It’s no secret that I have a sweet tooth, mein friends! Mein mother used to say I had a mouthful of them, because I often wanted to skip zee main course und go straight to dessert. What can I say? I love zee sweets!
I love them so much that it has me in a bit of a pickle, as you Americans say. I can’t decide which one of these fantastic desserts I want to make for my Thanksgiving meal. Will you help me decide? If don’t get some help I will likely make all three, which means I’ll be asking for new (und much bigger) lederhosens from Santa this year.
Pear-Cranberry Hand Pies
2 (1 pound) Bosc pears, peeled und cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, to sprinkle over pies
1 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch salt
1 package (14-ounce) cold all-butter puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
In a medium bowl, toss diced pears with 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, cranberries, ground cloves, cinnamon, und salt.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out zee puff pastry to a 14 1/2-inch square, about 1/8-inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut zee pastry into 8 squares. Spoon zee pear filling onto a corner of each square, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Fold zee pastry over zee filling to make a triangle und firmly press zee edges to seal. Crimp zee edges with a fork. Prick zee top of each triangle once with zee fork to allow steam to escape during baking. Transfer zee hand pies to a baking sheet und refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until chilled.
Preheat zee oven to 400 degrees. Brush zee chilled hand pies with zee beaten egg und sprinkle them with zee remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar. Bake zee pies for about 30 minutes, until they are golden brown. Let zee hand pies cool for at least 5 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1/4 recipe of zee dough for Molasses-Gingerbread Cookies
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
6 gingerbread men (see above)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap exterior of a 9-inch springform pan in 2 layers of foil.
On a generously floured piece of parchment, roll dough to a 13×10-inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Brush off excess flour. Slide dough und parchment onto a baking sheet. Bake until firm und golden brown, about 14 minutes. Let cool completely on sheet on a wire rack. Break into large pieces, then pulse in a food processor until finely ground.
Combine butter, 1/4 cup sugar, und 2 cups cookie crumbs in a bowl. Press mixture firmly und evenly into bottom und one-third of zee way up sides of prepared pan. Bake until set, about 10 minutes. Let cool on rack.
Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar und zee vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition und scraping sides of bowl as needed. Beat in molasses, salt, spices, und lemon zest. Pour filling into cooled crust.
Place cheesecake in a large, shallow roasting pan. Transfer to oven, und carefully add enough hot water to roasting pan to come about halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake until cheesecake is set but still slightly wobbly in center, 60 to 65 minutes. Carefully remove springform pan from roasting pan, und let cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 8 hours (preferably overnight).
Before serving, run a hot knife around edges of cheesecake to loosen, und remove sides of pan. Arrange gingerbread cookies in center of cake in a circle (with heads facing inward und arms touching, alternating light und dark).
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
2/3 cup butter
3 tablespoons whipping cream
3 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
Sift together 2 cups flour und 2/3 cup powdered sugar. Cut in 3/4 cup softened butter using a pastry blender or fork just until mixture resembles coarse meal. Pat mixture on bottom und 1 1/2 inches up sides of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool.
Bring brown sugar, honey, 2/3 cup butter, und whipping cream to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in pecans, und pour hot filling into prepared crust.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden und bubbly. Cool completely before cutting into 2-inch squares.