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I am all about easy Thanksgiving entertaining, and this year my theme is “Be Thankful.” Since my family lives out of state, I usually spend Thanksgiving with friends. I’ve put together some delicious fall recipes and free printables for a casual get together with my friends, and I can’t wait to celebrate!
I had so much fun pulling my “Be Thankful” theme together! One of the things I love about living in New York is having so many great friends nearby. I still don’t see them nearly enough though.
This is the perfect time of year to gather friends together, and I love coming up with new recipes to go along with my family favorites. For my party, I created some delicious fall recipes with one of my favorite brands, Nestle.
I have fond memories of baking chocolate chips cookies (we always used the recipe right on the Nestle bag) and other treats with my mom. One of our favorite holiday treats are Mini Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cupcakes. I looked forward to eating them every year!
To go with the mini cupcakes, I created a new recipe, Spicy Pumpkin Steamers. Have you ever had a steamer? It’s kind of like hot chocolate, except without the chocolate. My spicy pumpkin version is rich, creamy, and the perfect holiday treat.
I found everything I needed for my fall recipes – Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chips and Nestle Carnation Evaporated Milk – in the baking aisle at Walmart.
- 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 (12-oz.) package Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Mini cupcake liners
- Ground nuts, optional
- 4 (12-oz.) cans Nestle Carnation Evaporated Milk
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. cinnamon, plus additional for sprinkling
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/8 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix cream cheese, egg, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/8 tsp. salt with a hand or stand mixer until smooth.
- Stir in chocolate chips and set aside.
- Whisk together flour, 1 cup sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and 1/2 tsp. salt.
- Add water, oil, and vanilla to flour mixture, and stir until combined.
- Line miniature cupcake pan with liners.
- Fill each cup 1/3 full with chocolate mixture and then top with 1 tsp. of the cheesecake.
- Sprinkle with ground nuts, if desired.
- Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or just until set (do not overbake).
- Cool on a wire rack before serving.
- Place evaporated milk, pumpkin, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg in a medium heavy-bottom saucepan. Whisk together until combined.
- Warm over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until steaming hot.
- Meanwhile, combine heavy cream and powdered sugar in a medium bowl.
- Whisk until soft peaks form.
- To serve, fill glasses or mugs with pumpkin mixture, then top with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy!
The paper liners tend to stick to the cupcakes when they are removed from the oven. If you prepare the cupcakes ahead of time (half a day or the day before) and store them covered, the liners will remove easily when it's time to serve the cupcakes.
Watch me put on the finishing touches!
The “Be Thankful” printables pull the whole party together. Everything I created works for a party before or after Thanksgiving, and of course on turkey day itself.
The drink flags add a festive touch to the Spicy Pumpkin Steamers. Pass around the “I’m thankful for … ” cards to get the conversation going.
- Mini bunting: cut out pieces and tape to a piece of string.
- Tags/place setting cards: cut out and fold in half. For treat bags, fold tags over open bags and staple closed.
- Drink flags: cut out flags, fold in half, and attach to straw or stick with double-sided tape.
- Thankful cards: cut out cards just inside the black lines.
- Treat toppers: cut out two circles (or use a hole punch if you have one big enough) for each topper. Stick tags to toothpicks using double-sided tape.
Click the images below to access the free printable PDFs:
Note: For best results, print the PDFs on letter-size card stock. When your printer dialog box opens, make sure that the box under “Paper Size & Handling” is marked “Actual Size” (not “shrink oversized pages” or “fit to page”). That way your printer won’t shrink the image size.
For more fall recipes, visit the Fall Flavors Pinterest board:
How are you celebrating Thanksgiving this year?
I’m linking up with these link parties, as well as Be.You.Tiful, Flaunt It Friday, Create & Share, Wine’d Down Wednesday, Tweak It Tuesday, Inspire Me Tuesday, The Scoop, Tutorials & Tips, Much Ado About Monday, Frugal Friday, I Heart Naptime, Eat.Create.Party!, Creative Inspirations, Fridays Unfolded, Say G’Day, Saturday Sparks, Pin It Thursday, and Lou Lou Girls.