The Thanksgiving holiday is over and everyone is back to their usually scheduled program. Thanksgiving was a great celebration with close friends and family. Dinner was a success, though I actually made too much food. Mostly the standards: To start was a crudité with Green Goddess Dip, an assortment of cheeses and nuts, and my friend Juliet brought something we call “heart stoppers”. Long slabs of bacon wrapped around a crunchy water chestnut and smothered in some kind of sweet delicious sauce. Perhaps I can coax her into giving up her secret recipe. Not too much to start off with, but enough to stave off the wolves until the turkey gets carved. For dinner I served Green Beans with Cream of Portobello Mushroom Soup and Crispy Fried Onions, thank you Trader Joe’s for taking an American Classic and kicking it up a notch! Then sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top, Bourbon Sweet Potatoes (thank you Cindy), three kinds of stuffing: traditional stovetop, Shitake Mushroom and Butternut Squash (made this on the fly with some gorgeous hand-picked shitake mushrooms from the Pleasantville Farmer’s Market), and the one stuffing that Thanksgiving would not be complete without, Citarella’s Sausage Stuffing (hand delivered by my friend Chris), Roasted Cauliflower with Chickpeas (Juliet again), Agata and Valentina Roasted Root Vegetables (special thanks to Roberta and Fred), cranberry sauce, and gravy. Whew! Oh wait then there was dessert. My favorite is always a stunning cheese cake from Simply Recipes (http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/perfect_cheesecake/), Chocolate Bread Pudding (Cindy you are my idol), brownies (Sara they were perfect), Avalanche Cookies from Cookies and Cups (see my fun twist on this recipe below), Vanilla Melt-Away Sprinkle Cookies (adapted from Taste of Home), Chocolate Pudding Pie (Galloways Bakery), Levain Bakery Cookies (Brenda you have a lifetime invitation to Thanksgiving dinner), Apple Mosaic Tart with Salted Caramel from Smitten Kitchen https://smittenkitchen.com/2012/10/apple-mosaic-tart-with-salted-caramel/, and the best Apple Pie in New Jersey straight from the Ritz Diner (Madi your one-finger cooking never fails). I realize that this is a giant run on paragraph but somehow that seems appropriate for a Thanksgiving dinner description!
These no-bake Avalanche cookies were 100 times better than I expected. They are lighter, easier to bite into and more delicious than at first glance. I used semi-sweet morsels instead of white chocolate, swapped out the peanut butter for Nutella and added some pretzel pieces. Here is the original recipe from Cookies and Cups http://cookiesandcups.com/no-bake-avalanche-cookies/. I also plan to try a version with soy butter so that I can make these with my Young Chefs club.
INGREDIENTS: (makes 12 large cookies)
1 cup Rice Crispy cereal
½ cup mini marshmallows
½ cup pretzel pieces (I use the Glutino pretzel sticks)
1-cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
¼ cup Nutella
Line a rimmed baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl mix together Rice Crisp cereal, marshmallows, and pretzels. In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips. Start at 20 seconds, stir, and then continue melting/stirring at 10 second intervals. When melted add in the Nutella and stir well. Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal, marshmallows and pretzels. Mix to coat. Using 2 spoons, drop tablespoon size mounds onto the prepared cookie sheet. Refrigerate until chocolate is set. Store in the refrigerator.