Why slave over a hot stove any longer than necessary on Thanksgiving? Grab a cool cocktail shaker and DRINK your dessert(s) instead! That's right! Shake, Don't Bake!
Unless you're lucky enough to have a professional style kitchen in your home (or, at the very least, a double oven), you'll be spending another hour or more over said oven baking pie(s) or some traditional dessert, plus the prep time for each sweet treat. If your guests are anything like my guests, then you have to make more than one type of pie too! Pop has to have "Mom's" apple, Aunt Agnes won't eat anything but her "special" cherry, and dear Cousin Joe Bob insists on pumpkin! (You're just the cook, but wouldn't you really just love a slice of your favorite key lime?) Then there's always the cake lovers and non-traditionalists hoping for the latest au courant sweet.
Naturally, not a one of them volunteers to BRING their pie, opting instead to re-gift you with a bottle of Chateau Gas Station some other wanker left at their last party. You'd have to open a bakery to please everyone. The mind - and Kitchen Aid - reels!
So, why not make it easy on yourself and set up a Thanksgiving Cocktail Dessert Bar? After the cocktails you might even get a few of those guests to help you with the dishes.*
Pick out a few of the cocktail recipes below and batch up the ingredients ahead of time. Set out your martini glasses, a bucket of ice and a few cocktail shakers and send your freeloaders to the bar after dinner!
As for the kiddie table, just set up a few plates of (store bought) cookies or cupcakes, some frosting in a can, assorted toppings and let 'em have at it! The tryptophan in the turkey will balance out the sugar rush and they'll be entertained while the adults sip their dessert.