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The Only Thanksgiving Recipes That Matter

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CUA chapter.

If you’re headed home for Thanksgiving this week you can most likely count on Mom, Dad, Grandma, Aunts, Uncles, Siblings, Cousins, and pretty much anyone who’s not you, to take care of the important and traditional cooking, like turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc.

However, someone has to make desserts and provide the alcohol, and as amazing as pie and beer are, sometimes we need a change to spice up our life (pun intended)! Follow this recipe guide for essential, delicious, and easy recipes that will make everyone grateful for YOU this Thanksgiving!



Prep time: 15 mins | Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins | Servings: 6


•    1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

•    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for parchment

•    3/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (4 ounces)

•    1/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling

•    2 teaspoons lemon juice

•    1/4 teaspoon salt

•    2 small ripe pears (3/4 pound total), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch slices

•    1 large egg white, lightly beaten


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place puff pastry on a lightly floured parchment-lined baking sheet and gently stretch into a 9 1/2-inch square. With a paring knife, score pastry 3/4 inch from edges, creating a border. Freeze 10 minutes.

2. Stir together raspberries, sugar, lemon juice, flour, and salt. Lightly mash some berries to release juices and let stand 5 minutes. Very gently stir in pears. Spread evenly within border of pastry. Brush border with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.

3. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees and bake until juices are bubbling and crust is deep golden brown, about 30 minutes more (tent crust with foil if overbrowning). Dip a pastry brush in juices and glaze fruit. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.


Prep Time: 30 mins | Total Time: 8 hours | Servings: 12


For the Crust

•    1 1/4 cups graham-cracker crumbs (from 10 whole crackers)

•    1/4 cup sugar

•    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling

•    4 packages (8 ounces each) bar cream cheese, very soft

•    1 1/4 cups sugar

•    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

•    1 cup canned pumpkin puree

•    2 tablespoons pumpkin-pie spice

•    1 tablespoon vanilla extract

•    1/2 teaspoon salt

•    4 large eggs, room temperature


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Assemble a 9-inch nonstick springform pan.

2. Make the crust: In a medium bowl, mix cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter until moistened; press firmly into bottom of pan. Bake until golden around edges, 10 to 12 minutes.

3. Make the filling: With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on low speed until smooth; mix in flour (do not overmix). Add pumpkin puree, pie spice, vanilla, and salt; mix just until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each is incorporated before adding the next.

4. Place springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour filling into springform, and gently smooth top. Transfer to oven; reduce oven heat to 300 degrees. Bake 45 minutes. Turn off oven; let cheesecake stay in oven 2 hours more (without opening).

5. Remove from oven; cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours. Unmold before serving.




•    1 1/2 oz Crop Spiced Pumpkin Vodka

•    4 oz hot water

•    2 T Hot buttered rum base/vanilla orange cream (recipe below)

Hot Buttered Rum Base

•    2 sticks of butter

•    4 cups of brown sugar

•    1 cup of heavy cream

•    5 oranges, peels only


1. Melt butter in saucepan. Whisk in brown sugar one cup at a time. Once sugar is completely dissolved, slowly whisk in heavy cream. Add orange peels and let simmer on low heat for 20 min. It should resemble a caramel sauce at this stage.

2. Pour ingredients into glass and serve warm with whipped cream.



•    1 1/2 cups water

•     2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons honey

•    1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

•    2 cups apple brandy, preferably Calvados

•    Eight 3-inch cinnamon sticks


  1. In small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the honey until dissolved. Stir in the lemon juice and apple brandy. Set a cinnamon stick in each of 8 mugs or heatproof glasses; pour in the hot liquid and serve.