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A Recipe from Beth

Here’s a chance to play with your food and take some of the stress out of the hectic Thanksgiving holiday, too.  Even young children can make these treats.  Use them as favors and set one by each plate or fill a tray with these little birds and pass them out at dessert.  Either way, these turkey favors are sure to become part of your Thanksgiving tradition from now on. turkey favors

I used Glutino Original Crackers to make these and the recipe first appeared on Glutino’s blog.  They are so darn cute, I had to share them with you.

You’ll Need:
1 box Glutino Original Flavor Crackers
1 bag Miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, 1 per turkey
1 bag Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kisses, 1 per turkey
1 bag Indian Candy Corn, You’ll need 5 for tail feathers per turkey plus 1 for each beak and feet*

Frosting:
6 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 ½ tablespoons milk

To Make the Frosting: Beat the butter until fluffy.  Add the sugar and beat until crumbly.  Add the milk and beat until smooth.  Add a little more milk, if necessary, to create a smooth frosting.  However, remember, this is the spackle that holds everything together.  It needs to be thick.

To Assemble:
Follow these steps to make assembly easier and prevent crackers from breaking.

Lay out the crackers on wax paper-lined cookie sheets.

Spread some frosting over the bottom of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  Set them slightly back from the center of a cracker and away from you.  Put a small blob of frosting on the front of the peanut butter cup (facing you).

Spread a thick layer of frosting over the front of a second cracker and on the bottom edge of the cracker. This should be a fairly thick layer so the candy corn and kiss can adhere.

Press the frosted cracker against the blob of frosting on the peanut butter cup at a slight angle and press the bottom edge of frosting onto the first cracker.  Hold it there for a minute to steady the cracker.

Now comes the fun part.  Put a generous dollop of frosting on the bottom of a Hershey’s Kiss and set it in the center of the frosted cracker.  This will be the beak.  Press five candy corn in an arc around the cracker with the points toward the kiss.  Start by placing one at the top of the cracker and two on each side so your turkey’s feathers will be even.

Note:  It’s important to plant the kiss on the cracker first to stabilize it.

For the beak, cut the white and a little of the orange from a candy corn, smear a little frosting on the back, and smoosh it down above the pointy part of the kiss.

Cut two slices from the remaining orange part of this candy corn.  Smear a little frosting on the narrow side of each and set them at the base of the cracker for feet.  Voila.  Your turkey favors are ready.

Put these in the fridge to harden or just leave them at room temperature, especially if your kitchen is cool. Don’t wrap them right away or the feathers may come loose.

Make these ahead if you are planning to use them for favors or set out all the ingredients and let the kids create decorations for the table on Thanksgiving Day.

* Indian Candy Corn is best because it is brown, orange and white (like turkey feathers).  However, you can also use Candy Corn if you have it leftover from Halloween (It’s brighter orange, yellow, and white.)  Brach’s, CVS and others state that their candy corn is free of gluten and the 8 top allergens.  Brach’s does have a disclaimer that their products are made in a facility that also processes wheat.  But CVS seems to go the extra mile to say their candy corn is gluten free.  If you can’t find gluten free candy corn, you can use g-f  pretzel sticks instead.  Still cute and very safe

Happy Holidays!  With Thanksgiving just around the corner, wow your guests with this unique and delicious twist on traditional apple pie.  The rich sour cream center brightens the apple flavor and the presentation can’t be beat.    For those with a dairy allergy replace the sour cream with soy sour cream or coconut yogurt. This can be made egg-free, too. 

Apple Custard Crumb Pie
Serves 8

Streusel Topping
½ cup packed light brown sugar
¾ cup all-purpose flour blend (any brand)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter or dairy-free butter replacement, cut into small pieces

Filling
5 McIntosh apples
2/3 cup low-fat sour cream, dairy-free sour cream or coconut yogurt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½–¾ cup sugar, to taste
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour blend of choice or rice flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt

1 Flaky Pie Crust, uncooked (below)

1. To make Streusel Topping, combine all topping ingredients in a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Reserve.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
3. Peel and thinly slice apples.
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine sour cream and egg and beat well.
5. In another bowl, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Whisk into sour cream mixture. Add apple slices, tossing to coat.
6. Spread mixture over uncooked crust. Sprinkle Streusel Topping over the top.
7. Set pie on a cookie sheet for ease of handling. Place on middle rack in preheated oven and bake 55 to 60 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is brown. If crust browns too quickly, cover edges loosely with foil.

TIP: For an egg-free pie, replace the egg in the filling by adding 3 additional tablespoons sour cream (or dairy-free substitute) in step 4. Add 1 tablespoon cornstarch or potato starch in step 5.

Flaky Pie Crust
Makes One 9-Inch Crust
Unless rolled too thin, this dough is not prone to tearing. If it does, pull it back into place and pat it down.

1½ cups + 2 tablespoons High-Protein Flour Blend (below)
1 tablespoon potato flour (not potato starch)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon salt
2-3 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons cold butter or dairy-free butter replacement
4 tablespoons organic shortening
1 large egg or 2 tablespoons additional unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the knife blade, combine dry ingredients. Cut buttery stick and shortening into pieces. Sprinkle over dry ingredients. Pulse several times until pieces are the size of large peas.
2. In a separate bowl, combine egg, vinegar and applesauce. Add to flour mixture and blend just to combine. Carefully gather dough into a ball. (Watch your fingers as steel knife is very sharp.)  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour.
3. Place the dough between 2 layers of plastic wrap and press it down with heel of hand. Then gently roll it into a 9-inch circle. Start from the middle and roll out uniformly in all directions to form the circle. Rotate the dough in ¼ turns to help even-out crust to about ¼-inch thickness throughout.
4. Carefully peel off the top layer of plastic wrap. Turn the crust into the pan, slowly peeling off the backing. Press the crust into the pan and crimp the edges, trimming off any excess dough.

TIP:  To reduce the fat in this pie crust, replace 3 tablespoons butter or shortening with an equal amount of unsweetened applesauce.

High-Protein Flour Blend
Makes 3¼ cups

1 cup amaranth flour
1 cup brown rice flour
¾ cup cornstarch or potato starch (not potato flour)
½ cup tapioca starch/flour

1. Combine ingredients. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator until used.

Short on time?  Use a commercial high protein flour blend or add 1 cup of amaranth flour to 2 1/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour blend.

A version of this recipe first appeared in Living Without Magazine.