Showing posts with label Holiday Food. Show all posts

Gourmet Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Cranberry sauce is a great side dish to throw in the crock pot on Thanksgiving morning. This gourmet cranberry sauce tastes amazing and will be the perfect side this holiday season.

As it turns out, I'm not a huge snob when it comes to cranberry sauce. I like homemade just as much as I like the jellied version in a can. They both have room in my life, and I'm not afraid to admit that. When we made Thanksgiving dinner in 2013, we made this gourmet cranberry sauce recipe in the slow cooker though, and it was amazing. It is the perfect set it and forget it side for Thanksgiving dinner that you can put together with little effort. 

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How to this Make Gourmet Cranberry Sauce Recipe?

This recipe is super easy to make and takes very little prep work. Simply combine your sugar, orange juice, cinnamon, water, and sugar together in the crock pot with your cranberries. Set your crock pot on high for three hours, coming back to stir it every hour. You can serve it hot or cold, but I prefer chilling before serving. 

What do you need to make Cranberry Sauce?

To make this cranberry sauce recipe you will need white sugar, brown sugar, water, orange juice, cinnamon, and 12oz of fresh cranberries. 

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Can you make Cranberry Sauce ahead of time?

Yes, in fact I would recommend it! I personally think cranberry sauce tastes better when served cold instead of hot. You can make this cranberry sauce 1-2 days before Thanksgiving and then store it in the fridge until you're ready to serve!

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And because I spaced on getting a picture of just the cranberry sauce, here you have a picture of our entire feast!

Gourmet Cranberry Sauce Recipe
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Gourmet Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Author: Paige Flamm
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 3 HourTotal time: 3 H & 5 M
Cranberry sauce is a great side dish to throw in the crock pot on Thanksgiving morning. This gourmet cranberry sauce tastes amazing and will be the perfect side this holiday season.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 12oz fresh cranberries:

Instructions

  1. Throw everything together in the crock pot on high for three hours, stirring each hour. Then mash before serving and cool. This is seriously the easiest recipe ever!

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Thanksgiving Treat Bags| Hand Turkey Treats

Thanksgiving Treat Bags are the perfect dessert to have for young children at Thanksgiving. These Thanksgiving treat bags made with popcorn and M&Ms will be the perfect addition to your holiday.

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In the spirit of making Thanksgiving a fun holiday for kids who don't love all the Thanksgiving things, these Thanksgiving treat bags in the shape of hand turkeys would be the perfect addition to your holidays plans. I love that these treat bags take very minimal effort (although sorting M&Ms is like watching paint dry), and you can even get your kids to join in on the fun!

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Hand Turkey Thanksgiving Treat Bags:

These Thanksgiving treat bags come together with very few supplies. Simply get some m&ms, plastic gloves, popcorn, an elastic hair tie, and you can put these bags together in just a few minutes. Even better if you have small children who want to be involved in the dinner making process, set them up at the table to make some of these while they wait for other guests to arrive. They'll love being big helpers, and there really is little room for error with this project. 

Best Plastic Gloves for Treat Bags:

For these Thanksgiving treat bags you're going to want to use clear plastic, non-latex, non-powdered gloves. I bought these at Walmart and got about 120 for under $2. However, I bought adult size gloves and quickly realized that used up a lot of M&Ms. I would recommend finding some child size plastic gloves.

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Candy Variations for Thanksgiving Treat Bags:

I used M&Ms for my Thanksgiving treat bags, but you could totally switch this up with a lot of different things. Reese's pieces would be a great option since they're already fall colors. You could also use candy corn, Sixlets, Skittles, plain chocolate chips, the sky is really the limit! 

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How to Make Hand Turkey Thanksgiving Treat Bags:

To make these treat bags you're simply going to sort out all your M&Ms by color, and then put each color into one of the fingers of your plastic bag. Once your fingers are filled, put your popcorn into the middle section, and then tie it off with a small hair elastic. If you don't have hair elastics you could simply tie a small knot at the bottom, but the elastics make it much easier!

If you want to take these treat bags to the next level, you could totally glue a google eye, and a small orange paper triangle onto them to make them look like a full blown turkey. Or be lazy like me and know your children will appreciate these, even without the extras. 







Author: Paige Flamm
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Thanksgiving Treat Bags| Hand Turkey Treats

Thanksgiving Treat Bags| Hand Turkey Treats

Thanksgiving Treat Bags are the perfect dessert to have for young children at Thanksgiving. These Thanksgiving treat bags made with popcorn and M&Ms will be the perfect addition to your holiday.
Prep time: 10 MinTotal time: 10 Min

Ingredients

  • Classic M&Ms* See note
  • Clear Plastic Bags 
  • Popcorn 
  • Clear Hair Elastics

Instructions

  1. Start by sorting out all of your M&Ms by color. 
  2. Then place each color of M&Ms into the fingers of one of your gloves, until the finger section is filled. 
  3. Repeat this for all the M&M colors and finger sections. 
  4. Once the finger sections of your glove are filled, then pour the popcorn into the remaining open section of your glove. 
  5. Finally, tie it off at the bottom with a small hair elastic and you're finished. 
  6. Repeat this process for as many bags that you need to fill. 

Notes:

One shareable size bag of M&Ms was enough to fill one adult size glove. I recommend trying to find kids sized gloves to use less M&Ms. Purchase as much M&Ms and popcorn as you think you'll need to fill your gloves!

If you liked this post, Thanksgiving Treat Bags (Hand Turkey Treats), you might also like:

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Turkey Cupcakes

Turkey cupcakes are the perfect Thanksgiving treat for kids who want to enjoy a holiday treat. These turkey cupcakes are made with a boxed cake mix, nutter butter cookies, candy corn, and some creativity.


Holidays are so much fun to celebrate with kids, but I often find my kids don't enjoy eating pie or the other traditional Thanksgiving desserts. These turkey cupcakes are such a fun way for kids to celebrate Thanksgiving with something their little taste buds will enjoy. If you are going to be with children this Thanksgiving, consider making a batch of these super easy turkey cupcakes!

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Turkey Cupcakes:

Turkey cupcakes are super fun and easy Thanksgiving treat to make with kids. You can make the cupcakes from scratch or use a boxed mix, and then you just need to frost (with canned frosting or homemade), and then assemble the turkey toppings and put them on your cupcake! 

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What You'll Need To Make Turkey Cupcakes:

To make these turkey cupcakes you're going to need a boxed cake mix, a can of chocolate frosting, an edible marker, round Nutter Butter cookies, red icing (store bought), and a candy corn for the nose. These are all super accessible items that you can gather from your local grocery store, or online on amazon. If you have a hard time finding an edible marker, you can purchase one here.

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How to Make Turkey Cupcakes:

To make the turkey cupcakes start by making your cupcakes according to the box directions. Once the cupcakes are baked and completely cool, frost them with your chocolate frosting. Next, stick your round nutter butter cookie into the center of the cupcake, use your edible marker to draw two eyes, use the red icing for the nose, and then stick a candy corn onto the red icing. Finally, wedge some candy corn pieces into the sandwich cookie to look like the turkey's feathers. 



Yield: 12
Author: Paige Flamm
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Turkey Cupcakes

Turkey Cupcakes

Turkey cupcakes are the perfect Thanksgiving treat for kids who want to enjoy a holiday treat. These turkey cupcakes are made with a boxed cake mix, nutter butter cookies, candy corn, and some creativity.
Prep time: 1 HourCook time: 20 HourTotal time: 21 Hour

Ingredients

  • Chocolate Cupcakes (I used boxed mix)
  • Round Nutter Butters (or other light colored sandwhich cookie)
  • Black Edible Marker
  • Red Cookie Icing
  • Candy Corn

Instructions

  1. Make and frost your cupcakes according to the package instructions. Then wedge 4-5 candy corn pieces in between the two cookies to make the feathers of the turkey. Using your edible marker, draw two dots on the cookie for the eyes. Using a butter knife, cut the tip off of a candy corn. Then place a small dot of red icing onto the cookie and place your candy corn onto the icing to adhere it to the cookie . Once the nose it attached, gently press the cookie into the cupcake, and you're done!



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Easy St Patrick's Bento Box Idea

I am not the mom that makes Pinterest worthy, super cute bento box creations for their child's lunches everyday of the week. Up until last week, Kyle primarily bought his lunch at school, but he's actually switched schools in the last week and lunch at the new school is super expensive, so he's now packing a lunch each day. 

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Even though I'm making school lunches, I have zero intentions of making it super fancy all the time. But a holiday is a fun excuse to go a little bit extra with a lunch right? This St Patrick's themed bento box is super easy to make, and you can easily recreate it to fit your child's preferences. 

I started it off by tossing in one of these super yummy St Patrick's Rice Krispie Treats, and then made a simple sandwich. The only super extra thing I did was buy these letter cookie cutters, and cut a slice of cheese to make the word "lucky" that I placed on top of the sandwich. 

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For the veggies, I just chopped up a few peppers I had on hand, and tossed in some carrots to make a little rainbow in one of the compartments of our bento box. You could easily do this with whatever fruits and veggies you have on hand that your kids would enjoy. 

Finally, I wanted to make a little pot of gold, so I threw in some goldfish and some golden raisins to pull this off. 

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Resources:

Do you like to make fun holiday themed meals for your kids lunches? I'm in new lunch making territory over here, so I'd love to hear what fun things you do to make their lunches a little extra special in the comments below!


Be sure to stay up-to-date on all of the latest things in our lives by following along in instagram @thehappyflammily!

St. Patrick's Rice Krispies

I'm super excited to do something a little different on the blog this week. I'm dedicating the entire week to different St Patrick's Day themed posts. Today I'm sharing this fun treat idea, but come back the rest of the week for fun a fun St Patrick's Sensory Activity, book recommendations, a home decor DIY,  and a super easy bento box you can pack your kid's for lunch on St Patrick's Day. 

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I've never done anything like this before, and I definitely don't think you need to do every activity that I'm throwing at you this week, but hopefully you can take away something that you love that you want to do with your kids in your home. 

I found this bag of Lucky Charms Marshmallows at the store this weekend, and knew that they needed to be transformed into some rice crispies ASAP. I was originally hoping they would have more of a rainbow effect, but they turned out green with a hint of rainbow which worked out well.

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These marshmallows were actually super soft and the kids loved snacking on them too, if you need a fun little treat idea for St Patrick's the marshmallows themselves would be super fun. I think it would also be fun to make normal rice crispy treats, and then stir in some of these crunchy Lucky Charm's marshmallows you can get on Amazon. 

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A final variation would be to just make rice crispy treats as normal, and then add green coloring into the marshmallow mixture. Super simple, and no shopping for extra ingredients. 

Ingredients:
3 tbsp butter
6 cups Rice Krispy Cereal

Directions:
Lightly spray a 9x13 dish with cooking spray. 

Microwave the marshmallows and the butter together for 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Stir the marshmallow mixture into your cereal until well combined, and then press into the baking pan. 

Allow to set for about 10 minutes before serving. 

For best cutting results, spray a knife with cooking spray so that you get clean cuts.



Be sure to stay up-to-date on all of the latest things in our lives by following along in instagram @thehappyflammily!

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The Best Sugar Cookies

Every year around Christmas we make lots and lots of cookies. Sometimes we give them to friends, or Derek will bring them to work, and other times we just keep them and eat them for ourselves. This year Jay has been really into making lots and lots of cookies each day, and so we're working through a lot of different recipes. We've already made my favorite chocolate chip cookies, these gingerbread cookies, and just a few days ago, we made these sugar cookies. The dough is really easy to make and I felt like they held their shape really well, which is an automatic win for me every time. 


Ingredients: 
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
5 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Directions:

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Let cool on cookie sheets for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack (or wax paper on the counter like we do). Once completely cooled, decorate as desired. 

Chocolate Cracker Toffee (Christmas Crack)

My family didn't have a lot of traditions around the holidays. Growing up we usually did one of those chocolate advent calendars, we got to open one gift on Christmas Eve, and we would go to church on Christmas morning, but other than that, there really were no set in traditions of things we ALWAYS did. One thing that I didn't really know existed until I'd moved out of my own house was the concept of neighbor gifts. We'd never done them for our neighbors growing up, and I don't really remember people bringing anything to our house either.


The Christmas before I left for college in January of 2011, I'd been living with my friend's family for a few months, and it was fun to see how other families did the holiday season. Their Christmas wasn't really that different than what we had growing up, except it was a tradition in their house each year that my friend's mom would make large batches of this chocolate cracker toffee, and then give tins of it to what I can only assume was every single family at church. 


This recipe isn't the exact same as the one she makes, although she did give it to me at one point, and I lost it. But I'm pretty sure it has to be fairly similar to this one, and it tastes amazing! This is a fun recipe because you can top it with so many different things. I opted for Christmas colored sprinkles, but you could easily do nuts, sea salt, m&ms, etc... and totally make it your own. 


This year I'm planning on making a couple batches of this and actually hand it out to our neighbors. It's so fun to live in such a friendly neighborhood where we actually know two families on our street, and another family one street over. Since I'm pretty minimal when it comes to wrapping things up, I'll just be stashing these away into some Hefty Quart Size Zipper bags (which are actually cheaper and more durable than Ziploc), and then putting these little bag labels on top, and calling it a day.



Ingredients:
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 sleeves saltine crackers
optional: sprinkles, nuts, candy for topping

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350°. Line a large 11x17 cookie sheet with parchment paper, or a silicone baking sheet, and then line it with saltine crackers. My pan took about 1 1/2 sleeves, and I had to break some crackers in half to fill in the final edge. 

In a small pot, melt together the butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Bring it up to a boil, and then set the timer for three minutes, and stir the mixture constantly so it does not burn. Remove the butter and sugar mixture after three minutes, add the vanilla, and then pour it on top of the crackers, and spread it out evenly with a rubber spatula. 

Place the crackers in the oven for 10 minutes, and then sprinkle the two cups of chocolate chips on top. After 3-5 minutes, the chocolate chips should have melted, and then using your rubber spatula again, spread the chocolate evenly on top of the caramel and cracker mixture. If you're topping your toffee with something, now is the time to sprinkle it on top. 

Place the tray in the fridge for at least one hour for the chocolate to harden, and then break into pieces and place in bags or tins to give as gifts, or just eat it all for yourself. 

This post was created in partnership with Hefty, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible. 

Sugar Cookie Hot Chocolate

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We're officially at the beginning of the holiday season. Halloween is officially over, and everyone if full steam ahead toward Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love trying and making new recipes with my family during this time, because that's the number one way that I love to celebrate the holidays, through treats. I love hot chocolate, but have only had a white hot chocolate a handful of times. I thought I would be fun to make a sugar cookie white hot chocolate using the International Delight® Sugar Cookie Coffee Creamer. I'm told that International Delight is a wonderful addition to a morning cup of coffee, but since I don't actually drink coffee, I can only testify of it's hot chocolate benefits.




This recipe was super easy to make, and I love how versatile it can be. All you need is one cup of white chocolate chips, three cups of milk, and then one cup of the International Delight creamer of your choice. I used the sugar cookie flavor, but this would also be amazing with the pumpkin spice flavor, or even the peppermint mocha. Since there is such a wide variety flavors, you can easily just swap out one to fit your needs.

I was able to get my International Delight Coffee Creamers in the dairy section at Walmart. Most stores have it in the big refrigerated bins in the middle of the isle, but mine was over behind the glass doors where the milk is kept. 



Ingredients:
3 cups whole milk
1 cup good quality chocolate chips

Directions:

Combine all ingredients together in a pot over medium-low heat until all the chocolate is melted and everything is heated through all the way. Serve warm, and top with whipped cream and sprinkles!

What is your favorite way to make hot chocolate? Have you ever tried making it with International Delight Coffee Creamers? If not, you should totally give it a try!



Valentine's Muddy Buddies

I remember in high school, every year around Halloween my best friend and I would go to this pumpkin carving festival where all the proceeds went to Alzheimer's research. They also had a huge bake sale there, and I remember one year I bought muddy buddies, and it was my first time eating them, and as you can imagine, it was one of the better moments in my 16-year-old life. I never tried making them on my own after that first introduction, but then I watched a youtube video last week of someone making them, and I realized it wasn't an insanely hard thing to master.

I made these ones red, and white, and then added in some Valentine's colored M&Ms to make them fun and festive for this upcoming week. The best part was that we had most of the things to make these in our house already, which is always a huge bonus.




Ingredients: 
5oz white chocolate chips
5oz red candy melts
1 tbsp vegetable oil
5 cups corn chex cereal
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup strawberry cake mix
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 bag Valentine's M&Ms
2 gallon size ziplock bags

Directions:
Start by dividing the chex mix into two bowls. (2½ cup in each)

In microwave safe dish, melt the 5 ounces white almond bark or white chocolate chips. Add ½ teaspoon shortening so that the almond bark will spread evenly. Microwave 30 seconds at a time and be careful not to burn the almond bark. Dump this in the first bowl of chex and mix evenly to coat all of the chex cereal.

Melt the red candy melts next also checking and stirring the candy melts 30 seconds at a time. Once this is melted, pour this over the second bowl of divided chex and mix until coated.

In two gallon size ziplock bags, put ½ cup strawberry cake mix and ¼ cup powdered sugar in each bag. Dump each bowl of chex mix in each bag and shake until coated with the powdered sugar and strawberry powdered cake mix.


A Thanksgiving Dessert Bar + Mini Pumpkin Pie Recipe

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As I've mentioned before, interior design, home decorating, and party setups have all become a major passion of mine within the last year. I'm not a very artistic person, I don't sew well, and my husband has a list a mile long of Pinterest fails that I've tried over the years, but there is just something about interior design and  I that just click really well together. It's that one time for me where I can really feel my creative juices flowing, and when I step back and see the space, or table that I've created, I really feel proud of my work. It's a feeling of accomplishment that I've never had in a creative setting before, and it definitely motivates me to do it more in the future. 

Today I'm sharing a Thanksgiving Dessert Bar setup (and a recipe for mini pumpkin pies at the bottom of the post!). This definitely isn't something that you need to have to make your Thanksgiving dinner complete, but if you're eating in your formal dining room, and have a table in your kitchen that isn't doing anything else, I think this dessert bar would be a perfect use for it! There is a good chance that you already have a lot of these items in your home, and if your Thanksgiving guests bring a treat to share, it's a fun way to display everyone's creations. 

When I'm designing a tablescape, or a room in my house to decorate, the first thing that I do is sketch out the idea in my head on a piece of paper. That may sounds really weird, but it helps me to know exactly what I want to do, and then I can start digging around my house for pieces that will make it work, and then I can make a list of things that I can pick up at a craft store, or Walmart to fill in the gaps. 

Once I have everything together that I need, I start by putting the big things out on the table. I think a symmetrical table with varying heights always look great and so I setup all the big pieces first to create a good base, and then I can go in and fill the gaps with everything else.



After that, I hang my banner on the wall to fill in all the white space, and to give more texture and interest to the entire space. I was really excited when I found this paper banner at my local craft store and then I used black paint and stencils for the lettering. Also, lets talk about how lucky I was that there were ten triangles, and that "Give Thanks", has ten letters in it. 

When those first steps are finished I add all the food to the table. This will not only allow me to see how all the food looks, but it will give me a better idea of where the blank spaces are, and where I need to add things.




I made these cookies with regular semi-sweet chocolate chips, but if you swapped them out for the Nestle Tollhouse Pumpkin Spice Morsels, they would be another fabulous fall themed treat. 
All of these treats were incredibly easy to make. My favorite one was the mini pumpkin pies. Growing up  I remember making the Thanksgiving pumpkin pie with my grandmother and she always used the recipe off of the Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin, 15oz can. It's a classic recipe that has been used by families (including my own), since 1950. I figured, if it's not broke, don't fix it, right? I love that the recipe only includes a few ingredients like sugar, spices, eggs, and one can Nestle Carnation Evaporated Milk, 15oz. There is nothing better then recipes where you just have to dump, stir, and bake. (I'll have the exact directions to how I made these mini pies at the bottom of the post).


In my initial drawing, I didn't have that much detail, and when I needed more things to fill in the gaps, I just pulled things together from around the house. Those gourds were purchased at the grocery store a few weeks ago for $.69 each and were just sitting in my office, so I threw those on. I needed something to add height for the desserts, so I used a basket we had in the living room. The sides of the basket seemed bare so I grabbed the pumpkin from my porch, and then a vase from our book shelf. They were all really simple additions that made a big impact.

Mini Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Ingredients: 
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 eggs
1 can Libby's 100% pure pumpkin, 15 oz
1 can Nestle Carnation Evaportated Milk, 15oz
1 unbaked deep dish pie crust (I did store bought)
whipped cream (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425°. Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and cloves and set aside. In another bowl beat the eggs, then add the pumpkin and mix together. Slowly incorporate the evaporated milk.

Grease the inside of a standard muffin thin with cooking spray. Roll your dough out on the table and with the mouth of a glass, cut circles out into the dough. Press each circle cutout into one of the holes in the muffin tin, and then pour the pumpkin pie mixture into each pie shell.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. When the time is up, reduce the temperature to 350° and then bake for an additional 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for five minutes. Carefully remove each pie from the muffin tin, and then cool on a wire rack for one hour.


How will you be celebrating Thanksgiving this year? Are you hostings? Or are you in charge of bringing dessert? If so, be sure to check out the Nestle Tollhouse Pinterest page for some great dessert inspiration!