Some issues to think about when trying to decide which Thanksgiving desserts to enjoy at your celebration include the type of gathering you will host and whether the dishes served will have a culinary theme; another consideration might be whether it will be a casual buffet or a formal sit-down meal. Depending on your location, certain traditional or regional dishes are often served. The budget, the number of guests and estimated preparation time are three more factors that might be considered when deciding on Thanksgiving desserts. Furthermore, the time concerns might dictate whether some items are store-bought or homemade, and health issues might require you to make adjustments for any special dietary needs.
In the U.S., traditional Thanksgiving desserts tend to vary according to the geographic area, but there are many common themes among Thanksgiving dishes. For instance, regardless of whether you're in New England, the Midwest or the Deep South, pies are popular Thanksgiving treats. Four of the most familiar varieties are pumpkin, apple, sweet potato and pecan. Many people also enjoy cheesecakes, cupcakes and cookies. Other popular desserts include pastries, bars, breads and candy.
Although different regions might emphasize certain traditional or local dishes, several Thanksgiving desserts feature certain common ingredients. For instance, pumpkin appears in many traditional Thanksgiving foods — it is most often used in pies, breads and cakes. Apples and pears are also popular ingredients that can be baked into pies, fruit crisps and similar dishes. Other Thanksgiving desserts incorporate a variety of sweet and savory flavor combinations, including sweet potatoes, cranberries and pecans.
Aside from the flavors and traditions that you want to incorporate, your choice of Thanksgiving desserts might also be influenced by certain logistical issues, such as the number of guests and the amount of preparation time needed. While many people look forward to homemade pumpkin pie and other desserts all year, others are content with store-bought creations. If such decisions depend on budget constraints, it might help to suggest a potluck, rather than placing the burden on one person to prepare everything.
In addition, you might face certain health considerations when planning your Thanksgiving desserts. For example, you might need to accommodate vegetarians or others with special diets. Allergies and food sensitivities might also influence your dessert choices. If you're seeking healthier options overall, you can consult cookbooks and online sites to find plenty of recipes for low-calorie and low-fat versions of your favorite Thanksgiving desserts.