Thanksgiving…Air Force Style

By The Air Force Public Affairs Agency Social Media Team

If you’re reading this blog post, chances are that you might not have a recipe plan for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving meal, and you need some help from us. It could also be that you’re just curious to see if the social media team knows how to cook. Try our recipes or submit your own in the comments. We’re particularly interested in seeing your unconventional recipes– you know, things you’ve picked up on all those trips and assignments the Air Force has sent you on. Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!

The BEST Caramel Apple Pie
Submitted by 1st Lt. Victoria Hight, social media deputy
Caramel apple pie
6 cups apples (about 6 medium apples, I typically use Granny Smith)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp heavy cream or sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp butter
Store-bought pie dough, or make your own. You’ll need a top and bottom.
1/2 cup unwrapped caramel candies or store bought caramel apple dip
Lemon juice (optional)
1 egg white, beaten (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Follow directions to unwrap and prepare store bought pie dough, or make your own. Place bottom half in an 8 or 9 inch pie pan. Peel and slice apples. Be sure to cut out any seeds/core materials. You may sprinkle them with lemon juice to prevent browning if necessary. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl and add apples. Toss to mix. Add vanilla.

Melt butter in heavy skillet with caramel dip or melted candies (follow package instructions to heat in microwave) and cream. Add to apple mixture and carefully place in pie pan. Cover with top crust, ensuring you seal the top and bottom edges together. You can run the tines of a fork over it to secure it if desired. Cut four small slits in the top crust to allow pie to vent while baking. Brush with beaten egg white or a small amount of water and sprinkle with a little white sugar (brown sugar or cinnamon will burn). Bake 40 min or until golden brown and bubbly. Cool slightly before serving to allow the juices to settle.

Green Bean Casserole
Submitted by Staff Sgt. Jarrod Chavana, social media specialist
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup milk
1/8 tsp black pepper (or white pepper)
4 cups cut green beans (use 2 14-1/2 oz. cans OR 2 9 oz. pkgs. thawed frozen OR 1 ¼ lbs. fresh green beans)–use cans
– 1 1/3 cups French fried onions
Mix soup, milk and pepper in a 1 1/2-qt. baking dish. Stir in beans and 2/3 cup French fried onions. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until hot. Stir. Top with remaining 2/3 cup onions. Bake 5 minutes or until onions are golden.

Pumpkin Cookies and Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
Submitted by 2nd Lt. Meredith Hein, 24th Air Force public affairs deputy
Pumpkin cookies
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Cream the butter and sugar. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla. Mix in the dry goods. Drop on parchment paper by the tablespoon. Bake 15-20 minutes.

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup cream cheese (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
2-3 cups powdered sugar
Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla and cinnamon, then slowly add enough powdered sugar to make a thicker consistency. The frosting will be runny, but delicious.
Suggested uses: fruit cake, bundt cake, cinnamon rolls and bread.

Mexican Hot Chocolate
Submitted by Tanya Schusler, chief of social media
2 tbsp water
2 Mexican hot chocolate bricks
1 or 2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp light brown sugar or piloncillo
5-6 oz. can evaporated milk
3 cups milk or eggnog (or combination of regular milk and eggnog, depending on preference)
Dissolve chocolate in water over low to medium heat stirring constantly. Add cinnamon sticks. Stir in vanilla extract. Add both milks and sugar. Whisk ingredients together over medium heat making sure they don’t boil. Heat for about 3-5 minutes or to desired temperature. For frothy hot chocolate, whisk with a molinillo. Pour into mugs and enjoy with pastries, buttered bread or Mexican pan dulce.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie
Submitted by Staff Sgt. Jarrod Chavana, social media specialist
1 tub gluten free pie and pastry dough
1 15oz can of pumpkin
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 large eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Knead one half of dough until no longer crumbly. Flatten dough into a disc, place between two pieces of parchment or wax paper. Roll into a circle 1 1/2 inches larger then an upside down pie plate. Place into 9-inch pie plate. Set aside.

Mix salt, cinnamon, ground ginger and ground cloves in a small bowl. Pour pumpkin and sweetened condensed milk into a large bowl. Add spices and beaten eggs. Mix by hand until fully mixed together. Pour into prepared pie shell.

Place into preheated 425 degree F oven. Bake for 15 minutes, reduce temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. Serve warm or refridgerated, top with whipped cream or whipped topping.

No Bake Cookies
Submitted by Staff Sgt. Jarrod Chavana, social media specialist
2 cups sugar
4 tbsp cocoa
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp vanilla
3 cups oatmeal
Waxed paper
In a heavy saucepan bring to a boil, the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk. Let boil for 1 minute then add peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal. On a sheet of waxed paper, drop mixture by the teaspoonfuls, until cooled and hardened.

Peanut Butter Cookies
Submitted by Staff Sgt. Jarrod Chavana, social media specialist
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients together. Using a teaspoon, scoop and roll into a 1-inch ball. With a fork, press down creating a checker board pattern. Bake for 8-12 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Candied Yams
Submitted by Staff Sgt. Jarrod Chavana, social media specialist
2 29oz cans yams
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup pecan pieces
1-2 cups marshmallows
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 or similar sized round baking dish. In a large bowl, mix brown sugar, syrup and cinnamon. Added UNDRAINED yams, mix well. Pour into greased dish. Sprinkle pecan pieces evenly over yams. Bake for 20 minutes, mix and top with marshmallows. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until marshmallows are puffy and slightly browned.

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Thanksgiving…Air Force Style