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Oct 30, 2008 04:13 PM

Thanksgiving Dessert Throwdown

Every year for Thanksgiving, my sister makes the Ghirardelli chocolate pecan pie for dessert ( and it's always a hit. I'm tired of her being the baking star. Can anyone recommend a dessert which will steal the show? The requirements are:

1) It should be at least vaguely Thanksgiving-y;
2) It should both look impressive and taste delicious;
3) I should be able to make it at least several hours in advance and serve it with minimal prep (warming it up is ok.


Please help me in my quest to win this sibling dessert throwdown!

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  1. I just went to the web site and read the recipe. No way can you compete with that. Just give it up and bring a great bottle of wine.

    1. There must be people in your family who 1) don't prefer chocolate and/or 2) don't prefer pies for dessert. A great cake would be perfect for preparing ahead and impressing. I know there is a very popular "autumn" themed cake from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook. I'm not a fan of their cupcakes, but a few of their cake recipes are delicious. Carrot cake also seems Thanksgiving-y. Red velvet cake is always popular if done well.

      Also, while I am not much of a cheesecake fan, I do often see recipes for pumpkin cheesecakes. Maybe you could try something like that?

      Your sisters pie looks delicious, but I for one would be thrilled to have something OTHER than pie for once during Thanksgiving.

      Good luck beating your sis ;-)

      3 Replies
      1. re: chowkari

        chowkari could you please get me the cake name you are speaking about "autumn themed? i am very intrigued

        1. re: drewb123


          There is a really great cheesecake recipe on Epicurious' website. I think it's called Cheesecake with Bourbon Sour Cream topping. I left out the bourbon when I made it a couple of years ago. It was really great. One of the things that lifts it above the run-of-the-mill cheesecakes is that the graham cracker crust has chopped pecans in it.

          1. re: drewb123

            Hi Drew....

            It's called Apple Walnut Cake with Carmel Cream Cheese Frosting.

            I have the cook if you need the recipe. Just let me know!

        2. I just did a quick search on Epicurious and found this recipe, which seems VERY popular:

          1. I'm not a big fan of chocolate pecan pie so you'd probably win for me, as long as you did something different. That said, chocolate is such a driver for a lot of people. I'd probably do something completely different--like a pumpkin bread batter baked in cheesecake with a good graham cracker crust, kind of like carrot cake cheesecake, only w/ pumpkin. Pumpkin and cream cheese are a good combination and perfect for the season.

            1. I always make a lemon meringue pie at Thanksgiving in addition to the other traditional pies for those who don't enjoy the usual pumpkin, apple and pecan. It's a nice palate cleansing pie for those not wanting something heavy like the pie your sister will be making.