Friday, November 18, 2011

Family Thanksgiving Dinner

Welcome to my blog! I'm new at this so go easy on me.  I have been using my facebook more or less as a food blog for the past few months and so I finally broke down and created a blog.  I LOVE to cook and whenever planning a dinner, I always find about 5 desserts to every 1 dinner that I want to make.  I have a serious sweet tooth issue! 
Today I have been baking up a storm, party because I decided to get my cartilage pierced tonight and I am FREAKING out, and partly because it's Friday and I don't want to do homework.  Also, I have a thanksgiving dinner to go to tonight and as the resident sweet tooth baking queen, I am bringing dessert.
As a Secondary Education Major, I am apart of a learning team.  Every Monday and Wednesday we go to a high school to complete our Practicum experience.  We observe for half a day and help out in different classes.  We love it!  Anyways, we also have to complete numerous assignments as a group.  There are seven of us.  Do you know how hard it is to write a paper with six other people? Well, I do. We decided that we are not just a team, we are a family and that if we were going to go through this together we might as well have some fun along the way. Friday Night Family Bonding (FNFB) was created. Friday night family bonding has gone well so far, but tonight will be a night to remember.  Thanksgiving is on its way and as a family we of course have to have a Family Thanksgiving Night.  Everyone is bringing a different dish and I, of course, am bringing dessert. 
Pumpkin Pie is the traditional Thanksgiving dessert, of course.  However, I NEVER make something normal.  Pumpkin Pie just seemed too boring so I found a recipe for whole wheat (yay healthy) crust with ginger snap-pecan embellishments.

Whole Wheat Gingersnap-Pecan Pumpkin Pie

I am way too excited about this pie.

For the crust:
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter (cut up into tiny piece, about 6 cubes per tablespoon)
  • 4 tablespoons ice cold water (I probably used about 5)
  • 1 cups of gingersnaps
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 cup melted unsalted butter
  1. In a large bowl (with an electric hand mixer) or in your stand mixer, combine the flour, salt and butter.
  2. Next add in 1 tablespoon of the ice cold water into the mixer at a time, until the dough will form a ball when pressed in.
  3. Form the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes until it’s cold.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°.
  5. Roll out the pie crust onto a floured surface.
  6. Carefully transfer it to your pie plate, crimp, and tuck under the excess dough.
  7. Now, in a food processor or blender combine the pecans and gingersnaps and chop them until they are finely chopped.
  8. Add in the powdered sugar, combine.
  9. Drizzle the butter in and combine.
  10. Push gingersnap mixture in the bottom and halfway up the sides of the crust.
  11. Bake for 15 minutes.
  12. Let cool on a cooling rack.
Then, just make the pie filling any way you want! I went with a healthy(er) recipe, but you can make anything!

On the top is a pecan streusel topping:

1/4 cup roughly chopped pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp unsalted butter (melted)

1. Mix together all dry ingredients
2. Melt butter and mix into dry ingredients
3. After the pie has been in the oven for around 30 minutes, take the pie out, sprinkle topping around the edges, then place pie back in the oven for another 40 minutes.
4. Cool for an hour

Also, true to form, I couldn't decide on just one dessert and so I made carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting as well.  My friend Mario gave me a dessert mix that he just wasn't going to make.  They came out beautifully!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes