You pretty much know what to expect after Thanksgiving dinner: pumpkin pie. Maybe apple, too, or pecan.

Shake it up this year with these slightly different takes on the traditional.



2 eggs

1 19-ounce can pumpkin pie filling

1 12-ounce can condensed milk

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 package yellow cake mix

1 cup melted butter

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs.

Stir in the pumpkin pie filling, condensed milk and spices.

Pour into a greased 9 by 13 pan.

Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture.

Carefully pour melted butter over top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes until set.



1 1⁄2 cups flour

1⁄2 cup 1 stick butter, cold, chopped into approximately 1⁄4" size pieces

1⁄4 cup packed brown sugar

3 large eggs

3⁄4 cup corn syrup

3⁄4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1⁄2 cups chocolate chips

2 cups pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly spray a 13"x9" pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a food processor (or with pastry cutter / pastry blender), combine flour, butter and brown sugar until a dough becomes crumbly and starts to stick together. Gently press into baking pan.

Bake crust layer for approximately 13 minutes or until very lightly browned. Remove from oven.

In a mixer bowl, combine eggs, corn syrup, sugar and vanilla extract. Stir in melted butter, followed by pecans an chocolate chips. Stir until well combined.

Pour mixture onto crust layer. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until browned and set. Cool completely. Cut and serve.



1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1⁄2 cups rolled oats instant or old fashioned are acceptable

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup butter cold and cut into small pieces

2 quarts apples approximately 6-8 large apples, peeled and cubed

1-2 tbsp lemon juice

1⁄2 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp cornstarch

Caramel Sauce

Vanilla Ice Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, cinnamon and brown sugar. Cut in butter until mixture has a crumbly texture. Set aside.

Grease the sides and bottom of a 13x9 baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine remaining sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch.

Place chopped and peeled apples into a large bowl. Drizzle lemon juice over apples and stir to combine. Sprinkle sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch mixture over apples and stir to combine well.

Pour apple mixture into prepared pan. Top with crumb mixture.

Bake for 45-50 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

Place each serving in a bowl and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator, and reheat individual servings if desired.



2 cups sugar

12 tbsp butter, cut into pieces

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tbsp sea salt

In a large, heavy saucepan, heat sugar over medium heat. Allow sugar to melt over heat just until it becomes liquidy. Resist the urge to stir often during the melting processes as this will create many clumps, it's best to just let the sugar melt down over the heat.

Once sugar is completely melted, add the butter and whisk carefully until fully combined. The mixture will bubble up when butter is added, so use caution. Once the butter is full incorporated, remove from heat and immediately add whipping cream and salt. The mixture will again bubble up when the whipping cream is added, so use caution. Whisk until all ingredients are well combined. Some salt might not break down fully, that is okay.

If mixture appears to have clumps, pour mixture through a wire mesh strainer into a bowl. Store remaining mixture in a closed container, such as a mason jar. Make sure to use care when transferring hot mixture into a glass jar. Cool to room temperature. Mixture should be stored in refrigerator and is good for up to two weeks.



2 cups mashed sweet potatoes

1⁄4 pound butter, softened

2 eggs, separated

1 cup packed brown sugar

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1⁄2 cup evaporated milk

1⁄4 cup white sugar

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (200 degrees C).

In a mixing bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, butter, egg yolks, brown sugar, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and evaporated milk. Mix together well.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; add 1⁄4 cup sugar and fold into sweet potato mixture.

Pour into pie shell and bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 10 minutes. Reduce heat and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes or until firm.



For the cake:

2 1⁄4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)

1 1⁄2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 cup vegetable oil

7 large egg yolks

3⁄4 cup fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest

2 teaspoons vanilla

9 large egg whites

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

For the whipped cream frosting:

2 cups well-chilled heavy cream

3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur

2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest

1⁄4 cup sugar

1⁄4 teaspoon orange-flower water (available at specialty foods shops), or to taste, if desired

candied mimosa balls and candied violets (both available at specialty foods shops) for garnish if desired

fresh orange sections, membranes discarded, for garnish if desired

Make the cake:

Into a large bowl sift together the flour, 3⁄4 cup of the sugar, the baking powder, and the salt. In a bowl whisk together the oil, the egg yolks, the orange juice, the zest, and the vanilla and whisk the mixture into the flour mixture, whisking until the batter is smooth. In the large bowl of an electric mixer beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they are foamy, add the cream of tartar, and beat the whites until they hold stiff peaks. Add the remaining 3⁄4 cup sugar, a little at a time, and beat the whites until they hold stiff glossy peaks. Stir one third of the whites into the batter to lighten it and fold in the remaining whites gently but thoroughly. Spoon the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan, 4 inches deep, with feet and a removable bottom, and bake the cake in the middle of a preheated 325°F. oven for 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Invert the pan immediately onto a rack and let the cake cool completely in the pan upside down on the rack. Run a long thin knife around the outer and tube edges of the pan and turn the cake out of the pan onto the rack. Using a serrated knife cut the cake in half horizontally.

Make the cream frosting: In a large bowl, chilled, with an electric mixer beat together the cream, the Grand Marnier, the zest, the sugar, the orange-flower water, and a pinch of salt until the mixture holds stiff peaks.

Transfer the bottom layer of the cake to a platter, spread some of the frosting on it, and top it with the remaining layer. Spread the remaining frosting on the top layer and side of the cake and garnish the cake with the candied mimosa balls, the candied violets, and the orange sections.

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