I've always said in regards to food, "everything in moderation". The same is true when it comes to all of the treats displayed in front of us over Thanksgiving and Christmas. I absolutely love the holidays. I love the smells and tastes, the music, the family get togethers, the cooking and baking... I could go on and on. For Thanksgiving this year, I decided I wanted to make a pumpkin dessert that wasn't the traditional pie. Don't mistake me, I love pumpkin pie! But there's something to be said for adventure. Besides, I knew our family get together would include several pies. If my dessert went awry, we'd have plenty of back up options.
For my recent birthday, I received a copy of the cookbook, "Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics" by Ina Garten. As soon as I saw the recipe for her "Pumpkin Roulade with Ginger Cream", I knew that was my challenge... to make a rolled up cake! I had seen these cakes in the past and thought, "I'm not that good of a baker to make one of those... isn't that when you pay someone else to do it?". Well, with a little help from my sister and a couple of new half sheet pans, I found that these rolled up cakes are a facade... meaning that they appear to be much more difficult to make than they really are. I was delighted that our cake turned out beautifully and tasted even better!
When I knew that I'd be making such a "pretty" dessert for the adults, I decided I wanted to have something special for the kids to enjoy. I've had a few friends in the past who made chocolate and candy dipped pretzel rods at their parties, and I always loved them. So, it was an easy conclusion as to what to make for the kiddos. I bought two bags of pretzel rods (so many are already broken when you buy them), one package of chocolate chips, and used sprinkles and chopped honey roasted peanuts that my mom had on hand at her house. I melted the chocolate and began dipping and covering the pretzels. All I can say about these is that they are EASY. The kids loved them and even left a few for the adults to enjoy!
These desserts inspired me so much that I am planning on making my own version of this cake for Christmas... I'm thinking a chocolate roulade with citrus cream. I'll post pictures if it turns out.