Savory dishes tend to take center stage on the Thanksgiving menu, but that doesn’t mean a dessert can’t sneak in and steal the show. That’s especially true if you choose a dessert recipe that looks as delicious as it tastes — and there’s only one person to call for an easy dessert that will have your guests stopping: Ina Garten.
The Barefoot Contessa herself always shares some awesome yet simple dishes, so you can actually enjoy Thanksgiving instead of letting all the cooking stun you. This year, Ina took to Instagram to inspire us with a week of desserts. Although she’s only shared two so far, Garten plans to share a favorite recipe each day, starting with a new pecan pie recipe from her latest cookbook.
“It’s Thanksgiving already next week?! Yuck!” Garten wrote on Instagram. “This week, I’m posting a favorite Thanksgiving dessert every day, starting with the Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie from my new cookbook Unmissable dinners. It’s decadent and delicious and the best part is it’s actually BETTER made with store bought pie crust!”
With a frozen (but thawed) pie crust on your side, this pie recipe is pretty darn easy. It’s as simple as combining the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another, then combining them together and pouring the filling into your pie crust to bake. The pie gets plenty of signature sweetness from semi-sweet chocolate chips, brown sugar, and granulated sugar, and ingredients like good bourbon, vanilla, and pecans enhance the flavor. Serve the slices with your favorite vanilla ice cream and you have a winner on your hands.
If, however, you’re more interested in something you can make ahead, portion out, and take out of the fridge as soon as dinner is done, Ina has something ideal for you, too. Tuesday’s recipe was for a fleet of decadents Pumpkin mousse parfaitsthat you can pile into glamorous little trifles and serve anytime.
“I love a Thanksgiving dessert that you make a day ahead so it’s ready as soon as the turkey is cleared,” Garten shared in her caption. “My Pumpkin mousse parfaits having all the flavors of the holidays – creamy pumpkin mousse, crumbled ginger cookies and of course whipped cream just makes everything better, doesn’t it? It’s a great way to end your Thanksgiving party.”
This recipe, from a 2006 cookbook, is a great option for non-bakers who need to contribute a dessert spread to Thanksgiving. There is very little cooking to do in this recipe, unless you plan to heat gelatin in an improvised double boiler. Most of the work can be done with a good blender, since you can even use store-bought ginger snaps for this recipe.
Fans of these parfaits gave rave reviews in the comments section, with one person noting that they first made these parfaits when they were just 9 years old – aw! – and they’ve been thinking about it ever since. Others have co-signed the dessert as a surefire Thanksgiving favorite. “One of my all time favorites!!!” Ina expert Trent Pheifer wrote. “It’s perfect !”
Whether you choose to go with a cozy pie or fresh parfaits — or something else — taking the time to savor something sweet and hang out with the people you love is a great way to end Thanksgiving Day. With these desserts to prepare by your side, it could be easier than ever.