16, 2015. Last updated on November 19, 2017.