Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Dessert and Other Activities

Do you have a family activity or tradition that you do every year AFTER the turkey, stuffing and all the sides have been devoured?

Do you serve dessert right after the dinner plates are cleared? Or do you take a leisurely stroll? Perhaps play a rousing game of touch football? Maybe just relax and watch some football on TV?

Football not your sport? Perhaps a favorite board game gets taken out of storage.. or maybe you just need a nap?

Whatever you and your family do right after the turkey is cleared one thing is clear, at some point in the day, the table will once again be groaning under the weight of food. This time, instead of a savory roast bird and all the trimmings, I'm willing to bet the table will be covered with pies, cakes, cookies and all sort of delicious sweet concoctions.

In my family, my mom is the official baker at holiday time. Pumpkin pie, blueberry buckle, pumpkin roll are just a few of her specialties.... but this year I'm going to add something sweet of my own concoction:

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes with Maple Brown Sugar Frosting* (makes 12 to 15 cupcakes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set the rack in the middle of the oven. Line cupcake tin with paper. (depending on the size, this recipe will make 12 to 15 cupcakes)

One 8 ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Using an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar, egg white and vanilla. Set aside.

1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.

1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

In another bowl, whisk together pumpkin, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Whisk into the flour mixture.

Place a heaping tablespoon of pumpkin mixture in bottom of each cupcake liner. Then place a heaping tablespoon of cream cheese mixture. Go back and top each cupcake tin with more pumpkin batter.

Bake in center of oven for 25 minutes. The cupcake tops will crack during baking. Cool completely on a rack.

Brown Sugar Maple Frosting:

1 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, very cold and cut into tablespoon size slices
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Using an electric mixer, beat brown sugar, maple syrup and egg whites and salt until combined. Fill a saucepan with 1 inch of water - bring to a simmer. Place the mixing bowl with the egg whites on top of saucepan. Whisk the mixture for about 3 to 5 minutes. This will melt the sugar and give you a syrupy base. Remove from heat and beat with the mixer at high speed until fluffy.

Lower the speed and continue to beat until frosting cools to room temperature. Add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until combined, then beat again on high for 5 minutes. Beat in 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Transfer to pastry bag and pipe decoratively on cupcakes.

A Cook's Notes: I store the cupcakes in the refrigerator. Also, any cupcakes over the dozen, I bake in aluminum liners and sprinkle with walnuts before baking... TBHITW eats these as breakfast muffins!

*Adapted from Every Day with Rachel Ray magazine.


  1. Woweee, these look decadent and that icing is off the charts! Very tempting, but I've been baking for 3 days, so maybe for Christmas! :) Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Thanks for all these great recipes! I'm definitely going to be making the Christmas bird this year. I'm gonna make a ham too, but I cheat and go to Sam's Club. LoL! :) I do read your blog everyday, but the stupid filter at works blocks some comments. Anywho, hope you're doing great! :)

  3. Marguerite - Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

    Meeko - You are welcome... how is going to Sam's club for a ham cheating? Anywho to you - Happy Thanksgiving!!

  4. Neat cupcake/cheesecake idea! I've got it in my head to make a graham cracker crust rectangular pumpkin pie, incorporating the flavors of maple and molasses.. the sweetened whipped cream sprinkled with pumpkin pie spices.. Have a great T-day!

  5. Buffalo - Rectangular pie? You are a rebel! Have a great Turkey Day.

  6. omg that lookS GREAT!!!!!

    i think I just gained five pounds. xox

  7. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am taking the day to rest and recuperate from my trip, but I am so thankful to be home!

  8. I would be damn lucky to get any frosting on the cupcakes...might just need a spoon.


Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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