© 2022
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Vox Pop

Food Friday: Thanksgiving Desserts 11/8/19

Chef Gail Sokol, author of Baking With Success, returns to Food Friday to discuss Thanksgiving pies and desserts. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.

The number to call with your questions is 1-800-348-2551. You can also email voxpop@wamc.org. 

Pumpkin Spice Latte Baked Alaska

Cinnamon Blondie

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 pinch salt

8 tablespoons or 1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9 x 5 x 3” loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle one heaping teaspoon flour into the pan and after distributing the flour, shake out excess over a sink. Set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar, egg and vanilla.

Add flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, blend until just combined.

Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a small knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely and remove from pan.

Latte Italian Meringue

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup water

4 large egg whites at room temperature

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

1 heaping tablespoon instant espresso

In a saucepan, stir together sugar and water. Bring to a boil without stirring. Insert a candy thermometer and cook it until it reaches 240° F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer using the whip attachment, beat egg whites until foamy.

Add cream of tartar.

On high speed slowly add hot sugar syrup and continue beating until meringue forms stiff peaks.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold espresso powder into meringue leaving streaks.


1-2 pints pumpkin ice cream, softened in a bowl (Recipe can be found in “Baking with Success”)

Cooled Cinnamon Blondie

Latte Italian meringue

Line a 9 x 5 x 3” loaf pan with plastic wrap allowing some excess plastic wrap to go over each side.

Place Blondie in bottom of lined pan.

Fill space inside pan with ice cream, packing it as much as possible until the ice cream is level with the top of the pan.

Cover the top of the Baked Alaska with plastic wrap and freeze for several hours or overnight.

Remove Baked Alaska from freezer and unmold onto a heatproof platter, ice cream side up. Remove plastic wrap.

Using an offset spatula, cover the top and sides with prepared meringue creating swirls and spikes. Lightly brown the meringue using a blowtorch or place under a broiler.

Serve at once by cutting into slices.

Caramel Maple Walnut Tarts

Makes approximately 12 4-½ inch diameter tarts

Shortbread Crust

3 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup superfine sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup or 2 sticks unsalted cold butter, cut into small cubes

2 large egg yolks

5 tablespoons heavy cream plus 1 more tablespoon if needed

Pulse flour, sugar and salt in a food processor until well blended.

Add the cold butter and pulse until butter is the size of small peas.

Add the yolks and 5 tablespoons cream, and pulse until the dough forms a crumbly dough.

Pour out into a large bowl. If dough is too dry, add the extra tablespoon of heavy cream. Press the dough together to form a 1-inch thick disk.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.

Caramel Maple Walnut Filling

2 cups granulated sugar

4 tablespoons light corn syrup

½ cup water

1 1/3 cups heavy cream, warmed in a small saucepan

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon maple extract

4 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped

In a medium saucepan, stir the sugar, corn syrup and water until blended.

Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove the spoon and stop stirring. Wash down any sugar crystals that have formed on the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water.

Keep boiling the mixture until it turns the color of medium brewed tea.

Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the warm heavy cream. Be careful the mixture will spatter.

Return the pan to a medium low heat and whisk to melt down any clumps of caramel that may have formed. Remove the pan from the heat.

Whisk in the maple syrup and extract.

Using a spoon, blend in the walnuts, and pour the mixture into a heatproof bowl to cool.

Allow the mixture to cool for a few hours and thicken.


Preheat the oven to 375° F. Cut the dough in half. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to a ¼ inch thickness, and cut out 12 5-inch diameter circles. Press a circle of dough into each of 12 greased 4 inch diameter false bottom tart pans. Trim off any excess dough by rolling a rolling pin over each tart pan. Place tart pans onto 2 or 3 sheet pans that have each been lined with aluminum foil.

Fill each tart pan with ¼ cup of the cooled caramel maple walnut filling.

Roll out remaining dough to a ¼ inch thickness. Using a pizza cutter, cut ¼ inch wide strips about 4 ½ inches long to cover the top of each tart. You will need to make 72 strips total.  Place 3 strips going across the filling spacing them so they do not touch. Place 3 more strips perpendicular to the others spacing them out as well.

Pinch off any excess dough from the sides of each tart.

Bake the tarts for 20-23 minutes or until crust is light brown and filling is bubbly.

Allow to cool completely before removing tarts from pans.

Related Content