Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Recipes

"What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets.  I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?" ~ Erma Bombeck

Thanksgiving Menu

Cranberry Salsa with Wheat Crackers
Mixed Green Salad with Mandarin Oranges, Dried Cherries, Crumbled Goat Cheese, Candied Walnuts and Raspberry Vinaigrette
Orange-Sage Turkey with Stuffing
Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet Potato Cobbler
Cranberry-Apple Bake
Deviled Eggs
Green Beans
Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce
Fudge Pie
Orange Cupcakes
Orange-Chocolate Tea Cake Sandwiches
Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

This year we enjoyed traditional favorites like orange-sage turkey, sweet potato casserole, cranberry apple bake and fudge pie. Find those recipes here. I tried a new appetizer recipe that I discovered on Pinterest. Served over cream cheese with Wheat Thins on the side, cranberry salsa was a delicious balance of flavors: tart, sweet, spicy, citrusy and creamy. Find that recipe here.

New additions to this year's menu included orange cupcakes and orange-chocolate tea cake sandwiches my sister made; and sweet potato cobbler and chocolate chip cookie pie my father's new wife brought.

Sweet Potato Cobbler

2 large cans crescent rolls
Frozen sweet potato patties, thawed and cut in half
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon (or more) cinnamon

Separate crescent rolls, place half potato inside and roll up. Place in a buttered casserole dish. Heat until sugar dissolves: sugar, water, butter, vanilla and cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Orange Cupcakes
1 box premium white cake mix
1 (3 ounce) box orange Jello-O
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup milk
1 stick butter, softened
3 eggs, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients, and  fill cupcake liners 3/4 cup full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes, and frost with icing of choice.

Orange-Chocolate Tea Cake Sandwiches
1 pound (4 sticks) butter
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon orange flower water or orange liqueur
20 ounces (about 4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 ounces dark bittersweet chocolate
Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the orange zest and orange water, and beat well. Sift together the flour, baking powder and a small pinch of salt. Gradually work the flour into the butter and sugar mixture. Cover the dough and chill.

Jennifer found the dough sticky enough that she froze it overnight. She suggests dividing the dough into small portions and covering with parchment paper. Flatten the dough with your hands to the thickness you would roll a pie crust, about 1/8 inch.

After dough is frozen, cut into 1 1/2-inch rounds or symmetrical shapes such as stars or hearts. Transfer them to a cookie sheet, over parchment paper, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart. Bake the cookies at 375 degrees until they are lightly browned around the edges, about 8 to 9 minutes. Cool them on a wire rack and set aside.

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler, spread over cookies, and sandwich them together.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
1 unbaked pie shell
2 large eggs
1/2 cup flour
Small pinch salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate morsels (plus additional chips for drizzle)
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Beat the eggs on high until foamy. Beat in the flour and then both sugars. Beat in the butter. (The batter will have some specks of butter.) Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Spoon into the pie crust and bake for 55-60 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

For the topping, melt 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Add about a 1/2 teaspoon oil. Stir and pour into a zipper bag. Cut of a tiny corner and drizzle over the pie.

If desired, serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

(Note: You may use a frozen pie crust, thawed according to package directions, or make a homemade no-roll pie crust with 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons cold milk.)

We enjoyed a great meal together this year, but the real feast was the time together. Coming up tomorrow, an easy recipe that makes use of some of the Thanksgiving Day leftovers.

"Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day." ~ Robert Caspar Lintner

Many of the photos in this post were taken by Nathan Prichard; used with permission.

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