It’s 2020 and Thanksgiving is weird this year. Many of us are bummed out about not being able to spend the holidays with family and friends because of the global pandemic. Myself included. This year, more than ever, it’s important to find new ways to celebrate! This Thanksgiving Dessert Charcuterie Board is everything you need for a different kind of holiday celebration.
For some people, making all of the traditional recipes may not be in the cards this year. I just haven’t felt like fussing over a whole turkey and pies and all of the things just for us two. Making family recipes this year is hard for a lot of people. One of the ways I’m dealing with it is creating new, fun dishes to try!
2020 has been the year of the charcuterie, graze or snack board. While “charcuterie” technically means a range of different cured meats, these platters have gone way beyond salami and prosciutto and now any meal can be deconstructed into a board. It’s very fun and very festive. I LOVE to bake and Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because I can make a bunch of different desserts and taste them all. That’s not happening this year so I was trying to figure out how I could still have all of the flavors and not bake all of the things. Enter this Thanksgiving dessert charcuterie board! It gives you all of the pie and dessert vibes with none of the baking. All you need is a few simple ingredients and you’ll be dipping your way to a new, fun way to enjoy dessert that might just end up becoming a new tradition.
Can we start a movement to normalize dessert dips? Who’s in?
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How do I put a Thanksgiving Dessert Charcuterie Board Together?
Making a gorgeous board can seem really intimidating but I’m going to take all of the guess work out of it for you and give you a breakdown of everything on this board. The best part about a charcuterie board is using your imagination. It’s 2020 and there’s no wrong way to make a board.
For this board, I thought about classic Thanksgiving pies – pumpkin, pecan and apple. I wanted all of those fall flavors in a dippable, snackable way and these ingredients brought me joy.
Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Dip – It’s not Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie! This is a super easy dip that gives you all the classic flavors. You’ll need cream cheese, canned pumpkin (not pie filling!), brown sugar, powdered sugar, heavy whipping cream, a touch of good vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Perfect opportunity to try my Homemade Pumpkin Spice Blend. You probably have all of the ingredients in your spice rack already.
Pecan Salted Caramel – This stuff is liquid gold. Perfect for apples, pears, ice cream topping, pretzels, other desserts, pancakes a spoon, whatever. It keeps well in the fridge for about a month so you should just keep it around. You deserve it. All you need is butter, sugar, heavy cream, and pecans. For this recipe, I used Sally’s Baking Addiction Homemade Salted Caramel and just tossed in ⅓ cup of chopped pecans and a tiny splash of vanilla extract. So easy.
Apple and Pear Slices – My favorite are Honeycrisp apples and Anjou pears.
Gingersnap Cookies – ginger snaps are amazing with the pumpkin pie dip. Any gingery cookie will do. You could also go with graham crackers.
Pretzels – I love these Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps. They are light, super crispy and perfect for all kinds of dips.
Nuts – Pecans, walnuts and pistachios are all solid choices.
Dried Cranberries – because what is Thanksgiving without something cranberry!
Chocolate – For this board, I used these Dark Chocolate, Pumpkin Seed and Sea Salt Bark Thins Snacking Chocolates. They have a few different flavors and all of them are highly addictive. Snacking chocolate is something we should all have on hand at all times.
That’s it! You can put whatever it is on your dessert charcuterie board. The most important part is to have fun with it.
Pumpkin Pie Dip
- Make sure your heavy cream is super cold. If you're using a stand mixer, chill the mixing bowl. If you're using a hand mixer, chill the beaters. Add cold cream, ½ tbsp powdered sugar and vanilla to a cold bowl and whip on high until stiff peaks form. Scoop out into a bowl and set aside.
- Add remaining ingredients to a bowl and mix until smooth. Carefully fold in ¾ of the whipped cream until just combined. Taste and add more cream if desired. You can use the extra for garnish.
- Transfer to serving dish, cover and let chill for at least 30 minutes. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and serve.