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Thanksgiving desserts you need to make

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

Thanksgiving is the time to be with family and be grateful for what is present in your life. It is also the time when the family comes together and brags about what they have accomplished with the current year, or the comforting time when everyone asks you personal questions that you do not want to answer. So here is my solution. Deflect and distract; soon, nobody will care if you are not in a  relationship or if you don’t have a job lined up instead, they will only be thinking about those amazing cookies you brought and how you are the greatest and favorite grandchild. Hey, if you have those things, all the more reason to slap on the fact that you are also an amazing cook. Either way, these recipes will ensure that you are coming out of Thanksgiving on top. These five recipes are ones that I swear by to please a crowd. I have included ones that fit the fall vibe of Thanksgiving but also some others if you want to spice it up a bit. Happy Holidays!    

T= Tablespoon – t= teaspoon – C= cup 

  1. Browned Butter Oatmeal Pumpkin Cookies 

This recipe is doing the most; the secret is in the details. Adding browned butter to any recipe adds a caramelly, nutty flavor that enriches the spices in the cookie, topping it off with a sugar glaze icing!

  1. Pumpkin Pie with Homemade Crust

A Thanksgiving classic was necessary to include on this list, but I find that if you make your crust from scratch, the added effort makes all the difference. If you want the extra credit, make your own whipped cream as well. 

Pie Crust 


1 ½ C All-purpose flour 

2 T granulated sugar 

1 t salt 

6 T chilled unsalted butter 

4 T veggie shortening 

5-6 T ice water 

Pie Filling 

⅓ C granulated sugar 

1 t cinnamon 

¾ t salt 

½ t ginger 

¼ t cloves 

¼ t nutmeg 

2 C pumpkin puree 

⅔ condensed milk 

⅓ C heavy cream 

2 T maple syrup 

2 t vanilla

Pie Crust 

  1. In food processor place:
    1.  1 ½ C All-purpose flour 
    2. 2 t granulated sugar 
    3. 1 t salt
  2. Pulse 
  3. Add  
    1. 6T chilled butter 
    2. 4 T veggie shortening 
    3. 5-6 T ice water
  4. Pulse until it forms a ball-like shape 
  5. Take cellophane and lay it out on a flat surface, place dough in the middle and fold clear wrap over dough and knead the dough through the wrap.
  6. Chill in fridge for 10 minutes.
  7. Flour surface, remove clear wrap and roll dough into a flat circle.
  8. Place in pie dish and flute the crust.


  1. Whisk together: 
    1. ⅓ C sugar 
    2. 1 t cinnamon 
    3. ¾ t salt
    4. ½ t ginger 
    5. ¼ t cloves 
    6. ¼ t nutmeg 
  2. Add:
    1. 2 cups pumpkin puree 
    2. ⅔ condensed milk 
    3. ⅓ cups heavy cream 
    4. 2 T maple syrup 
    5. 2 t vanilla 
  3. Pour into crust and bake till jell-o like consistency.
  4. Set for 3 hours.
  1. Carrot Cake 

Carrot Cake is the underdog of fall treats and also gets a bad rep for having vegetables in it. The carrots add a spongy moisture to the cake that is complemented by nutmeg and cinnamon rounded out to be a wonderfully flavored cake with the best texture. Plus cream cheese frosting is just immaculate. 

  1. Lemon Bars 

This dish might bode well better in the summertime, but the shortbread crust and sharp lemon flavor are a refreshing break from all the pumpkin. This tangy flavor palette is sure to conclude your Thanksgiving dinner with complete satisfaction and complement everything else on the table. 

  1. Butter Pecan Bars 

To round out this list I’ve decided to conclude it with another bar of the chocolaty sort because chocolate is the best. This has all the goodies, shortbread, chocolate, nuts, and chocolate. Can you tell I like chocolate? Anyhoo this is sure to please all those who have the power to consume nuts, and for those with allergies… they are absolutely to die for. 


12 T salted butter @ room temperature 

1 ⅓ C packed light brown sugar 

3 t pure vanilla extract 

1 ¼ C all-purpose flour 

⅔ C all-purpose flour 

⅔ C heavy cream 

1 ½ C roughly chopped pecans 

2 C semisweet chocolate chips 


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8in baking dish with parchment paper or a 9-in round pie plate with butter or cooking spray. 
  2. Make the dough. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat together: 
    1. 8 T of butter 
    2. ¼ cups of sugar 
    3. 1 t vanilla
  3.  Until smooth then add:
    1. 1 ¼ flour 
    2. 1 t water 
  4. Press dough to the bottom and sides of the pan of the prepared dish and bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and leave it on.
  5. Make the sauce while the crust is in the oven. In a medium saucepan place: 
    1. 4 T butter 
    2. ⅔ C heavy cream
    3. 1 C sugar 
    4. 2 t vanilla
  6. Bring to a boil while stirring frequently until sugar has dissolved and the sauce is thickened slightly about 5 minutes, then remove from heat and stir in pecans. 
  7. Scatter chocolate chips evenly over the crust and pour the pecan mixture over the chocolate, use a spatula to distribute evenly. Bake until the top begins to brown and caramelize, 20-25 minutes. 
  8. Allow bars to cool for 20 minutes.
Grace Gaon

Northeastern '25

My name is Gracie and I am a sophomore from California! I love nothing more than cold foggy days, movies, reading, and cooking! I have a poodle named auggie who is the cutest thing ever. My current obsessions consist of candles, finding new restaurants, and my film cameras! I love to write about anything and everything especially reviews.