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A TikTok Thanksgiving: Honest reviews of the weirdest and best recipes trending this holiday

November 24, 2021, 8:00 PM UTC

TikTok is known for addictive dance trends, dogs without bones, and even becoming a mainstay of marketing in corporate America. But it’s also turning into a bit of a foodie haven, where curious chefs can witness culinary feats and try them out at home (witness: the viral one pan feta pasta and whipped coffee). So obviously Thanksgiving is kind of a big deal on the platform.

To separate the worthy from the merely weird, as Fortune‘s interns we were tasked with reviewing some of the most popular Thanksgiving food TikToks. It was a daunting task. In middle school, Felicia replaced all of the sugar for a blueberry muffin recipe with salt, and Kylie made a loaf of cheese bread that tasted like play-doh and looked like a rock. But as resident TikTok experts, we felt it was simply our duty to share with readers which recipes are worth trying—and perhaps clue you in to what your younger relatives may be buzzing about around the table this Thanksgiving. If you’re a non-baker like we are, or a last minute dinner party planner, we promise you: you can absolutely make these without destroying your kitchen.

Here’s what we tried. Please be kind to us.

The List:

Pumpkin Butter Brie Bites (Kylie)

Source: @dashofmandi on TikTok

Non-baker friendliness: 10/10

Tastiness rating: 9/10

Prep time: 30 minutes

These brie bites are fresh-out-of-the-oven comfort food at its finest, both sweet and savory, and pretty difficult to get wrong. I would know.

Upon hearing the devastating news that my Trader Joe’s no longer had their seasonal pumpkin butter in stock, I decided to swap it out for apricot preserves instead. And because I was in an absolute rush, I bought walnuts instead of pecans. Sue me. (Please don’t.)

However! It turns out that you can mix and match your favorite fruit preserves or seasonal spreads and this will likely turn out to be the perfect Thanksgiving-inspired snack. The puff pastry serves as a light and fluffy base, and the brie and apricot are a perfect combination of buttery and tart flavors. Add some walnuts or pecans for crunch and just a sprinkle of thyme for a peppery note.

The only element of this recipe that really requires baking is the puff pastry, so the snack takes about thirty minutes to make, from prep to the first bite. (This one was my family’s favorite.)

Brown Sugar & Sage Roasted Garlic Bread (Kylie)

@everything_delish

Reply to @mikaylanogueira wait until you try my brown sugar & sage roasted garlic bread- perfect for fall/thanksgiving! #garlicbread #thanksgivingrecipes #fallrecipes

♬ Fairy Fountain – Mikel & Gamechops

Source: @everything_delish on TikTok

Non-baker friendliness: 9/10

Tastiness rating: 9/10

Prep time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

This is a lot more than simple garlic bread—we’re getting practically artisan here. The sage and brown sugar have this sweet, earthy quality that complements the garlic, and leaves you with a snack that just tastes like the holidays. You’ll know what I mean when you try it!

The only baking at play here is roasting the recipe’s two garlic heads. Although this takes some time, it doesn’t take much effort, and your home ends up smelling pretty festive. A word of advice for the non-baker: The recipe recommends you roast the garlic for an hour, and I resorted to 45 minutes (because I was impatient, ok) but also because I know my oven tends to bake a little quicker than most. That being said, I could have left them in for longer, so trust the experts! I ended up with full garlic cloves instead of a mashed consistency. My mother would like me to inform you that a full clove is too much garlic for one bite, but I would disagree.

Once you’ve made the garlic spread, you’re really just using the oven to heat up your bread for under twenty minutes, making this a simple enough project for the new baker that wants to get their hands a little dirty. 

Turkey Berries (Felicia)

Source: @bakedbyave on TikTok

Non-baker friendliness: 9/10

Tastiness rating: 9/10

Prep time: 15 minutes

We can’t all be so lucky to receive a box of chocolate-covered strawberries from a handsome suitor on Valentine’s Day. Sometimes, we have no choice but to make our own turkey-shaped berries on Thanksgiving instead. 

That’s exactly what I did after watching this incredible, adorable video by TikTok user @bakedbyave. Her turkeys looked so decadent and smooth, which are adjectives I never thought I’d use to describe turkeys. And the combination of fresh strawberries, melted chocolate (I used dark chocolate, of course), mini marshmallows and pretzels are a dangerous sweet and savory union that all snack lovers will appreciate. 

To create the perfect bird takes patience, I learned. Wait for the chocolate to dry as you glue the turkey’s “legs” on with the melted chocolate, otherwise your flightless bird won’t be able to cover any ground at all.  

Pumpkin Hand Pies (Felicia)

@butternutbakery

Ditching pumpkin pie this thanksgiving for these pumpkin cuties #pumpkinspice #pumpkinseason

♬ Weekday Morning Routine – Dominant

Source: @butternutbakery on TikTok

Non-baker friendliness: 8/10

Tastiness rating: 9/10

Prep time: 40 minutes

Pumpkin pie is my absolute favorite Thanksgiving food—to the point where I, along with my town’s sprightly elderly community, am usually on the hunt for the dessert in our local supermarket as early as August.

I was skeptical about these mini pumpkin pies when I first came across them on TikTok. Cutting out shapes that weren’t squares or circles? Making my own filling? An egg wash? This seemed like a recipe for baking aficionados, which I certainly am not. But the recipe is definitely easier than it looks, and the brown sugar pumpkin cream cheese filling is so good I made extra. Even though my pumpkins came out more misshapen and uneven than this TikTok user’s, the sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on top made them look a lot more put together than I thought they’d be. It’s a Thanksgiving miracle.

* Bonus: I brought these into the Fortune office the next day and they’re editor-approved! In case you don’t trust an intern’s advice. 

Apple Puff Pastry (Felicia)

@soyummy

These delectable apple desserts will look so adorable on your Thanksgiving table 🍎🍏 #FamilyRecipe

♬ Locket – Oui Lele

Source: @soyummy on TikTok

Non-baker friendliness: 10/10

Tastiness rating: 7/10

Prep time: 20 minutes

I have to be honest, warm fruit has never really been something I’ve enjoyed. So when I saw this TikTok on the @soyummy TikTok page, I thought it was one of those recipes created purely for the presentation. But I’m always open to trying new things, especially when those new things involve pastry and vanilla ice cream. The longest part of preparing this treat is the 25-minute bake time, and the end result will give you all the flavors of a classic apple pie without having to work as hard.

Mashed Cauliflower (Felicia)

Source: @callmebelly on TikTok

Non-chef friendliness: 10/10

Tastiness rating: 9/10

Prep time: 35 minutes

I personally do not know anyone in my life who would take a bowl of mashed cauliflower over a bowl of mashed potatoes. But I’m not anti-cauliflower (just pro-potato, like most people). So a serious, investigative journalist, I had to give it a try. 

If you’re already overwhelmed by the sea of sides you’ll have to prepare this Thanksgiving, mashed cauliflower might actually be the perfect alternative to potatoes. The florets take less time to boil and with a little help from my friends butter, garlic and sour cream, they can still have that classic mashed potato taste.

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