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10 Memorable Thanksgiving Day Desserts

There's a reason people always save room for dessert: it's usually the most memorable part of the meal. This year, ditch the plain ole pumpkin pie for some sweets with a little more pizazz.
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There's a reason people always save room for dessert: it's usually the most memorable part of the meal. This year, ditch the plain ole pumpkin pie for some sweets with a little more pizazz.

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A pavlova is a cake-shaped meringue with a soft and marshmallowy center and crisp outer shell, usually topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit. In this gorgeous version, cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate are folded into the meringue -- which makes it deliciously fudgy -- and mascarpone cheese is added to the whipped topping. Bonus: it's gluten-free. GET THE RECIPE

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This cheesecake-pumpkin pie hybrid will be the star of the meal, guaranteed. It's a bit of a project, but worth it! GET THE RECIPE

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Baked pears make a wonderful light dessert for the holidays, especially served with coffee, tea and crunchy Italian-style cookies, like Walnut and Cinnamon Biscotti or Double Chocolate Biscotti. GET THE RECIPE

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This old-fashioned dessert of warm baked apples and tart cranberries with a crunchy oat streusel topping comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson. It's easy to make, feeds a crowd and is perfect for the holidays! GET THE RECIPE

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With a chocolate cookie crust, silky chocolate pudding center and pillowy whipped cream topping, this pie is a chocolate lover's dream. GET THE RECIPE

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This warm banana cake drizzled with hot toffee sauce and topped with sliced bananas and pecans is a cozy, delicious treat. It's a fresh take on the classic English dessert, sticky toffee pudding -- which is not really pudding at all, but rather a warm, moist cake made with finely chopped dates covered in a sticky toffee sauce. GET THE RECIPE

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Just mention chocolate and peanut butter and people will swoon. This tart -- with a chocolate crust, creamy peanut butter filling and chocolate ganache topping -- lives up to the hype. GET THE RECIPE

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If you're a fan of pecan pie, you're going to love these pecan squares. A buttery shortbread crust and rich caramel-pecan topping make them truly over-the-top -- the perfect hostess gift, treat for your co-workers or potluck dessert this time of year. GET THE RECIPE

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Apple pie might be traditional, but who can resist warm baked apples, bubbling away in their own syrupy juices, with a buttery oat streusel topping? It's ten times easier to make than apple pie, and so much more delicious! GET THE RECIPE

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Pretty enough to be in Italian pastry shop window, this dessert was inspired by the "Obsessive Ricotta Cheesecake" in Gina DePalma's Dolce Italiano, Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen. Made with cream cheese, ricotta cheese and a ground almond crust, it's a hybrid between an American-style cheesecake and an Italian-style cheesecake. It's easy too: you don't have to worry about the top cracking (or fuss with a water bath) because it all gets covered with fruit anyway. GET THE RECIPE