Friendsgiving Baking

This year was my first Friendsgiving (a Thanksgiving celebrated with friends, typically potluck style). I moved to Missouri at the end of 2022, right before the winter holidays, and it didn’t work out to visit family for Thanksgiving this year. Given how much I love to bake, and specifically love to overindulge in baking, I thought I would try a few new recipes this year from books at my local library!

Author’s note: I wrote the above section before actually doing any of the baking, and oh, I was so excited, so naïve. A generally accepted rule of thumb is not to try new things for Thanksgiving, and especially don’t try lots of new recipes in a single day. I broke both those rules, and suffered for it.

Cover of "All About Cookies" by Christina TosiOriginally, my goal was to make recipes out of at least two books, but as I figured out what I would have time for, I ended up deciding on three recipes out of Christina Tosi’s “All About Cookies,” which came recommended by a coworker. I made the Chipless Wonders, the Grasshopper Pie Bars and the Peanut Butter S’mores Bars.

The idea behind the Chipless Wonders is simple: some people don’t like chocolate in their cookies. I know when I make my chocolate chip cookies, the end of the dough usually doesn’t have much chocolate, and those cookies still turn out pretty good. So this was an intriguing possibility, I thought. The recipe said it would only make 12 to 18 cookies, so I was expecting pretty large cookies, but using a 1/3 cup measure as instructed, the cookies were massive. To the point that the baking got a little uneven, and I think these would work better as smaller cookies. For that matter, I only got nine cookies out of the dough I made, which was difficult to bring to an event with 16 people. The people that had the cookies enjoyed them, I was not particularly impressed; I was probably expecting too much out of a cookie the highlight of which was something missing, but I think I’ll stick with the Nestle recipe moving forward.

grasshopper pie bars

The Grasshopper Pie Bars are very much what they sound like, although instead of a mint mousse, the grasshopper portion is instead made of a cheesecake-like mixture. As of the writing of this post, no verdict on what these taste like. They weren’t even cut into due to how much food was at the Friendsgiving, and, okay, I may have brought like five desserts myself. I probably put a little too much green food coloring into these, as it looks a little Grinch-y, but it will hopefully be delicious!

peanut butter smores bars

The Peanut Butter S’mores Bars are probably the thing I’m most likely to make again. Fairly straightforward chocolate base, a peanut butter and graham cracker layer (that maybe needed more graham crackers, in my opinion), topped off with marshmallows and chocolate chips. I cut a small piece of the dessert once it cooled, partly to ensure it was actually cooked, and partly to get a sense of the flavor and texture, and holy moly. Definitely a sugar bomb.

Cover of "Stuffed: The Sandwich Cookie Book" by Heather MubarakWhile I only used one recipe book for my baking, I did also look at “Stuffed: The Sandwich Cookie Book” by Heather Mubarak. If I’m being honest, I don’t have the patience or dexterity to put together cookie sandwiches, but I have bookmarked a number of pages to at least consider trying at some point. Although more likely, I’ll just make the cookies themselves, and maybe have the fillings as a dipping side!


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