I have a hard time naming recipes and I don’t think I am the only one. Whereas decades ago people gave cakes imaginative names like:
- Orange Kiss Me Cake
- Hummingbird Cake
- Shoofly Pie
Nowadays they are more likely to give it a string of names that describe the ingredients – a sad loss of creative verbiage in my opinion.
So, in the spirit of the Holidays which are, even as we speak, ringing the doorbell I wanted to give this cheesecake a name that represented everything it is.
From now on it shall be known as -
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Normally I have my menu done and even a few things finished by now but not this year! The wedding has overshadowed everything! I guess they made June the wedding month for a reason, huh?
I am still not sure what we will be doing but if you are looking for some recipe ideas here are a few side dishes from past years that I have loved. I will post desserts in another post. They deserve their own post, don’t ya think?
Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Make Ahead Bourbon Sweet Potatoes
Sauteed Lemon Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios
Pumpkin Gnocci with Smokey Chipotle Sauce
Green Bean Casserole without the Canned Stuff
Roasted Onion, Apple, and Thyme
Chipotle Cranberry Sauce
Artichoke, Portabella, and Potato Gratin
Smoky Smashed Potatoes
This week’s just desserts challenge (brought to you by the letter E for Evil Shenanigans) was petit fours. Petit fours can be described as any bite sized sweet but most often they are cake and filling. They are usually beautiful to look at. At least if you do them right.
To me, these are one of the most creative things you can make and I enjoy them a lot. Not only can you play with a variety of flavors but you have texture, shape, and color to manipulate, too. It’s like being Jackson Pollock with icing tubes.
I felt really at a disadvantage here because I did not see the show last week, was gone all weekend, and then rushed to put them together last night. I wanted to do something autumn themed, something delicate that you might have with a tea but also substantial enough to be served at a wrestler’s retreat. Yeah. I like versatility.
I wanted some flavor that would be perfect for a tea, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or anything autumn related. I think these cute autumn leaves are the perfect choice. The glaze that I used was a white chocolate (and bittersweet chocolate) ganache but you could use the traditional poured fondant or confectioner’s glaze if you like. If you are going to color the white chocolate ganache use paste food color and a toothpick after the chocolate has melted into the cream. It doesn’t take much.
I chose to do a pumpkin bourbon cake with a hint of cardamom and fill it with a cream cheese and pecan filling. The flavors work really well and you get that little after-kick of the bourbon which I really love with pumpkin. I have a set of maple leave cookie cutters in various sizes and I used them to cut the cooled cake. I put two of the cut outs together with the filling and then put them in the freezer for 30 minutes while I made ganache. After that I rolled the edges of the cakes in the ganache to fill in the sides and then poured ganache over the top. You will use a lot of ganache this way but I like the effect.
You can use any shape cutter you like to compliment your occasion. Keep in mind that the yield will change depending on the size of the cutter you use.
Pumpkin Pecan Petit Fours
Dainty bites of bourbon pumpkin cake, filled with cream cheese pecan filling and topped with white chocolate ganache - perfect autumn petit fours for a tea or a party.
Pumpkin Bourbon Cake
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a mixing bowl, beat eggs on high for 5 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugars until thick and lemon-colored.
- Add pumpkin and bourbon.
- In another bowl combine flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt.
- Fold into the pumpkin mixture.
- Grease a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with high sides .Line with waxed paper. Grease and flour the paper.
- Spread batter into pan.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.
- Cool thoroughly.
Cream Cheese Pecan Filling
- Beat the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until well blended.
- Add the confectioner's and salt; beat until creamy
- Blend in the pecans.
- Add a little cream if needed to get a good consistency.
White Chocolate Ganache
- White chocolate is a little more difficult to get smooth than dark chocolate. Make sure you have chopped it as finely as possible.
- Bring the cream just to a boil and remove from heat; pour the hot liquid over the white chocolate. Stir with a spoon and then whisk until smooth.
- Pour over the petit fours and chill.
- 30 minutes before you are ready to serve the petit fours remove from the refrigerator.
Â© 2012 Marye Audet Please do not copy images or recipe except for personal use
Here are some autumn themed cutters available on Amazon to get you started. I love the acorns!
I just wanted to peek in and wish you all the happiest of Thanksgivings. I hope that you are surrounded by friends and family and laughter and love.
Also wanted to let you know that if you were having problems with or questions about your last minute baking or cooking and needed a 911 you can contact me all day long on twitter @MaryeAudet. I will check often and the laptop screen will be up until this afternoon when our dinner is ready.
Christopher Audet, USAF
I just want to leave you with a thought. I hope it is not offensive to my readers in other countries..we should all be proud of the place God has planted us. I wanted to thank all of the men and women away from home today because they are serving the country. It is hard to look at the extra piece of pumpkin pie and not choke up a little. I know that my son is in my heart and thoughts today as he serves.
If you are serving or you have a family member that is…thank you. Freedom comes at great cost. It is never free nor should it ever be taken for granted.
No Better Land Than This
If I knew a better country in this glorious world today
Where a man’s work hours are shorter and he’s drawing bigger pay,
If the Briton or the Frenchman had an easier life than mine,
I’d pack my goods this minute and I’d sail across the brine.
But I notice when an alien wants a land of hope and cheer,
And a future for his children, he comes out and settles here.
Here’s the glorious land of Freedom! Here’s the milk and honey goal
For the peasant out of Russia, for the long-subjected Pole.
It is here the sons of Italy and men of Austria turn
For the comfort of their bodies and the wages they can earn.
And with all that men complain of, and with all that goes amiss,
There’s no happier, better nation on the world’s broad face than this.
So I’m thinking when I listen to the wails of discontent,
And some foreign disbeliever spreads his evil sentiment,
That the breed of hate and envy that is sowing sin and shame
In this glorious land of Freedom should go back from whence it came.
And I hold it is the duty, rich or poor, of every man
Who enjoys this country’s bounty to be all American.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I can’t believe it. Autumn is my favorite season and each year it seems to be the one that disappears the quickest.
Thanksgiving is usually a no brainer around here. I made a menu over ten years ago and we pretty much go by it completely, adding a new dish or two every year to try. It is just that everyone has things they just “have to have” and adding something new is impossible without taking away something old, comfortable, and traditional so…we don’t.
What I have found is that it is great to make Thanksgiving foods other times during the month. It allows us to try new things without sacrificing the almighty menu. Everyone is happy. Continue reading