I am a baker at heart. No formal training, no lessons or classes, just an absolute love of baked goods that has been passed down to me from my mother and my mother’s mother. When a party or event comes up that I’m asked to bake for, I take the request seriously, and I want people to love my desserts. Didn’t like it? I want to know. Couldn’t finish it? Tell me why. I am on a never-ending quest to bake the best desserts possible. Last Christmas I was tired of the same old holiday pies. Apple, pumpkin, pecan- that’s the holy trinity of holiday pies but I was tired of them. And so began my quest for unusual pies to shake up the holiday season.
When I was a teacher I made the Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie for a colleague’s birthday every year by special request, so I knew it had potential as a holiday pie, too. It was a nice change last Christmas because I served it with ice cream. The Snickerdoodle Pie from BHG was my choice for Thanksgiving. It has a cinnamon twist to it, and tastes just like the cookie of the same name. Another version of this is the Vanilla Crumb Pie, which has the flavor of a sugar cookie fresh out of the oven. I knew I couldn’t go wrong with a warm pie that tasted like cookies!
Okay, so the next two pies I tried look more like cakes, but by definition they are still pies, so I’m sticking to that. The lovable Boston Cream Pie is a recipe given to me by my brother-in-law and comes from Kraft. It looks a little bit like a layered cake but tastes exactly like a Boston Cream Donut. What more can one ask for? The Apple Slab Pie is square shaped and baked in a dish. Even though it looks like a cake, it tastes like an apple pie and can feed more people because you can cut it into squares. Plus, who wouldn’t want to eat something called an apple slab? The name alone actually became a topic of conversation at one Christmas party last year.
My husband’s grandma used to make him this Banana Cream Pie every Christmas. And by that I mean she made two pies- one for him and one for everyone else. The recipe is surprisingly easy, using just basic mixed pudding and Cool Whip. I followed suit and made one (just one) for Thanksgiving last year. Another cold favorite in my house is the Chocolate Cream Pie. My mother makes this at Christmas, but never wrote the recipe down, so every year it tastes a little different. This recipe from Nestle is the closest I could find to Mom’s original, but I used a plain crust instead of graham crackers.
Out of all the pies I tried for my holiday gatherings, my personal favorite was the Snickerdoodle Pie. Unique and flavorful, it was just what I was looking for to spice up the dessert table. But I have to admit the crowd pleaser was the Chocolate Cream Pie. They say Mom always knows best, and I guess that holds true for pies, too.