While the Thanksgiving turkey may be the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving meal, for many people the highlight of the meal comes after: in the desserts! If you are a dessert lover than Thanksgiving is the meal that often goes above and beyond in satisfying just about anyone’s sweet tooth. While traditional desserts seem to be what is most commonly offered, other adventurous hosts are offering desserts that run the range from gourmet to exotic. Many cooks offer not just one dessert but a whole dessert buffet as a final touch to their Thanksgiving menu. If you are a dessert lover, cook, or baker read on for some fun Thanksgiving dessert traditions.
•Offer a dessert buffet-while this is a great idea this may only be feasible if you are an avid baker or a time management guru. The bottom line on desserts is that most require a great deal of time and attention. If you feel overwhelmed by trying to put together a complete dessert buffet here are some suggestions that can turn this into a fun tradition. Ask your guests to each contribute their favorite dessert. Then without labeling anything have everyone take guesses as to what each dessert is and who made it. Have a prize for the person who makes the most correct guesses. Or for a really fun twist on the dessert buffet, have each guest contribute something toward a dessert. For example, for ice cream sundaes you supply the ice cream and your guests supply the toppings. Just remember you do not have to do it all alone.
•Involve the kids-children are some of the best helpers in the dessert making world. If you want to offer something that kids will like (pumpkin pie does not always go over well with kids) than have something for them to do and contribute. For this fun idea have a supply of already baked sugar cookies in the appropriate Thanksgiving theme (turkey, pilgrim hat, cornucopia etc) frosting, candy and decorating supplies and then let your young helpers go to work decorating their own dessert. This also has the added benefit of keeping kids happy and busy (which eliminates the wild chases through your house) at the same time.
•Pie, pie and more pie-since Thanksgiving seems to be the ultimate American holiday it only seems to right to serve pie at Thanksgiving. Pie just seems to be the quintessential American dessert. For a fun twist with all the pies have a baking contest. Have each of your guests bring their favorite pie to be judged by an independent panel of judges. Award ribbons for the best overall pie, most creative, prettiest etc. It will set a whole new tone for dessert.
•Charitable desserts-we often are caught up in the bounty of our own Thanksgiving meal and forget that many others are not so lucky. Everyone loves dessert; so see if you can find a way to share the sweetness of dessert and life with those who may not be as fortunate. Food kitchens feed anywhere from hundreds to thousands of people on Thanksgiving Day alone and would appreciate the donation of Thanksgiving desserts. Consider having your guests come together to bake desserts, pack and deliver them for those who may not have a home to go to for Thanksgiving. Contact your local food kitchen for details on what they may need on Thanksgiving. If sharing desserts at the food kitchen is not possible consider sharing your desserts with those around you who may not have family or friends to share the day with. Often the elderly, invalid or those with other special needs would love to share a visit and a piece of pie. It may just become your sweetest Thanksgiving tradition yet.