No matter if you’ll be brining your turkey or deep-frying it, whipping sweet potatoes or smashing golden spuds, stuffing the bird or serving the dressing alongside it, one thing is certain about your Thanksgiving spread: There will indeed be dessert. This year, in addition to the classic apple pie and pumpkin cheesecake, serve a mix of creative, crowd-pleasing treats, like Sunny’s mini pumpkin pies, Giada’s turkey-decorated cookies and Alton’s deliciously tart lemon pie. Check out Food Network’s top-five Thanksgiving desserts below to find recipes for these family-friendly picks, plus more sweet inspiration for your Turkey Day feast.
5. Mini Pecan Pumpkin Pies — Use tiny muffin tins to shape pecan-studded dough into sweet cups, then fill them with a mixture of pumpkin and vanilla, and finish each with a pecan for an extra-special presentation.
4. Thanksgiving Turkeys — Giada starts with store-bought cream-filled sandwich cookies to make these kid-approved cookies, decorated with seasonal candies and colored frosting to transform them into turkey look-alikes.
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There’s still plenty of time to get those grills going. To make an authentic version of this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, toast the marshmallows for that campfire flavor. But if you’re short on time, the pops are just as good using untoasted marshmallows.
For more everyday grilling recipes, visit Food Network’s Let’s Grill board on Pinterest.
Get the recipe: Marshmallow S’mores Pops
I sometimes question my own sanity when I crank the oven to bake pies, cakes and cookies during the summer. When the temperatures reach record-breaking highs, though, as we happen to be experiencing here in New York City, even I come to my senses. That doesn’t mean I give up on cooking from scratch, or on sweets — life is too short to skip dessert.
Sliced fruit or berries macerated — chef-speak for marinated — along with sugar, are perfect paired with fresh whipped cream. Ice pops are an easy go-to summer dessert, too. I recently made watermelon ones reminiscent of Jolly Rancher candies. Cherry Slushies are another favorite of mine and require no chilling time. You simply puree cherry conserves with ice cubes in a blender. What are your favorite ways to stay cool and still indulge?
Try these no-bake recipes
This Memorial Day weekend, show your patriotism with a red, white and blue dessert. It’s the perfect way to end a backyard gathering with family and friends. No one will be able to resist a dessert that symbolizes the holiday.
Food Network has 10 recipes that will make your Memorial Day entertaining memorable and easy above all else. Many of these recipes only require a little bit of effort to create a grand-looking dessert, like the Red, White and Blueberry Trifle pictured above — it uses store-bought angel food cake. But the most important feature of all these recipes is that they display the nation’s colors. There’s even a Flag Cake if you want to be extra patriotic!
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Every year in the restaurant and out in the field, I use a truckload of vanilla beans. To me, they are as important as flour, sugar, butter and eggs. I consider the vanilla bean the fifth essential ingredient.
So imagine gallons of ice cream flecked with pounds of vanilla beans. Yummers! And how about custards by the kilo with an equal amount of this decadent vanilla sprinkled through every last bite?
So what do you do with pods that served their duty, sometimes even double duty? I could throw them away, but that wouldn’t be prudent. They are extremely expensive and too special to sit in a landfill somewhere in Florida, never really enjoying the fruits of their labor.
A flashbulb went off in my brain. No, not the same magical 60 watt summoning to life the Easy-Bake Oven of my childhood, but a bigger and brighter new fangled one. I realized if I washed the used pods and dried them slowly in the oven on very low heat, I could grind them in a spice or coffee grinder and have the most wonderful vanilla dust.
Get Hedy’s Vanilla Dust recipe
Savoring dessert carries a double meaning in my book. To fully enjoy most sweets, whether they are chocolate, fruit or candy-based, a little salt goes a long way to make the flavors pop. As the pastry chef at Miami’s top restaurant, I’m always trying to nudge guests a little bit outside their comfort zone. Sometimes the easiest way to do it is by baking some kosher salt into raw sugar-dusted sesame shortbread for a supportive boost you wouldn’t even know unless I told you. Or, better yet, go a little more obvious with a sprinkle of light and flaky Maldon sea salt on top of creamy, frozen truffle-like Milk Chocolate Cremoso. I love the raised eyebrows it provokes upon hitting the table — of course shortly followed by the, “Oh, I see, this completely makes sense,” look.
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No matter how much candy you may find in your Easter basket or waiting for you in dozens of hidden eggs, on Easter Sunday there always seems to be room for another piece of something sweet, right? This holiday, after you finish another successful dinner of roast lamb or glazed ham, celebrate creative and traditional treats by baking up a few of Food Network’s favorite Easter desserts, like Coconut-Covered Bunny Cake, Hot Cross Buns, Carrot Cake and more. Kids and grownups alike will enjoy these after-dinner indulgences, and you’ll be pleased because they’re a cinch to put together.
A go-to, last-minute dessert, Food Network Kitchens’ Easter Bunny Cake (pictured above) is a no-bake recipe that can be made in just one hour, thanks to pre-baked or store-bought cake. After building the bunny and covering it in creamy buttercream frosting and sweet coconut, embellish it with any extra Easter candy you have on hand, like licorice and jelly beans. Check out how the Kitchens assembles their realistic-looking rabbit.
A holiday staple in many homes, Easter Egg Bread is light, flaky and bursting with a refreshing light lemon flavor. Food.com’s recipe yields a golden-brown loaf that is dotted with colorful shelled eggs and drizzled with a sweet citrus glaze. Save leftover slices of bread for breakfast tomorrow and spread each with a thin layer of room-temperature butter before enjoying.
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Hope you’ve saved room for dessert. We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 dessert recipes of the year that will finish any meal on a sugary note. Bake up a batch of 2011’s best today and celebrate the sweetest dishes of the year.
10. Pumpkin Cheesecake — Bake a rich pumpkin-cream cheese filling atop a crumbly graham cracker crust to create this family favorite.
9. Pumpkin Pie — Not just a holiday dessert, pumpkin pie can be enjoyed year-round with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or generous dollop of whipped cream.
8. Zucchini Bread — Fragrant cinnamon and nutmeg add warmth and subtle spice to Paula’s 5-star dish, made with grated zucchini and chopped walnuts.
7. Cream Cheese Frosting — Equal parts butter and cream cheese offer a tried-and-true taste to this favorite frosting, often featured with red velvet goods.
6. Southern Red Velvet Cake — This triple-layer beauty is frosted with a smooth cream cheese topping and dusted with crushed pecans.
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If you’re using homemade pie crusts, make the dough now and freeze it in freezer bags. Defrost the dough and bake your pies the day before Thanksgiving.
Start making your Thanksgiving desserts with the help of these video tutorials.
Browse more of Food Network’s Thanksgiving recipes and tips.
This Fourth of July, whether you’re hosting a holiday cookout or will be a guest at a backyard bash, Food Network has recipes for simple, patriotic party desserts to celebrate this all-American holiday. These fruit-filled, flag-inspired treats can be easily packed for spill-free and frosting smudge-proof car rides, and will be enough to feed a whole crowd of firework-happy friends.
Food Network Magazine’s Fruit-Tart Flag (pictured above) is the ultimate star-spangled sweet. Store-bought mini tarts are filled with sweetened mascarpone cheese and topped with colorful fresh berries. Best of all, these two-bite stripes and stars are easily transported in shoe boxes and can be assembled at the party.
More patriotic dessert recipes »