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Just Desserts

November 25, 2019

Not sure what to bring to the table this Thanksgiving? Don't worry—I've got you covered.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Not only are you getting together with people you love, but you're also eating lots of delicious food. Normally, I make my family come to me and I do all the cooking. I love the thrill of properly timing everything, the whole production that is prepping and cooking a turkey, and the end result of nourishing the people I love most with food I cooked. In college, we would have Friendsgiving with all of our classmates before heading home for the holiday. For those events we would get a turkey so big we would have to brine it in a (bought new) trash can and take out a shelf or two in our fridge to fit it in there. But when you aren't hosting, it makes contributing a little tough. That's why if I'm traveling for Thanksgiving, I'm always bringing dessert. Here are a few go-to recipes, as well as a few that look incredible and I can't wait to try.

Triple Chocolate Cookies from Bravetart

This whole book is fantastic and I intend to bake my way through it one day, but this recipe is always a hit. Crunchy cookie outside, soft on the inside, and jam-packed with chocolate. Like, this cookie is roughly 75% chocolate. The recipe tells you to get bars and chop them up, but I always use chips and they still turn out amazing. That combo of bitter dark chocolate with sweet white and milk chocolate and slightly salty cookie batter is perfect and I dare anyone to eat just one.

Rakesh's Florid Blueberry Pie from Eat Joy

Eat Joy is one part essay collection, one part recipe book, and 100% delicious read. There are a few recipes in here I'm excited to try and some that are all too familiar to me (plain brownie mix straight from the bowl, anyone?), but this Blueberry Pie caught my eye first. Rakesh Satyal writes about how he would comfort bake pies as a kid, and even calls for a few tears to be shed in the pie itself, a la Waitress. For many, baking can be a great escape, and for those perhaps not excited for the holiday season, might I recommend this recipe. Because let's be honest: there's no better outlet than rolling out pie dough. Berry pies in particular are close to my heart, and this recipe feels like a winner.

Tiramisu Tradizionale from Mixtape Potluck

This is another excellent concept for a book. Instead of essays, it's a collection of recipes that celebrities, artists and chefs have sent to Questlove. For example, there's Chocolate Chili from Maya Rudolph and and Spinach Pie from Natalie Portman. I haven't made this recipe yet either, but out of all the tiramisu I've seen, this looks like the easiest. The whole thing is constructed in one giant pan, and once you let it set, you scoop it out, making it a great option to take to a gathering. Plus, the little hit of espresso and sugar should keep you from falling asleep in the recliner and snoring through the parade.

Peanut Butter Cup-Filled Brownie Cookie Sandwiches from The Cookies and Cups Cookbook

Listen, I tried to keep it to just one cookie recipe on this list, but these cookies are OUT OF BOUNDS. They're also a little more labor-intensive than the previous one, so I'm here to give you options if you're looking to really wow a particularly fickle relative. Bascially, you make brownie cookies (yes, they are exactly how you picture them, and yes, they are as delicious as you imagine) and smoosh a Reese's cup between two of the still-warm cookies, which is harder than it sounds. I made them for a work gathering once and needless to say they were all gone by the end of the day.

Buckeyes from Milk Bar Life

Christina Tosi is mad-scientist level brilliant in my opinion. This particular book is filled with a great selection of ridiculously delicious treats, Midwest comfort staples, and recipes that should never, ever work but always do. My inner trash panda is partial to the Weak Night section, but the whole book is filled with easy and tasty food. My pick to make and take to Thanksgiving? Buckeyes. Practically the state dessert of Ohio, the Buckeye is a decadent, peanut-buttery center dipped in melted chocolate. I promise you'll head home with an empty container and a very happy family.


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Emily is the Branch Services Specialist at the Main Library. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, hiking, and playing with her dog, Fern.

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