Make Turkey Day Sweet! Three easy dessert ideas anyone can make.

Rebecca Hall & Brandi Furman / Features & Assistant Features Editors

For most of our lives, Thanksgiving has been the day when mom or grandma has locked themselves in the kitchen for hours at a time, and then suddenly appeared with a big enough meal to feed an army. As college students, it won’t be too terribly long before it is our time to turn out a Thanksgiving miracle of our very own. This Thanksgiving, we think you should try and make something special that your family will enjoy, being that they don’t get to see you six months out of the year. We are not saying, however, that you should run out and buy a 12 pound turkey and try to cook it all alone (leave that to mom, the professional). Here are some quick and easy dessert ideas that even we can tackle.

Pecan Dreams

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen’s The Lady & Sons: Just Desserts

Cook Time: 0 minutes, Yields 25 small squares

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

1 cup chopped pecans

Topping:

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 cup Heath Bits O’ Brickle Toffee Bits

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch square pan.

Stir together confectioners’ sugar and flour in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut cream cheese and butter into flour mixture until crumbly. Press mixture into prepared pan, distributing evenly. Pour nuts over mixture and press into dough. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.

For topping, whip cream and granulated sugar together with a hand-held electric mixer until stiff; fold in almond toffee bits. Spread over cake. Cut into squares. Store in refrigerator.

Peanut Butter Fudge

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2003

Cook Time: 4 minutes, Yields 64 (1-inch) pieces

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, plus more for greasing pan

1 cup peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 pound powdered sugar

Directions:

Microwave butter and peanut butter for 2 minutes on high. Stir and microwave on high for 2 more minutes. Add vanilla and powdered sugar to peanut butter mixture and stir to combine with a wooden spoon. Pour into a buttered 8 by 8-inch pan lined with waxed paper. Place a second piece of waxed paper on the surface of the fudge and refrigerate until cool. Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container for up to a week

Lemon Sorbet

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2003

Cook Time: 5 minutes, Yields about 2 cups

Ingredients:

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon lemon zest

Directions:

Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, remove from the heat, and cool. Combine the syrup with the lemon and zest and pour into the bowl of an ice cream machine. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After the sorbet is made, transfer to an airtight container. Cover tightly and freeze until ready to serve.

This Thanksgiving, don’t just sit on the couch and absentmindedly watch the parade. Remember all the things you are thankful for and get up and get cooking!

All recipes courtesy www.foodnetwork.com.

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