Thanksgiving / Christmas Desserts

Lime-Coconut Cheesecake

This Thanksgiving recipe comes from
Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites
Serves 10–12


2 cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup sweetened flaked coconut
2 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature (see Tip 1)
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lime zest
½ cup fresh lime juice (about 4–5 medium limes)

1 cup heavy cream
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½–2 teaspoons coconut extract
⅓ cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
Lime slices, optional, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover the outside bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with a double layer of foil and set aside.

2. For the crust: Combine ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix well with a fork or your fingers. Press evenly into the bottom of the pan and about 1 inch up the sides. Place pan in oven and bake 5 minutes. Remove and set aside until ready to use.

3. For the cheesecake: Beat cream cheese and sugar in a separate bowl until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla, lime zest, and lime juice and beat to combine. Pour batter into prepared crust. Place the wrapped springform pan into a larger pan (such as a roasting pan) and place on center rack of oven. Carefully pour hot water into the larger pan until it reaches about halfway up the springform pan.

4. Bake cheesecake 75–85 minutes or until center is set and the edges just barely begin to brown. Leave cheesecake in oven, but turn heat off and leave oven door open a crack. Allow to sit 30 minutes and then remove and cool completely on a rack. When cooled to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight. When ready to serve, gently remove edges of the springform pan and place cheesecake on a serving dish.

5. For the topping: Beat cream until soft peaks form and then add powdered sugar and extracts. Beat until medium peaks form. Spread whipped cream evenly over cheesecake and sprinkle with toasted coconut. Garnish with sliced limes, if desired. Slice and serve.

Thanksgiving Recipes: Lime-Coconut Cheesecake


Pumpkin Crumble

This Thanksgiving recipe comes from
Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites
Serves 8–10

1 (18.25-ounce) white cake mix
¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
1 (16-ounce) can pumpkin (about 1¾ cups pumpkin puree)
2 eggs
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon salt
¼ cup roughly chopped pecans


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Ignore directions on cake mix box and place mix in a medium mixing bowl and add ½ cup butter. Use your hands to combine mixture until it looks like dry crumbs.

2. Place half of mixture (about 1¾ cups) in an 8 x 8-inch pan and press into a flat, even layer. Reserve remaining crumbs for later.

3. Combine pumpkin, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and salt in a separate bowl. Whisk until well combined. Pour pumpkin mixture over crumb layer in pan. Add pecans to reserved crumb mixture and then sprinkle on top. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter and drizzle over crumb topping.

4. Bake 35–45 minutes or until top is golden brown and a knife or skewer inserted in center comes out clean.

Thanksgiving Recipes: Pumpkin Crumble


Apple-Pear-Cranberry Crisp

This Thanksgiving recipe comes from
Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites
Serves 10–12


5 cups peeled, sliced Granny Smith apples
5 cups peeled, sliced pears
1½ cups dried cranberries
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

1 cup oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans, optional
½ cup butter, melted


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. For the filling: Combine apples, pears, and cranberries in a large bowl. Mix together sugars, flour, and cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice and sprinkle over fruit mixture. Toss mixture gently to coat fruit and then transfer to a 9 x 13-inch pan. Set aside.

3. For the topping: Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, chopped nuts (if using), and melted butter.

4. Crumble topping over fruit mixture and bake 45 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Thanksgiving Recipes: Apple-Pear-Cranberry Crisp


White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

This Thanksgiving recipe comes from
Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites
Serves 10–12


Raspberry Sauce
12 ounces frozen unsweetened raspberries (about 3 cups)
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons water, divided
1 tablespoon cornstarch

2½ cups chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs (about 25 cookies, such as Oreos)
6 tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup white chocolate chips
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons flour
¾ cup sour cream
Fresh raspberries, for garnish
White chocolate curls, for garnish

1. For the sauce: Place frozen berries, sugar, and 2 tablespoons water in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Stir occasionally, mashing berries with your spoon, until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 5 minutes. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon water with cornstarch in a small bowl and then add mixture to sauce. Stirring constantly, allow to simmer 1–2 minutes until slightly thickened. Pour sauce through a fine-mesh strainer to remove seeds. Set aside. This sauce can be made several days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.

2. For the crust: Combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter. Press the mixture onto the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

4. For the cheesecake: Place the white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

5. Beat cream cheese and sugar in a separate mixing bowl until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add extracts, flour, and sour cream and beat just until combined. With the mixer running, add the melted white chocolate in a steady stream and mix just until incorporated.

6. Pour half the cream cheese mixture over the cookie crust and spread evenly. Drizzle 2 tablespoons raspberry sauce over the top and use a knife to swirl the sauce into the filling. Pour remaining filling on top and drizzle another 2 tablespoons raspberry sauce over the top. Use a knife to swirl the sauce.

7. Place the springform pan on top of 2 layers of heavy-duty foil. Wrap the foil up the sides of the pan to prevent water from leaking into the pan. Place the foil-wrapped pan into a larger shallow pan, such as a large roasting pan, and place in the oven. Pour enough hot water into the larger pan to reach about two-thirds up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake 70–80 minutes or until the cheesecake is set on top and very lightly golden around the edges. Cheesecake should have a slight jiggle when gently shaken.

8. Remove both pans from the oven and let cheesecake sit in the water bath for 30 minutes. Remove the springform pan from the water and remove the foil. Place the pan on a cooling rack until cooled to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for 6–8 hours.

9. When ready to serve, gently remove the sides from the springform pan and cut cake into 10–12 slices. Serve with remaining raspberry sauce drizzled on top and garnish with fresh berries and white chocolate curls, if desired.

Thanksgiving Recipes: White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Bonus Kids Craft


Thanksgiving Oreo Turkeys

Thanksgiving Oreo Turkeys

This Thanksgiving recipe comes from
Double Stuff Oreo Cookies

Candy corn

Malt balls, such as Whoppers

Mini peanut butter cups, such as Reese’s

Chocolate frosting spooned into an icing bag fitted with a Wilton size 2 or 3 tip

Yellow frosting*

Red frosting,* optional

Black sprinkles for eyes, optional

* For the little details, we like to use the small tubes of colored frosting found in the baking aisle (not the gel icing, which looks very similar). The chocolate frosting is easy to make. Homemade works a little better than store-bought frosting because you can make it stiffer with added powdered sugar.


1. Take a cookie and squeeze some chocolate frosting between the wafers over the top third or so (this is where the candy corn “feathers” will go).

2. Insert about 5 candy corns, tip-side down, into the crème filling where you have the chocolate frosting. Repeat with the remaining cookies.

Thanksgiving Oreo Turkeys: Step 1


3. Put a dab of chocolate frosting on the end of the cookie opposite the “feathers.” Secure it to the base cookie, then place next to a wall while the frosting dries to keep the cookies in place.

Thanksgiving Oreo Turkeys: Step 2

4. Unwrap peanut butter cups. Using a sharp knife and a gentle sawing motion, cut a sliver off one side.

5. Flip cookies over, keeping them next to the wall if they need some extra support. Dab chocolate frosting onto a peanut butter cup and then place it on the cookie.

6. Using chocolate frosting, glue on a malt ball. Put frosting on the side of the malt ball that touches both the cookie and the peanut butter cup.

Thanksgiving Oreo Turkeys: Step 3

7. Using a dab of yellow frosting, glue on the white tip of a candy corn for a beak. Put two yellow dots on for eyes, and use a dab of chocolate frosting, a mini chocolate chip, or a little sprinkle for the black spots in the eyes. A sprinkle is really the perfect size.

Thanksgiving Oreo Turkeys: Step 4

8. Once beak is set in place, flip turkeys over and draw on little yellow feet. If you have red frosting (it usually comes in a set with the yellow), add a little wattle.


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