Three Cheese Macaroni

Comfort Food: Lasagna

BBQ Grilled Cheese

Pork Sandwiches

Please Bring: Dessert

Friday, December 30, 2011

When I'm asked (ok, maybe I volunteered) to bring dessert to Thanksgiving dinner for 30, I don't take it very lightly. In fact, I planned this out about a month ahead of time (at least). First I thought I'd make an apple pie and a pecan pie and a pumpkin pie and a... no. No one wants a huge slab of pie, they want to try them all! So I decided to create smaller versions of my favorite pies. This may have forced me to go out and buy some new gadgets and serving-ware, but I'm not complaining. It also may have contributed to winning a recipe contest at some point. Not a big deal. (eek!)

My husband is in love with pecan pie (you thought I was going to say 'me' didn't you). I honestly don't like it. Especially when pecans are running around $10/pound. That's not why I don't like it, but it's a good excuse. I compromised by finding a pecan tassie recipe that included mascarpone (pronounced mah-scar-pone). I use mascarpone in just about everything these days, so I was thrilled. You can view the recipe here. I actually followed the recipe pretty precise. My big purchase here was the silicone mini muffin pan. It's awesome - I strongly recommend getting one.

Earlier this fall, my mom called me about these apple wrapples she made. I know, they sound weird - but what the heck. She mentioned that they were smaller servings, so when I thought about mini apple pies, they came right to mind. I decided to do a practice round at home before making them on T-day. I'm glad I did - the wrapping part can be a bit tricky. My mom was right though, this recipe is really good. I loved the crust and will likely use the crust recipe for future pies. It's flaky, buttery and slightly chewy - I couldn't get enough. The recipe for the wrapples can be found here. As you can see in the photo, I wrapped them a bit different than the recipe describes. Feel free to experiment with these. I tried using one of those half moon pie press gadgets, but it wouldn't work for me. The apples kept puncturing through the dough and was making me really angry.

The mini pumpkin whoopie pies (seen in main photo at top) were something my co-worker and I whipped up at work. They are to-die-for. No joke. The recipe is here.

Last but not least, my mini pumpkin tiramisu parfaits. Aren't they cute? I got really excited about using the glass dishes for this one (another one of my purchases for the occasion). Quite honestly, I had found a pumpkin tiramisu online, but I didn't have half of the ingredients on hand. I ended up using things I already had and created something much better (and worth a lot more money). This is a very light and smooth dessert that you won't feel nasty full afterwards. Yes, nasty. You know what I'm talking about. When you want to just lie on the couch and be left alone. It won't happen after these. You can ask all of my relatives, co-workers and friends. Here's the recipe:

Pumpkin Tiramisu Parfait

Serving Size / Yield

16 servings


  • 2 oz. caramel coffee liqueur
  • 1 C. brewed Starbucks® Caramel Natural flavored coffee, or any seasonal coffee
  • 3/4 C. pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 C. whipping cream
  • 1/4 C. granulated sugar
  • 10 oz. mascarpone cheese, room-temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 C. whipping cream
  • 6-8 oz. mini vanilla wafer cookies (approximately 100 mini cookies)


1. Line up 16 individual serving glasses. In a small bowl, combine caramel coffee liqueur and Starbucks® Caramel Natural flavored coffee. Set aside.
2. Filling: In a small bowl, combine pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Set aside.  In a small mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup whipping cream and granulated sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into pumpkin mixture.

3. Topping: In another small mixing bowl, combine mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar. Beat on low speed until combined. Gradually beat in the last 1/2 cup whipping cream just until thickened. Scoop topping into a large plastic zip bag.

4. To assemble, dip two small cookies into the coffee liqueur mixture and drop into bottom of serving glass. With a small portion scoop or spoon, drop a tablespoon of the pumpkin mixture over the cookies. Snip the corner off of the plastic bag with filling.  Fill serving glass up to about half full with topping (about 1 tablespoon). Repeat layers one more time.

5. Repeat step 4 for remaining serving glasses.

6. Set each glass on a cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (up to 48 hours) to set. 

7. Before serving, top each tiramisu with two small wafer cookies. Serve chilled.

Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

In my mind, the small desserts were a success. The only problem was - I didn't announce 'dessert is served' or anything, so they were slowly eaten throughout the day instead of after dinner. It's ok though, my mom always told me to eat dessert first - in case you don't leave room for it after dinner.


Linda said...

You know what they say... "The first bite is always the best" Great idea!! Congrats on the recipe contest.

January 1, 2012 at 6:26 PM
Alise Sjostrom said...

You're right - so it better be good!

January 4, 2012 at 12:38 PM

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