None of these tasty desserts are meant to be eaten hot --which means you can easily make them ahead of time. Just pop the crust in the oven until golden, pile in the fillings, chill and enjoy.
A Unique Way to Play the Sweet and Salty Game
If crushed graham crackers can make a delicious pie crust, then why can't saltines? That's the thinking behind this unusual pie from Heather Baird's new book, Sea Salt Sweet. You combine the ho-hum crackers with butter and sugar for an unexpected flavor that's terrific with a lemon filling. Add a sprinkling of fleur de sel before serving, for one more salty hit.
The Banana Cream Pie with a Crunchy Surprise Layer
Banana pudding and banana cream pie are both classic comfort foods, but we had no idea how well they went together until we tried this twist from Magpie: Sweets and Savories from Philadelphia's Favorite Pie Boutique by Holly Ricciardi. The recipe has you spread banana-pudding filling into the pie shell; top it with a layer of Nilla Wafers and banana slices, then cover them with more pudding, so you get a perfect ratio of creamy to crunchy.
Making a chocolate-bottom pie is as easy as pouring some hot custard onto chopped, semisweet chocolate, whisking to melt the mixture together and spreading it along the bottom of a pie shell. The next and last layer is a coffee mousse; then, finally, you top this rich and flavorful dessert from Magpie with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Coconut milk is the secret to making a pie with full, lush coconut flavor, which Ricciardi demonstrates in this intriguing recipe. The other ingredient that brings the pie to another level: Jamaican rum. The Caribbean spirit plays up the coconut's tropical taste, and a smattering of toasted coconut chips on top adds a lovely finishing touch.
Another version of the crushed-up, salty crust comes from Duff Goldman and Sara Gonzales' new book, Duff Bakes: Think and Bake Like a Pro at Home. The wonder ingredients here are the finely ground crumbs from both long, thick pretzel rods and peanut-butter-filled pretzels. Inside this flavor-bomb of a crust, you spread melted chocolate, then pastry cream and bananas; then, finally, whipped cream.
Brussels Sprouts Everyone (Even Vegetarians!) Will Love
Although it's easy enough to have a filling meal without turkey, if you're avoiding meat altogether, many side dishes are off-limits, even if they are vegetable-based. This recipe uses maple butter, instead of the usual bacon or pancetta; they give Brussels sprouts a toasty, caramel-like flavor that's irresistible to everyone.
<b>Get the recipe: <a href="http://www.oprah.com/food/Browned-Brussels-with-Maple-Butter-Recipe" target="_blank">Browned Brussels with Maple Butter</a></b>