Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Cranberry, Oat and White Chocolate Biscuits

A couple of weeks ago I inadvertently deleted more than 2,000 (yes, 2,000) photos from my phone. They were lost to cyberspace as I had not taken the time to back them up or save them to another device. While probably not lost, simply unretrievable to me. It was one of those potentially meltdown moments except I was too stunned to weep. I stayed grounded by repeating to myself over and over 'they were only pictures, this is not the end of the world, get a grip on yourself others have lost more'. Photos for me not only capture a scene, they are also visual, tangible reminders of the emotions felt at a moment in time. The elation or tug at your heart feeling over seeing a familiar view from a new perspective; or seeing how light transforms from something seemingly benign into something spectacular; or seeing something wondrous for the first, second, even third time. Sharing photos taken can be a way of sharing a part of one's self with others or making a connection. They can be simple tokens of affection, particularly when they serve as reminders of shared experiences, interests, or passions. Pictures really are worth thousands of words.

As it turned out there were some silver linings in all of this. With the loss of thousands of photos came the return of available memory on my phone. Finally I could download the apps everyone else in the world seemed to have and rely on. And if I wanted, I could now create my own personal avatar. But could my bitmoji really reflect me? The me I think I look like versus the me everyone else sees. Maybe I should just stay with attaching nature, landscape and food photos to my texts and emails. At least for the moment. 

Baking and cooking is yet another one of the ways I share a part of myself with others. The holidays create a perfect opportunity for me to share some love and gratitude with others. Even more exhausting than shopping for ingredients, spending hours in the kitchen, or creating beautifully presented boxes of goodies is laboring over the 'what to make and what will arrive in the mail as delicious as the day it was baked' decisions. 

Although there are some of the same usual suspects in these goodie boxes, I like to add new, different confections. So this year, in addition to the sea salted chocolate covered caramels, fluffy vanilla marshmallows, orangettes (candied orange peels), and white chocolate dipped shortbread cookies, the soft gingerbread cookies with rum glaze and these Cranberry, Oat and White Chocolate Biscuits will be making first time appearances. 

There are so many things I love about these Cranberry, Oat and White Chocolate Biscuits I don't even know where to start. They are simultaneous luxurious and simple. The roasted almonds, dried cranberries, orange zest, and white chocolate are all readily available, simple ingredients, yet when combined in this biscuit (cookie) they seem exotic and extraordinary. The blend of flavors and textures creates hearty and satisfying bites of deliciousness. The crunch of the biscuit, the just the right amount of sweetness, and the creaminess of the white chocolate lathered on top are the components of a cookie destined to be a timeless, year-round classic.

The inspiration for these cookies comes from my newest, most favorite cookbook "Sweet" by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh. Increasing the amount of white chocolate and using orange flavored dried cranberries (versus unflavored dried cranberries) were the two most (in)significant changes I made to them. Finishing them with some sparkling sugar and topping them with a piece of dried fruit was nothing more than adding some whimsy and festiveness to them. Note: I followed the European version of the recipe which meant I weighed all of my ingredients and used caster instead of granulated sugar).

The texture of the dough is more shortbread like than cookie-dough like. Once the dough begins to come together it is scraped out onto a floured surface and kneaded into a ball before being rolled out. 

Using a 2 3/4" inch round, sharp cookie cutter, the dough was rolled out to almost a 1/4" thickness. In a 375 degree (F) preheated oven, the cookies bake for approximately 18 minutes or until lightly golden. Once cooled to room temperature they are ready to be dipped or lathered in melted white chocolate.

If there was ever the perfect cookie to eat with your morning cup of coffee (or tea), to enjoy as a mid-snack or to satisfy a before night-time sweet tooth, they would be these Cranberry, Oat and White Chocolate Biscuits. 

Whether you adorn them with sparkling sugar and a piece of dried fruit or not is definitely an option. Finished simply with melted white chocolate will give them a more classic than whimsical finish. 

I simple adore these Cranberry, Oat and White Chocolate Biscuits. I can hardly wait to include them in this year's cookie gift boxes. I only wish I could be there when my friends take their first bite of this 'new to them' confection. Maybe they will send me a photo.

Cranberry, Oat and White Chocolate Biscuits (an ever so slight adaption to the Cranberry, Oat and White Chocolate Biscuit recipe shared by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh in their cookbook 'Sweet')
Yield: 27-30 cookies using a 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 inch round cookie cutter

1 cup (150 g) whole unsalted raw, skin on almonds
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons (150g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup (75g) whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups (150g) old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (225g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) caster sugar
1 Tablespoon finely grated orange zest (from one large orange)
3/4 cup (125g) dried cranberries, chopped in half
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons (25ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
10-11 ounces (300g) white chocolate
Optional: Sparkling sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F) or 180 degrees (C).
2. Spread almonds out on a baking tray and roast for 10 minutes. Allow to cool and then coarsely chop in a food processor.
3. In a medium sized bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oats, salt, and chopped almonds. Set aside.
4. In a small bowl combine the chopped cranberries with the orange juice. Mix together. Set aside.
5. In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, orange zest and caster sugar on medium speed until combined and light (approximately 2 minutes).
6. Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture and mix on low speed until dough just comes together. 
7. Add cranberries and orange juice, mixing just until incorporated.
8. On a lightly floured surface, scrape dough out of the bowl and knead into a ball. If dough is too sticky add a little more flour.
9. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees (F) or 190 degrees (C). 
10. Cut dough ball in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough. Using a 2 3/4 inch (7cm) cookie cutter, cut dough into rounds and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Note: Dough should be rolled out to a slightly less than a 1/4 inch (.5cm) thickness.
11. Bake for 18 minutes (rotating tray midway through) or until lightly browned all over. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool completely.
12.  Roll out second half of dough, cut into rounds, and bake. Allow to cool to room temperature.
13. Place white chocolate in a bowl over simmering water ensuring the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. 
14. Dip the tops of the cookies into the melted white chocolate or alternately spread a tablespoon of the melted chocolate over the tops of the cookies using the back of a small spoon or offset spatula. Place coated cookies on a sheet of parchment or on a cooking rack. Allow to cool completely before serving or storing. 
15: Optional: Lightly sprinkle sparkling sugar over the tops of cookies before the chocolate has set. And/or top each cookie with a dried cranberry.

Notes: (1) To further increase the orange flavor in the cookies use orange flavored dried cranberries (Trader Joe's was my source). (2) Cookies will keep for up to a week if stored in an airtight container. (3) Could substitute granulated sugar for the caster sugar if caster sugar is not available to you. (4) Don't skip the roasting the almonds in the oven step. The flavor the roasting imparts to them adds to the depth of flavor of the biscuit. (5) Your baking time may need to be adjusted if you choose to make these biscuits smaller or larger. However, the 2 3/4 " size made them just about perfect.

Images from the Plimouth Plantation (November 2017)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Gingerbread Cookies with Rum Butter Glaze

This year we spent the Thanksgiving holiday out east. During the non-stop, whirlwind four days we managed to spend an afternoon at the Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic Seaport, CT); take the ferry to Nantucket for the day; spend Thanksgiving morning at Plimouth Plantation; take a side trip to the Plymouth Rock; have personal tours of two historic homesteads (Nathanael Greene c. 1774 and the Denison Homestead c. 1717); stop and meander around the John Bradford Homestead (c. 1714); have a great dinner with friends; take some other friends to breakfast; and, have Thanksgiving dessert with the extended family of close friends. Needless to say it was one of two of the most memorable Thanksgiving holidays ever. If this holiday wasn't already my most favorite, this trip would have made it so. I feel an indescribable, somewhat unexplainable aura when I am on the east coast. It's more intense in some places (like Nantucket, MA and Little Compton, RI) and slightly less in others (like Mystic, CT). Whether it is the breathtaking, captivating beauty, the sense of history seen in the landscapes and architecture, or some other yet to be discovered reason, the east coast ranks high on my list of 'happy places'. And after four incredible days of traveling around the east coast and staying in my 'home away from home', the 'happy' in Happy Thanksgiving took on a new, even deeper meaning this year.

One of the things I discovered when planning this trip was that most of the historic homes and homesteads close at the end of October for a variety of reasons. But as luck and persistence would have it, staff from two of the homes on my 'wanted to see' list made it possible for us to have private tours. There is nothing quite like walking through homes built in the early 1700s, especially ones filled with period artifacts and furnishings, and imagining what life and baking must have been like three centuries ago. 

Gingerbread dates back to 2400 BC, but by the Middle Ages Europeans had created their own versions of the gingerbread we often associate with the holidays today. Not surprisingly, gingerbread was one of the confections brought to the New World by English colonists. In the first American cookbook, American Cookery, author Amelia Simmons shared recipes for three types of gingerbread, including the more popular softer variety baked in loaves. Mary Ball Washington, mother of George Washington, is said to have served gingerbread to the Marquis de Lafayette during one of his visits to the Washington's Fredericksburg, Virginia home. Although some of the proportions may have changed, the basic ingredients for gingerbread cookies we are familiar with have not changed significantly since Colonial times. Now, like back then, these cookies are made with molasses, butter, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, flour, sugar, baking soda, and eggs.

The Gingerbread Cookie recipe shared by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh in their recent cookbook 'Sweet' not surprisingly contains some additional as well altered ingredients. Aimed at enhancing both the cookie's taste and texture, the Ottolenghi-Goh version of gingerbread contains Dutch-processed cocoa powder, finely ground black pepper, dark brown (versus granulated) sugar, and black strap molasses. Together these ingredients coalesce to create a depth of flavor I had not known existed in a gingerbread cookie. Yet the transformation of this gingerbread cookie did not stop there. The addition of a warm rum butter glaze was not only gastronomical genius, it was the proverbial 'icing on the cake' or rather cookie finishing touch. The result is a cookie layered in flavors and almost too beautiful to eat. But to not eat them would be utterly sinful. 

The dough for the cookies loosely comes together after the dry ingredients are blended into the molasses, butter, dark brown sugar, and egg mixture. With just a little bit of kneading on a lightly floured surface, the consistency of the dough changes to one amendable to rolling. On days when the temperature is warmer, the soft dough may need to be chilled. However, on a cool, crisp November day, the dough rolled out beautifully without the need for any chilling time. 

Because weight is an absolute and measure is not, I weighed out the flour, butter, dark brown sugar, and blackstrap molasses. Forgive me but I have a strong need to temporarily digress to try (again) to convince you to use a scale when baking. A cup of flour is not always a cup of flour, but 120 grams of flour is always 120 grams. Slight variations in ingredient quantities can often alter the textures of both the dough and the final baked confection. It took me awhile to make this paradigm shift, particularly because I grew up in a cup and ounces, not a grams world. But after seeing the difference weighing ingredients makes, I have been converted to the way baking is done in pretty much the rest of world. Okay, the 'everyone should own and bake using a scale' public service announcement is over. For now, anyway.

On a lightly floured surface, the dough is rolled out to a 6mm (or 1/4") thickness. I used a 3 1/4" cookie cutter when I made this batch of cookies as it best matched the diameter of the Nordicware cookie stamps I used. Alternately you could roll out the dough using an embossed or engraved rolling pin and then cut the cookies into your desired shapes.

If I learned one thing when making these cookies, it was have all of your ingredients for the rum butter glaze measured out before you put your first batch of gingerbread cookies in the oven as the glaze needs to be applied while the cookies are still warm. Ottolenghi and Goh suggest the use of freshly squeezed lemon juice, if you want a booze-free version of the cookies. However, after tasting the glaze's boozy version, I could never be a teetotaler. 

My rum butter glaze was on the thick side, so I ended up adding a little more warm water to get it to the 'consistency of a runny honey'. It will thicken as it sets, so be prepared to add a little more warm water, particularly when you are glazing the second batch of cookies. 

The cookies bake for approximately 9 to 10 minutes in a preheated 375 degree F (190 C) oven with the baking sheet turned midway through the baking process. To test for doneness, the cookies only need to firm to the touch as they will continue to firm up as they cool. Be careful not to over bake. My baking time was approximately 9 1/2 minutes. The aromatic fragrance of the spices in the gingerbread cookies will have you spellbound.

These cookies have a deep, rich spicy intensity to them. The slightly crisp exterior and dense cake-like interior is pure gingerbread texture heaven. After tasting them, the gingerbread cookie bar has been raised so high I am pretty certain no other gingerbread cookie recipe could even come close. If you love the taste of gingerbread, you will be swooning over the decadence and lusciousness of these cookies. 

If there was at least one new cookie you wanted to added to your Christmas cookie platters or gift boxes this year, let it be these Gingerbread Cookies with Rum Butter Glaze. But don't make them too far in advance, unless you feel the urge to have them now, as they are best eaten within 5 days (if stored in a sealed container). Which means I am going to have to time the mailing of my holiday cookie packages out a little more carefully this year as I could not imagine a box of Christmas cookies without some Gingerbread Cookies with Rum Butter Glaze in them. I can't even imagine Christmas without them. 

And oh, don't forget to put a scale on your list to St. Nicholas this year.

Gingerbread Cookies with Rum Butter Glaze (from the cookbook "Sweet" written by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh)
Makes 16 to 17 - 3 1/4" cookies

6 Tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (90 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
100 g blackstrap molasses (or black treacle)
1 large egg yolk
2 cups less 1 Tablespoon (235 g) all purpose flour, plus more for dusting and stamping
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 Tablespoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

3/4 cup (80 h) confectionary sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted 
1 Tablespoon dark rum (or fresh squeezed lemon juice)
1 teaspoon warm water, plus more as needed to achieve a honey like consistency to the glaze

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Sift together the flour, spices, cocoa powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, molasses, and dark brown sugar together until smooth. Approximately 2-3 minutes.
4. Add in egg yolk and beat until fully combined.
5. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the butter/molasses/sugar/egg mixture. Once it comes together (it will not be a smooth batter at this point), scrape dough onto a floured work surface and knead gently until it comes together. 
6. Roll out the dough so it has about a 1/4" (6mm) thickness. Note: If the dough is too soft for rolling, chill for approximately 20-30 minutes.
7. Cut cookies into desired shapes. If you using a cookie stamp, dip the stamp in a small bowl of flour, shake off any excess and then press firmly into the dough to create a deep imprint. How far you will need to press to get an imprint will depend on design on your stamp. Note: The cookies will rise as they bake and so any soft imprints will disappear. Transfer the cookies to the parchment paper lined baking sheets. Space about 3/4" to 1" apart. 
8. Bake 9-10 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through, until firm to the touch. Note: They will continue to firm up as the cool so be careful not to over bake them.
9. Remove from oven. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then apply the glaze to the still warm cookies. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and set completely.
10. Serve immediately or store in a sealed container. Cookies are best eaten within 5 days.
1. Sift the confectionary sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
2. Add the melted butter, rum, and water. Whisk until smooth. Add more warm water if necessary. The consistency of the glaze should be that of runny honey.

Notes: (1) Depending on the cookie stamp used, you could top the center of each cookie with some finely chopped crystallized ginger. (2) The original recipe called for stamping the cookies before cutting them out with a cookie cutter. I cut them out first, then stamped them. Use whichever method you are have had the most experience with. (3) I used the Nordicware All-Season cookie stamps. Other cookie stamp options can be found online. 

John Bradford House, Kingston, MA, - c 1714  (November, 2017)

Nathanael Greene Homestead, Coventry, RI - c. 1774 (November 2017)

Denison Homestead, Mystic, CT -  c 1717 (November 2017)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Cranberry Jalapeño Salsa with Whipped Cream Cheese

In spite of all of the attention the turkey, the sides, and the desserts get on Thanksgiving Day, the unsung heroes of the day might just be the appetizers. Especially if the time between your expected arrival and when dinner is actually served can be as much as two or three hours. If you have ever starved yourself all morning in anticipation of not showing any restraint with how much food you put on your plate, you know waiting an hour in a house filled with intoxicating Thanksgiving aromas is a form of torture. And in spite of what myths or old wives tales you have been told, appetizers don't alway spoil your appetite. They actually keep you from acting as if you have never seen food before. In other words, appetizers enable you to demonstrate enviable social graces and the table manners every Emily Post-esq etiquette teacher in the world would be proud of.

In decades of either making or being invited to Thanksgiving dinners, I somehow managed to never come across Cranberry Jalapeño Salsa with Whipped Cream Cheese. I learned there was such a thing last week while I was getting my hair cut. Had I not asked my hair stylist what she was bringing to her family Thanksgiving dinner, who knows how long, or if ever for that matter, it be before I ever tasted the New England meets the Southwest Cranberry Jalapeño Salsa. The idea of this salsa was so intriguing, I began looking for recipes the moment I arrived home. I discovered I clearly have been living a salsa sheltered life, as there were literally hundreds of Cranberry Jalapeño Salsa recipes out there. After reviewing about a dozen of them (as exhaustive as a search as was needed), I realized I had enough information to decide how much heat and sweet I wanted my Cranberry Jalapeño Salsa to have. I also knew it wouldn't be one served slathered over a cream cheese log as I am a big believer in 'everyone should decide just how much cream cheese and just how much salsa they want' spread on their crackers. But there was another compelling reason. How many time have you arrived late to a gathering only to find that all of the good stuff put on top of the cream cheese had been scraped away? Even if it has only happened to you once, you remember wondering what you had missed out on.

For years I, along with Ina Garten, had not been a big fan of cilantro. Whether my palate is changing or not, I have finally seen the cilantro light. However, if you are already a big fan of this herb, you are going to love this Cranberry Jalapeño Salsa. But if you have been a cilantro hold-out like me, this salsa might be enough to convert you. 

With so many cranberry dishes vying for attention on Thanksgiving Day, why would any one consider adding one more? Because everyone needs at least one savory cranberry option to offset all of the sweet versions being served. But don't let me pigeon-hole this salsa into a 'make only on Thanksgiving Day' appetizer. No. It's one that should be made as often as possible while fresh cranberries are in season.

While perusing Cranberry Jalapeño Salsa recipes, every single one of them was made entirely in the food processor. Being concerned the cranberries would be over processed and the resulting salsa would be more mush than textured, I went with the 'pulse the cranberries in the food processor until coarsely chopped and dice/finely dice everything else route'. 

After the mixture macerated in the refrigerator overnight, I knew the extra chopping time was worth it. Sometimes a little more work makes all the difference in the world. 

Depending on how much heat you like, you will want to use either one or two jalapeños as well as decide whether or not to keep or scrape out the seeds. I used one large jalapeño and didn't throw away the seeds. As someone who isn't the biggest of fan of too spicy, the salsa turned out to have the right kind of spicy. In other words, consider keeping the seeds.

Many of the Cranberry Jalapeño Salsa recipes I looked at called for adding lemon juice. Some called for lime juice and then others gave the either/or option. My so-called logic for choosing lime juice over lemon juice was due in to large part to associating salsa with margaritas. Since the classic margarita is made with lime juice, then it seemed only natural this salsa would be made with lime juice rather than lemon juice. 

To optimize the salsa's flavor, it needs to be refrigerated for at least four hours or overnight. I patiently waited almost 24 hours before giving it the 'taste' test. 

As it turned out, the wait was definitely worth it. 

The combination of the cool, creamy cream cheese with the flavors of the sweet/spicy salsa is a match made in heaven appetizer. I will even go so far as to say it's a little on the addictive side. Seriously. Or could it be I am so late to the Cranberry Jalapeño Salsa party I wanted to make up for lost time? Well, yes I was most definitely late, but this happens to be one of those 'hard to eat in moderation' salsas.

When serving Cranberry Jalapeño Salsa just make certain your whipped cream cheese is creamy and spreadable. If you whip up your own cream cheese (from blocks of cream cheese allowed to soften slightly), wait until you are ready to serve to get our your mixer. Or buy the always creamy in the tub cream cheese. 

For turning me on to this Cranberry Jalapeño Salsa with Whipped Cream Cheese I am going to think long and hard about a worthy Christmas present for my hair stylist. Although how to you thank someone for telling you about a 'wow on the platter and even bigger wow on your palate' appetizer you never knew even existed? Maybe something will come to me while I nosh my way through numerous batches of salsa over the next several weeks.

Cranberry Jalapeño Salsa with Whipped Cream Cheese (inspired from multiple sources)

12 ounces fresh cranberries
1-2 Jalapeños (with seeds), finely diced (I used one large Jalapeño)
4 green onions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
2 1/2 ounce bunch of fresh cilantro, stems removed, finely chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from 1 large or 2 small limes)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
16 ounces of cream cheese, whipped (or a 16 ounce tub of the creamy vs block cream cheese)
Assorted crackers and/or nacho chips

1. Place cranberries in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer cranberries to a medium sized bowl.
2. Mix in the jalapeños, onions, sugar, salt, and lime juice. Stir until blended.
3. Add in cilantro. Stir until combined.
4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer mixture to tightly sealed jars and store in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. 
5. When ready to serve, place cranberry jalapeño salsa in a small bowl. Place whipped cream cheese in a separate bowl. 
6. Arrange bowls on a serving tray and surround with crackers. Serve immediately.

Notes: (1) To whip cream cheese, allow blocks of cream cheese to soften slightly. Whip with a hand mixer. Alternately buy already whipped cream cheese. (2) Some prefer to serve the Cranberry Jalapeño Salsa over a log of the cream cheese, however, depending on how long the appetizer sits out, the cream cheese will become saturated with the salsa liquid. (3) Many recipes for the Cranberry Jalapeño Salsa called for all of the ingredients to processed in the food processor. I think chopping the Jalapeños, green onions, and cilantro separately ensures the cranberries to do get finely chopped. (4) If you don't want the added heat from the seeds of the Jalapeños, scrape them out before finely dicing

Silos and farms in southern Wisconsin (November 2017)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thanksgiving Round-Up: The Desserts

Thanksgiving, my most favorite holiday, is just a week away. Usually at this time of the year I am asking my sister what she would like to bring for dinner. Even though I am the older sister, I don't get to host both the Thanksgiving and Christmas family celebrations. Maybe if she didn't like to cook as much as I do, I could have finagled having both of them. But she does. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving we share these holidays. For the past who knows how many years, I have been assigned a supporting role (not always an easy thing to do when you are a borderline Type A/Type A+ personality). But this year both of us will be traveling, so there won't be that usual back and forth conversation about what I should bring. Nor will I be making the gravy for the turkey (the one thing I actually do better than my sister). As much as I am going to miss being together as a family this year, I am very much looking forward to this year's Thanksgiving. Other than saying we will be spending it with the Pilgrims, I will wait until after the holiday to share our adventures. 

Last year I posted two Thanksgiving Round-Up links: Desserts and Sides. The desserts shared were some of my favorite holiday desserts, ones invariably showing up at our holiday dinner over the years. They included: Brûléed Pumpkin Pie with Caramel Swirl , a Lemon Meringue TartBrown Butter Pumpkin Spice Cake,  Pumpkin SquaresChocolate Mousse Cake with Raspberry Sauce,  Applesauce Spice Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting,  Mocha Chocolate Chip Icebox Cake, and the French Laundry's Cranberry and Apple Kuchen with Hot Cream Sauce. But rather than just repost last year's dessert lisk, I thought I would share some of the dessert recipes I made during the past year. Desserts I would say definitely fall into the Thanksgiving Dessert worthy category. So now instead of eight desserts to choose from, you now have seventeen! Not including the ones traditionally made for your Thanksgiving dinners or ones you have discovered for yourself this past year. Only one of desserts listed this year requires you to serve warm from the oven. All of the others can be made at least a day in advance. Wherever and whoever you spend your Thanksgiving holiday with this year, may it be one where giving and gratefulness are even more important than the desserts.

Cranberry Streusel Bundt Cake