Sweet Recipes

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Cranberry Bars with Chestnut Spread and Crushed Pecans Recipe

As Thanksgiving approaches, I've been giving more thought to new dessert recipes to go with the traditional pecan and pumpkin pies that we make each year. I recently had an absolutely delicious lemon bar, and it occurred to me that a modified cranberry sauce would be a good substitute for the lemon curd.

I used shortbread as the cookie layer. Shortbread is very easy to make, and the buttery and crumbly texture is a nice foil to the sweet and tart flavor of the cranberries. Once the shortbread had baked, I spread a thin layer of chestnut spread over it. The chestnut spread balances the tartness of the jellied cranberries.

To make the cranberry jelly, I added guava in place of the usual orange juice to give the jelly sweetness as well as a more complex flavor. (It also reminds me of our recent anniversary trip to Cancun). Guava is not really in keeping with the season, so if you prefer, apple juice would be fine, but I think the guava has more depth. The goal is to limit the sourness of the jelly because after all, we're making a dessert.

After applying a generous layer of the cranberry spread to the bars, I finished them with a sprinkling of chopped pecans.


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Candied Yams with Marshmallows Recipe

Candied Yams with Marshmallows

11.13.09 by Jackie

I experienced my first real Thanksgiving after Lulu and I got married. I say real because I had my very first Thanksgiving meal in July 1998. I know it sounds weird... As a child, I used to go to the US for the summer. Every summer, I'd be hosted by an American family through an agency. It was always a very neat experience. It offered me the opportunity to experience the culture and customs of America while sharing my own culture and customs with the host family.

When I met Reneé and Steve in the summer of 1998, they asked me to cook a typical French meal for them. I made a roasted leg of lamb and crunchy oven roasted potatoes. The next day, Reneé surprised me with a full Thanksgiving feast with all the fixings. I have very fond memories of my time at Reneé and Steve's in Williamsburg, Virginia. They even attended our wedding.

One of the dishes that really stood out was the candied yams. I had not eaten yams (or sweet potatoes, to be more accurate) in France, and this was my first experience with them. The yams were sweet and creamy, and the marshmallow topping was a nice touch.

I now make candied yams with my little sisters-in-law each Thanksgiving. It's a fun recipe for them to make because it's easy and also because they love to eat it. I get added pleasure out of passing on traditions that were taught to me in the past by my former host family. Thanks Reneé and Steve!


The marshmallows before melting in the oven.


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Pumpkin Ricotta Cookies with Carrot Icing Recipe

The pandan ricotta cookies I made a couple of weeks ago for Halloween were such a hit that I decided to make some more.

I didn't feel like using pandan this time, so I flavored the cookies with pumpkin and smothered them in carrot icing. The cookies are moist and chewy and have an earthy sweetness that is perfect for the Thanksgiving season.


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5 Ghoulishly Delicious Halloween Cookies Recipe
Halloween isn't a big thing in France, so I didn't get to enjoy the festivities until I got married and came to America. Now that I have four young sisters-in-law who just love getting dressed up and going trick-or-treating, I have really gotten into it. This year I made several batches of cookies that incorporate the colors and flavors of the holiday. Read on to see my five favorite Halloween cookies.
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Blondie with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

We're very fond of brownies but we love blondies even more. Sunny's school makes the best blondies. She's enrolled in the after-school cooking class, and the chef taught the kids how to make blondies. Naturally Sunny brought some home. They were so good that we decided to make a batch and covered them with pumpkin cream cheese frosting for Halloween.

If great blondies aren't reason enough to make this recipe, then getting to lick the leftover frosting should convince you. Of course, I didn't get to because the girls beat me to it...

Blondie with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting


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