Friday, November 23, 2012

desserts for thanksgiving...or not

Wednesday evening, I had one major task on my to-do list: bake.  Even though Wildcat Guy's mom always lays out quite the spread for the Wildcat family's Thanksgiving meal, it's difficult for me not to bring something - and with all the food Wildcat Mom prepares, dessert feels like the most appropriate contribution I can make to their holiday meal.


The first recipe I wanted to make was this one I found in a magazine, for carrot cake cookies. (I thought the cookies would be something great to leave on the kitchen counter for people to snack on.) Thankfully, I started baking earlier in the evening than I usually do - which meant (phew!) that the last part of step 3 (you know, the part that says, "refrigerate for 2 hours") didn't cause any significant problems.


 As I've mentioned before, I'm not a huge fan of carrot cake; so even though this recipe called for finely grated carrot, I was skeptical of what the texture would be.


When it came time to add the carrots and oats, the instruction to stir felt less than useful, considering how thick the batter was.  So I did the next best thing - dug in with my fingers. (This is also nice because licking my fingers when I was done mixing the batter made for the perfect way to see what it tasted like.)


And in honor of Thanksgiving abundance, the recipe that predicts a yield of three and a half dozen cookies? Produced more like five and a half dozen.  In other words, a lot.


Once the cookies had cooled (and I'd baked a pie and we'd had dinner and I'd done a couple of other thigns), it was time to drizzle the cookies with a creamy mix of confectioners' sugar and sour cream.


Words like "drizzle" are so much fun! The results look pretty good, too. 


They tasted good - very close to their namesake - and my concerns about the texture proved unfounded...I think because the slightly rough texture of the carrot pieces blended well with the texture of the oats.


After Wildcat Guy gave them his approval, I packed them up to take along for Thanksgiving - and I was so happy that everyone liked them.  They did, indeed, make a good finger food both before and after the main meal.  This would definitely be something I consider making again - every once in a while, when I don't mind the time and preparation the recipe requires.


The second dessert I made was a chocolate chess pie from the same magazine. I may have cheated a little bit, when I used a refrigerated pie crust, but I am not quite the "make everything from scratch" cook or baker that this magazine probably targets. (Not yet, anyways.)


Refrigerated pie crust or no, look at how pretty that is! (If only you could smell how divine it was, too.  I would bake this very simple recipe again just to have that smell floating through my apartment.)


And since I'm always nervous about serving new recipes to people without having tasted them first, I cut a small sliver for me and Wildcat Guy to taste-test. (Honest!)  Mmm.  It tasted like the richest, most flavorful chocolate pudding you could imagine - topped with the thinnest layer of crisp and rooted underneath with chewy bites of dark chocolate morsels that I thought would melt into the dough, but remained as wonderful little surprises instead.

The amazing and unexpected bonus? After I'd made both the cookies and the pie, Wildcat Guy's mom called with an update on the Thanksgiving menu - which included three different types of pies, two pumpkin rolls and a cheesecake. One quick moment later, he and I decided that it didn't make any sense to take the chocolate chess pie with us.

Okay, so maybe that was a selfish decision on our part - but sometimes you have to let your taste buds call the shots.  There were still plenty of good desserts for everyone to enjoy on Thanksgiving, and we ended up with a delicious dessert to enjoy for the rest of the long weekend. Sounds like a win-win scenario to me - and that is always something to be thankful for!

Where I am: home
What I'm reading: The Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay

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