tower of cupcakes

Dessert towers are actually a really great cupcake serving option, especially for a significant number of guests. I went digging into my catering-archives, to give you some ideas for displaying and labeling cupcakes for a large crowd.

tower of cupcakes - setting cupcakes for a crowd, via milissweets.com

Cupcake towers only require a small (but stable) table and depending on the number of tiers you have, can hold up to 275 standard size cupcakes.

tower of cupcakes - setting cupcakes for a crowd, via milissweets.com

With any dessert buffet, it is really important to label each offering.  Creating a visible menu serves as a courtesy and good etiquette since there will always be guests with food concerns. Besides, it’s an inconvenience to have guests ask what is what, each time the table is approached.

tower of cupcakes - setting cupcakes for a crowd, via milissweets.com

When I was hired to cater and set a dessert table, I wasn’t always hired to style it as well. I think it’s great to have the family involved and incorporate some of their own setting pieces.

tower of cupcakes - setting cupcakes for a crowd, via milissweets.com

It’s nice to have a setting piece, like a cupcake tower, since it is so versatile, and can be styled to blend into just about any celebration.

tower of cupcakes - setting cupcakes for a crowd, via milissweets.com

Adding a beautiful floral arrangement to dress up a cupcake tower is always a bonus!

tower of cupcakes - setting cupcakes for a crowd, via milissweets.com

My favorite part: The cupcakes are always the center of attention.

tower of cupcakes - setting cupcakes for a crowd, via milissweets.com

xox

 

cranberry-orange scones for Christmas morning

Cranberry-Orange Scones for Christmas morning - recipe and how-to via milissweets.com

Cranberry-Orange is my favorite flavor combination for Christmas-time desserts. There’s something extra wonderful about fresh scones, sweet breads and biscuits this time of year. For some reason, I always seem to crave them more in the month of December.

Scones are one of my favorite treats, especially if there is a cup of coffee involved. There’s a little person at my house who confessed that she loves scones more than cupcakes. Well there you have it. We know exactly what we are having on Christmas morning!

If you’re thinking the same, well you came to the right place! I’m sharing my recipe and how-to to make them super special.

Cranberry-Orange Scones for Christmas morning - recipe and how-to via milissweets.com

I have come to find that it takes a little bit of experience with working with dough, to know when it is just-right, based on the feel of it. The recipe itself is super-simple but the handling is what matters. You don’t want to over-work it and you don’t want to over-flour it. If you haven’t made scones before, then it’s worth a little practice to get it right. You will know if you have succeeded if your dough has come together enough for you to cut it and bake it. If that’s not the case, try again and you’ll get there. I’ll be cheering you on!

Cranberry-Orange Scones, recipe by Mili’s Sweets 

Here’s what you’ll need:

3 cups all purpose flour, plus a 1/2 cup reserved flour for dusting

1/4 cup granulated sugar

5 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 and 1/2 sticks of cold salted butter (12 tablespoons), cut into pats

zest of two oranges (about 2 tablespoons)

3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice (about half of an orange)

1 and 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 cup cranberry sauce, strained for only the whole, cooked berries, or 1 cup dried cranberries

Cranberry-Orange Scones for Christmas morning - recipe and how-to via milissweets.com

Here’s what you’ll do:

First, let’s talk cranberries. They should be highlighted nicely.  No matter what, you’ll want to prepare them properly so that they are ready for the recipe. I prefer to strain the whole cranberries from my Cranberry Sauce. If you’d like to make my 10 minute recipe, I recommend omitting the apples and substituting orange juice for the water. For best results, the sauce should be chilled before you use it for scones. If you want, you can use a canned, whole berry cranberry sauce, but it won’t taste the same (of course not). If you prefer to use dried cranberries, I recommend soaking them in a bowl with water for about 20 minutes, to plump them up a bit. Either way, you’ll strain them to separate them from the liquid.

Cranberry-Reduction Glaze Recipe: You can have a nice little addition to your scone by reserving the strained liquid from the cranberry sauce (my recipe, not the canned version). Place it pan at medium heat. Once it starts to bubble at the edges, place a timer on for 10 minutes. Stir while it reduces. Once 10 minutes are up, remove from heat and allow to cool.  I used the glaze to pipe onto the top of the royal icing on the finished scone.

Cranberry-Orange Scones with (cranberry-reduction glaze) for Christmas morning - recipe and how-to via milissweets.comNow that we’re all set with the cranberries of your choice, you’ll want to prepare the orange zest and juice and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with either a silpat mat or a piece of parchment paper.

Place all of the dry ingredients, including flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, in a large bowl.

Next, add the pats of butter. Use a pastry-blender to cut the cold butter into small pieces, into the dry ingredients.

Make a small well and pour in the orange juice and buttermilk.

Use one hand to rotate the bowl around in a circle while you work. Use your other hand (I’m a lefty) to sweep your hand in from the outside edge, gently bringing the flour into the buttermilk. It will soon be incorporated. Add the orange zest and cranberries.

Cranberry-Orange Scones for Christmas morning - recipe and how-to via milissweets.com

Dust a flat, clean surface with a small handful of flour, from your 1/2 cup of reserve.

Once your dough has mostly come together in the bowl, you’ll want to handle it (gently)  to bring it together and shape it for cutting into scone pieces.

Cranberry-Orange Scones for Christmas morning - recipe and how-to via milissweets.com

Dust the top with a small handful of flour, from your 1/2 cup reserve. Bring the dough together by handling it so that all of the pieces have formed a ball. This will not take a lot of time. You just don’t want to see crumbling or coming apart. If the dough is crumbling, it needs a little more moisture. If that is the case, bring your dough back into the bowl and add a tablespoon more of juice or buttermilk to work in.

The dough should not be too wet with the ratio in this recipe, but if you see see many pockets of  wetness from the buttermilk, then first work the dough just a little more. If that still doesn’t help, give the dough another liberal dusting of flour from  your reserve.

Cranberry-Orange Scones for Christmas morning - recipe and how-to via milissweets.com

Once it’s just right, you’ll be able to stretch and bend it and pat it down into the shape you want. For scones, I make it into a narrow rectangle. Create a shape that is a little less wide than the size of scones you want. Sometimes I like to offer little scones. This time, I went big. Either way, you will want to the dough to be between one and one and a half inches in height.

Cranberry-Orange Scones for Christmas morning - recipe and how-to via milissweets.com

Use a large knife to cut through the dough to make pieces to bake. I make a pattern that creates several triangles, where the back, imperfect dough will be the back side of the scone.

Cranberry-Orange Scones for Christmas morning - recipe and how-to via milissweets.com

On the prepared cookie sheet, place the cut dough with plenty of space in a criss-cross pattern.They will expand while baking and it’s best that they do not touch. On a typical cookie sheet, I was able to bake 8 at one time.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown and cooked-through. A good test to see if they are ready is to look at the bottom (kind of like a cookie). Take a spatula that has peek-holes. Lift the scone from the cookie sheet and peek under it. If it is consistently golden brown, your sones have finished baking.

Cranberry-Orange Scones for Christmas morning - recipe and how-to via milissweets.com

Allow to cool completely. Maybe you like them just like this. If that’s the case, you case done!

If you need a little more sweetness and beauty, then I have some ideas for finishing them off.

I love adding sweetness onto the scone, since the pastry itself is not very sweet. I love a good drizzling of royal icing to start. To see my same classic recipe paired with Gingerbread Cookies or iced Shortbread Cookies, please go to my recipe links.

Cranberry-Orange Scones for Christmas morning - recipe and how-to via milissweets.com

I drizzled on royal icing so that most of the top of the scone was completely coated.

I took a small piping bag and used the Cranberry Reduction Glaze (that had already cooled at room temperature) and made a little flower pattern at the top. At the center, is a whole cranberry, taken from the strained cranberry sauce. I used white, coarse sprinkle-sugar to completely coat the berry and place it on top. I also sprinkled a little more of the lovely sugar at the top, before the royal icing set.

Cranberry-Orange Scones for Christmas morning - recipe and how-to via milissweets.comThe inside of the scone is tender, buttery and flavorful. The outside has a nice bite, with the perfect amount of sweetness and the added flavor of cranberry with the glaze and yummy sugar-coated fruit.

I love this treat and can’t wait to make Cranberry-Orange Scones at least a few times before saying goodbye to the Christmas season.

Hope you can make these! If you do, please let me know how it goes!

xox

 

 

my Thanksgiving at home

my thanksgiving at home - family, pies, floral and table setting, via milissweets.com

The day before our feast, my son told us that he loves our Thanksgiving as much as he loves his birthday. I was shocked and thrilled! It’s incredible that a seven year old can appreciate the way we put so much love and care into our celebration.

I try to give thanks every single day. I’m a ‘glass half-full’ kind of person and have lived with both almost-nothing and in abundance. I’ve come to learn that it doesn’t matter what we have – we are all blessed and we must always try to focus on the present. Putting down the world around us, to just admire what is right in front of us, will make us happier and healthier in the long-run.

It is a running joke in our home, but for several years now, right as we are approaching the holiday season, there seems to be a curve ball (or two or three) in our lives, like God is trying to tell me to slow down or to completely stop, since there are other, more important things to focus on than what I might be focusing on. Needless to say, it has been a little rough these last couple of weeks, but it was good for me to make a point of stopping in my tracks when I had to.

So, with that, let me share a little behind the scenes of my Thanksgiving celebration at home this year.

my thanksgiving at home - family, pies, floral and table setting, via milissweets.comMost every year since we have been married, my husband and I play chef for just one day and host a special meal at our home. This year was no exception. We took out the chef-coats that our friends had embroidered for us. Everyone else in the house plays the part of our sous-chefs. The “everyone” includes my mom and our children. Our dog has a job too, as our little kitchen vacuum. My kids have been in the kitchen and by our side to help us cook, since they were able to stand on a chair, so they are enthusiastic for most any job we give them. When there was no work for them to do, the kids hang out and wait for the next task. I love watching them just be together and love one another.

There are about 15 different dishes to make and we are incredibly organized with a full menu, check list of what to make and a schedule for our single oven. It’s awesome because we love every detail (except for the end when we have to wash the dishes and put everything away).

My mom is an incredible cook too, but she prefers to just be a helper when it comes to our Thanksgiving work. She is awesome and such a trooper with washing the dishes, pots and pans. My kids have been in the kitchen and by our side to help us cook, since they were able to stand on a chair, so they love and admire any work we give them. When there was no work for them to do, they would hang out and wait for the next task. I love watching them just be together and love one another.

Honestly, my husband is the cook of our family. Here is the one-of-two roasted turkeys that he roasted. He loves to do it and he is incredible at it. The two of us make a good team since he is a pro with savory and I’m not too shabby with breads and desserts.

my thanksgiving at home - family, pies, floral and table setting, via milissweets.com

Then there the pies. In my home, Thanksgiving cannot be Thanksgiving without pies. My mom’s contribution to our feast was her family-famous apple pie.

my thanksgiving at home - family, pies, floral and table setting, via milissweets.com

My mom’s apple pie is still my favorite. No matter what I do, my hands cannot create the same taste and texture that she can create. Maybe when I’m in my 70s, I can be as good as she is. A girl can hope. I always admire the time and experience of skilled hands, especially when they are the hands of a grandmother.

my thanksgiving at home - family, pies, floral and table setting, via milissweets.com

My pie-contributions were pumpkin with phyllo crust and a gluten-free Cherry pie.

my thanksgiving at home - family, pies, floral and table setting, via milissweets.com

For recipes, please see my posts for Cherry Pie and for Pumpkin Pie.

my thanksgiving at home - family, pies, floral and table setting, via milissweets.comMy daughter helped me set the tables. We had seating for 12. We brought our kitchen table into the dining room and we worked it out with our chairs from both table sets and the wooden bench so that everyone would be comfortable. I took out some vintage water glasses from my mom’s wedding glassware. We decided that no table cloths would be best, since we had children sitting with us and it seemed like it was a risk to have anything dangling down. I didn’t mind risking having the children enjoy using the same “fancy” glasses as the adults would use.

my thanksgiving at home - family, pies, floral and table setting, via milissweets.com

I absolutely loved the floral arrangements. They were so beautiful! I owe it all to my dear friend Karen, from Franco’s Flowers in Encinitas. I gave her my cylinder vases and she filled them. She is beyond-talented – she is gifted!

my thanksgiving at home - family, pies, floral and table setting, via milissweets.com

Last, but not least, it’s a must that I take photos of the children every single Thanksgiving. I also make a point to have a family photo taken. It doesn’t have to be by a professional or be too fancy. It is just important to me to document the day. Thanksgiving is such a special time for us and it’s incredible to look back on how precious each photo is. To show how quickly time goes by, I’ll share Thanksgiving Day photos of my sweet girl. How can only four years fly by and I go from having a child with a baby-face to a child with a young-lady face? I’m in awe! I am so thankful and so very blessed for her and for every other gift my family has been blessed to enjoy.

Take care and thank you for being here.

xox,

Mili

 

Mike Sweet - November 29, 2014 - 7:56 pm

Beautiful arrangements and photos Milissa.

Glenny - November 30, 2014 - 9:33 am

Hi Mili,
Thank you for sharing your beautiful Thanksgiving and family…both amazing and inspiring. It has been a rough year for many and hope all the rain produces rainbows :) Looking forward to your grand opening and other memorable posts! <3

sweetsbymili@gmail.com - December 13, 2014 - 9:54 am

Oh Glenny. Thank you so much! It has been really hard, but at the same time, we have to remember how blessed we are with the most important aspects of life. It’s incredible what we can endure and I do hope and pray for rainbows! Let’s just keep trying our best! Thank you for your love and support. It really means a lot to me! I do hope to see you once the shop opens. Take care and Merry Christmas! xox

sweetsbymili@gmail.com - December 13, 2014 - 9:54 am

Thank you Dad! I LOVE YOU! xoxox

chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust

umpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via milisweets.comIt was time for me to switch things up a bit. I have my regular Thanksgiving pies that I make year after year. This time around, I made it my mission to come up with a new pie that I had never made before. My son asked that I make a chocolate pie for Thanksgiving. My daughter preferred I make a traditional pumpkin. I went for a combo, layered pie for both of my pumpkin and chocolate lovers.

As with all of my recipe posts, if I’m making something new, it has to be tested and perfected before I feel comfortable with sharing it. This challenge took three separate attempts to get the phyllo pie crust just right, and I also ended up tweaking the pumpkin pie recipe and switching out the original chocolate mousse with chocolate custard.  In the end, it’s always worth the effort to keep at it, until it’s right. I’m just so happy that it worked out so that I can share via this post!

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via milisweets.com

This pie is made by baking the pumpkin pie portion first, then comes the chocolate custard layer, to set and refrigerate. Finally, it’s topped it with fresh whipped cream. The beauty and taste of the phyllo crust at the edge of the pie takes it over the top, making it super special and worthy of a Thanksgiving celebration.

PREPARING THE PHYLLO PIE CRUST

The first step in making this pie, will be preparing the crust, with the use of phyllo dough. This was the toughest challenge of the pie. By the third try, it was just right.

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via milisweets.com

The texture and taste of the crisp layers at the edges of the pie is outstanding. I tried different ways to bake the phyllo dough at the bottom of the pie, but it just didn’t come out to my standards. The trick is to have phyllo at the edges only, since it’s the only part that will cut through nicely. Besides, I need the flakey, buttery deliciousness at the bottom. It’s much easier to cook through, cut through and enjoy.

You can make a pie crust by hand. I have a great gluten-free pie crust recipe, that you can make the same way with all purpose flour, if you prefer. Otherwise, you can cheat and buy a basic roll-out pie crust (like I did for the purpose of posting this recipe today). I purchased phyllo sheets from the freezer section of the grocery store. They come in two rolled sheets per package. You will only need one sheet per pie.

On the day you decide to make the pie, place the box of phyllo dough sheets into the refrigerator to thaw. They should be just right to use, one to two hours later.

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via milisweets.com

When you are set and ready to go, first cover the bottom of the pie pan with traditional pie crust, so that it just covers the bottom and sides.

Next, brush an egg wash (one egg white, whisked) onto the dough.

The next step is applying the phyllo dough. Unroll the sheet and cut lengthwise, into three strips. You’ll want the sheets placed to touch the base of the pie pan, and to come up about one inch up over the top edge of the pie pan.

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via milisweets.com

Place the strips so that they overlap a bit. If you bunch the strips up in certain areas, it will make the baked result even more beautiful.

Last but not least, use your favorite cooking spray and liberally spray over all parts of the phyllo dough strips. Now it is ready for the pumpkin pie filling.

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via milisweets.com

PUMPKIN PIE FILLING

Mili’s Sweets Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 extra large eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 and 3/4 cups pumpkin puree

1 and 1/2 cups evaporated milk

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via milisweets.comHere’s what you’ll do:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Pumpkin pie ingredients should be mixed by hand, using a whisk and a large bowl. Whisk the two eggs completely. Add the sugar and whisk until completely combined. Add the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and pure vanilla extract. Whisk until combined. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk. Pour in the evaporated milk, a little at a time, and whisk until completely combined.

I’m sure some of you noticed that there are no cloves in my recipe. Sorry. I just can’t do it for my own pie. I’ve made pumpkin pie too many times to count and I definitely prefer the spice mix I chose for this recipe, above all others I’ve tried in the past.

Pour the batter into the prepared pie crust.

Mili’s Tip for Baking Pies: I always put my pie pans onto a cookie sheet so that if anything falls while baking (crust or pie filling or burned sugar) it is captured. It keeps my oven clean and makes the process easier. With that in mind, you can place your pie pan into a cookie sheet, before placing it into the oven.

Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. When the 15 minutes are up, take the pie out of the oven, to completely cover the crust with aluminum foil. Lower the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 40 additional minutes, or until you test the middle and it comes up clean. Remove the aluminum foil once the pie has completely baked through, and it is removed from the oven.

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via milisweets.comAllow the pie to cool at room temperature. You might decide that you are totally happy with this pumpkin pie as it is! I know I would be! If that is the case, you can leave it out at room temperature to serve, leave it out to apply the next layer or place it into the refrigerator, if your guests prefer cold pie. (Mine do.)

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via milisweets.com

If you are ready for the next step, it is time to make chocolate custard.

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via milisweets.com

Mili’s Sweets Chocolate Custard Recipe

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

4 egg yolks (from extra large eggs)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 heaping cup chocolate chips

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via milisweets.com

Here’s what you’ll do:

Place the one cup of heavy whipping cream into a pan at medium heat. When you see the bubbles forming around the sides of the cream, remove from heat and set aside.

Next, by hand or in a standing mixer, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar for 3 minutes. After three minutes, whisk in 1/4 cup of the warm heavy cream that you set aside.

Pour this mixture into the pan with the remaining warm heavy cream. Place on medium heat and use a rubber spatula to constantly stir the mixture. After 4-5 minutes, you’ll see the first bubbles forming. At this moment, remove it from heat. Set it aside and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via milisweets.com

Once the 5 minutes are up, add the chocolate chips and use the same spatula or whisk to mix, until the chocolate chips have completely melted and you are left with beautiful, chocolate custard. It will take a few minutes to achieve the final result.

If you are making the layered pie, place the custard into the center of the pumpkin pie and use a slotted spatula to evenly smooth out the custard to the top.

Place in the refrigerator and allow to set for at least one hour. This is what the pie looks like when it has set.

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via milisweets.com

WHIPPED CREAM TOPPING

Once you are ready to serve, it’s time to make fresh whipped cream. In my first attempt, I placed the whipped cream on before cutting. After my second pie attempt, I decided I wanted to pipe it on, after it was cut and just before serving.

For a in-depth tutorial for making whipped cream from scratch, please see my whipped cream recipe post. If you are good to go, I’ll explain. It’s super easy, especially if you have a standing mixer.

Mili’s Sweets Whipped Cream Recipe

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 and 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Here’s what you’ll do:

In a standing mixer, with a whisk attachment, place all of the ingredients in the bowl. Use the whisk to stir the mixture and dissolve the sugar. Lock in the bowl and gradually increase the speed of the mixer until it reaches 1o, or full speed. You will have whipped cream in just over one minute.

Place the whipped cream in a piping bag and add the goodness to the plate. I like to serve it on top and on the side, just in case. . .

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via milisweets.com

Want to see what I tried, before I reached this final result? If you think you’d rather make it with mousse, let me show you how it went:

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via milisweets.comI love chocolate mousse but it doesn’t have the stiffness I want to pair with the pumpkin pie. If you want to make the pie with a chocolate mousse layer, instead of chocolate custard, please see my chocolate mousse recipe post.

For this version, I piped the whipped cream to the top. It is a nice way to go, and I liked using chocolate shavings.

The edge-crust of the phyllo dough is super easy to cut through (which actually surprised me). However, it was tough to cut into the base/bottom of the pie. The phyllo dough was edible but not cooked through, so the texture was off. The pie did taste great but it didn’t hold up and it was a shame to eat around the bottom and the pie. It was a decent first attempt.

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via milisweets.com

In the end, I had to try again and then again. it was totally worth it. I love being satisfied with the result and practicing before “the big day” or any celebration.

Thank you for being here! Happy Thanksgiving! xox, Mili

umpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via milisweets.com

 

Cheryl - November 22, 2014 - 3:02 pm

Hey Mili, looks delicious. I’m going to try it. Can you recommend a phyllo brand? I’ve never used this before. Thanks for the recipe!

my Thanksgiving at home » Mili's Sweets - November 29, 2014 - 11:56 pm

[…] For recipes, please see my posts for Cherry Pie and for Pumpkin Pie. […]

sweetsbymili@gmail.com - December 13, 2014 - 9:55 am

Hi Cheryl. I can’t remember if I responded via email but I only found one brand of phyllo sheet (versus other sizes) in the freezer section of the grocery store. xox

Thanksgiving specials

Over the years, many of my family’s special recipes come back into play for Thanksgiving. Through handcrafted food, we create a home filled with love, care and tradition.

In about two weeks time, we’ll celebrate another Thanksgiving together. It is my family’s main event. It is the day when my husband and I roll up our sleeves to start cooking at 5am for a 1pm meal, with a ton of prep done in the days beforehand and all hands on deck from the kids. It doesn’t matter if we are feeding our family of six or our extended group of more than 30 in our home – our menu is typically made up of about 15 dishes, plus desserts and assorted appetizers. We love it and pace ourselves for one of the best days of the year.

As you begin your grocery-shopping plan and menu, let me share a few of my tried and true Thanksgiving menu items that you might claim as your own for this holiday and many more to come.

never bored of blueberry pie: recipes for cupcakes, muffins, tartlets, via milissweets.com

Let’s talk pie. It’s a mandatory part of our celebration. I always make no less than three. One has to be pumpkin, one has to be apple and the third has to be a berry pie.

Cherry Pie: gluten-free, with a flakey, butter crust. As you know, all of my recipes are completely free of peanuts and tree nuts. But more than likely, you will be attending Thanksgiving this year where at least one person has a food sensitivity or chooses not to eat gluten. Well, even if you don’t love the idea of cherry pie, (Could that be possible?) you’ll want to use this crust for other fillings.

cherry pie updated: gluten-free and all-butter crust. Recipe via milissweets.com

Another wonderful berry pie offering: Blueberry Pie.

never bored of blueberry pie: recipes for cupcakes, muffins, tartlets, via milissweets.com

The pie filling is the ultimate! If you aren’t sure about making a pie to bring or serve, let me suggest a very cool gift: just the pie filling. Make this incredible filling, as per my recipe, place the goodness in a sealed mason jar and offer it to the host/hostess as a thank you for the invite.

never bored of blueberry pie: recipes for cupcakes, muffins, tartlets, via milissweets.com

I’m a little obsessed with meringue. If I’m going to go there, I want to have a ton of it. It’s amazing on pumpkin pie. If lemon is your thing, try making a Lemon Meringue Pie. My recipe for fluffy vanilla meringue is on this same post.

lemon meringue pie, lemon curd and vanilla meringue - recipes via milissweets.comAnd then there’s pumpkin pie. It’s a must. I tried to take it to another level with a phyllo crust. For the recipe, please see my post, where I share how to make my Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate-Pumpkin Layer Pie with Phyllo Crust.

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via milisweets.com

If you’d like to try other pumpkin treats to offer for dessert, try my recipes for Pumpkin Flan (another great offering for your gluten-free family and friends) or Pumpkin Spice Churros.

Next, My favorite Cranberry Sauce. It’s not about having a lot of it, but it’s a must-have menu item for our Thanksgiving. Over the years, this is our favorite way to prepare it, with orange juice and zest, and bites of Granny Smith Apples.

sweet side: favorite cranberry sauce by Mili

Now, it’s really up to you, but in our family, Buttermilk Biscuits are a must-have on our Thanksgiving table. They are the very last item to go into our oven. The “crowd” goes wild for them!

how to make the best buttermilk biscuits by Mili

If rolls are more your style, then I say go for Trinity Rolls. We save these for our Christmas meal, but they are good for any special occasion.

Trinity Rolls - recipe on www.milissweets.com

Last but not least, you will want to have some special spreads for either your biscuits or rolls. Check out my recipes for Beautiful Butter. Orange Butter is my personal favorite and one I try to offer my family throughout the year.

butter trio, recipes by Mili

I hope you enjoy a very blessed Thanksgiving!

Please contact me if you have questions about any of my recipes. If you do try them out, let me know how it turned out!

xox, Mili

Ashley Norris - November 30, 2014 - 12:05 pm

Hi Mili! I just wanted to let you know I made your blueberry pie and cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving, and they both turned out fabulous! I’ve had a lot of problems making berry pies in the past and getting the consistently of the filling right and not too liquidy. It turned out great! Everyone loved the cranberry sauce too, so I’m sure that will become a staple for our Thankgiving’s from now on. Thank you for the awesome recipes!

sweetsbymili@gmail.com - December 13, 2014 - 9:51 am

Thanks for your note Ashley! It means so much to me! Take care and great big hugs!