Vegetarian Thanksgiving dessert recipes

With its roasted turkey and giblet gravy, Thanksgiving is often viewed as not being vegetarian-friendly, but the advent of tofurky and scrumptious vegetarian alternatives for the usual Thanksgiving Day dishes have given vegetarians a delicious reason to celebrate right alongside the flexitarians and meat-eaters. In fact, the holiday’s desserts are especially amenable to vegetarian substitutions, as you’ll see with the following vegetarian Thanksgiving dessert recipes.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 4 dozen

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening (or vegan margarine)
1 (15-ounce) can 100 percent pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking soda
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 (10-ounce) package dairy-free dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a standup mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend the sugar, shortening (or margarine), pumpkin and vanilla on high until creamy. Add flour, baking soda and cinnamon and mix on low until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

2. Drop by teaspoon onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until set. Cool on wire racks. Store completely cooled cookies in an airtight container.

Persimmon Pudding

Serves 6 to 8

2-1/2 cups persimmon puree (see Note)
2 cups plain soy milk
3 eggs or equivalent egg substitute
4 tablespoons melted vegan margarine
2 cups all purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. and grease a 9-inch square baking dish. In a standup mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend the persimmon puree, milk, egg replacement and margarine on high until creamy.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and sugar. Gradually add flour mixture to persimmon mixture, processing on low until well combined. Pour pudding mixture into baking dish and bake for 60 minutes or until pudding has set. Serve warm.

Note:To make persimmon puree, quarter persimmons and remove peel (and seeds, if any). Place in blender or food processor and process until smooth.

Cranberry Nut Bread

Makes 1 loaf

2 cups raw cranberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Zest of an orange, chopped
1 tablespoon orange juice
6 tablespoons vegan margarine
3/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs or equivalent egg substitute
1 cup buttermilk
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts or pecans

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and grease and flour a loaf pan. In a medium-szied saucepan over medium-high heat, combine cranberries, sugar, orange zest and orange juice and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until most of the berries have burst.

2. In a standup mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the margarine and brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition (if using egg substitute, add it all at the same time), until incorporated. Add the buttermilk and mix until combined.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients in mixer bowl, mixing on low until combined. Add the cranberry mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in nuts.

4. Transfer batter to loaf pan and bake 60 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes then invert onto a wire to continue to cool. Slice and serve warm or wrap completely cool bread in plastic and store in a cool, dry place up to three days.

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