Here is my Christmas tree. It is enormous. It wasn't this large when we brought it into the house. I have no idea how we're going to get it out.
Here are just a few of the over 3,000 cookies my great aunt bakes for Christmas every year. She ships them all over the country to out-of-town relatives, and of course us lucky in-town relatives get to chow down on them at every family gathering.
And here are the desserts I made for Christmas dinner at my grandma's house: Ricotta pie, peanut butter and banana pie, and of course, Dawn's pumpkin cheesecake. You can find the recipe for the cheesecake here. The rest I've included for your baking pleasure.
1.5 lbs ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sugar (I used 1/4 cup Splenda for Baking)
1 TBSP vanilla extract
Place ricotta in a large bowl. Beat with electric mixer to break it up.
Add sugar, vanilla, eggs, and flour. Beat three minutes
Pour into greased and floured 9'' pie plate.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cool and then refrigerate until set.
Peanut Butter and Banana Pie
*From Cooking Light
1 cup vanilla wafer cookie crumbs (about 25-30 cookies)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2.5 TBSPs butter, melted
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (4oz) 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1/2 cup reduced fat peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 (8oz) container fat-free whipped topping, thawed
1.5 cups sliced banana (about 2 bananas)
1/4 cup fat-free chocolate syrup topping
To prepare crust, place cookies in a food processor and process until finely ground.
Add 1/3 cup brown sugar and butter, and pulse 2-3 times until just combined.
Press into bottom and up sides of a 9'' pie plate coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, and cool completely on a wire rack.
To prepare filling, place 3/4 cup brown sugar, cream cheese, peanut butter, and vanilla in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth.
Fold in whipped topping.
Arrange banana slices in bottom of prepared crust.
Spread peanut butter mixture over banana, and drizzle with syrup.
Cover and freeze for eight hours.
Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.