Thanksgiving Canada 2016: Chef Anna Olson Shares Top 4 Thanksgiving Recipes

canadian thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Canada 2016 is fast approaching, and in honor of this special holiday, we’re sharing some mouth-watering Thanksgiving recipes by the renowned Canadian dessert chef, Anna Olson.

Nanaimo Bars

Ingredients for the crust: Three tablespoons cocoa powder, Half teaspoon salt, Six tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, One beaten egg, One cup sweetened flaked coconut, Half cup walnut pieces, One cup graham cracker crumbs.

Ingredients for the filling: Half cup unsalted butter, One teaspoon vanilla extract, Two tablespoons vanilla custard powder, Three tablespoons milk, Two cups icing sugar, sifted.

Ingredients for the topping: Four ounces chopped semisweet chocolate, Two tablespoons unsalted butter


Crust – Grease an 8-inch square pan and line with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Mix graham crumbs with the cocoa powder and salt, and add the coconut and walnut pieces. Pour in the melted butter and the egg and blend well. Put the mixture in the pan and bake for 12 minutes.

Filling – Beat the butter by hand with one cup of the icing sugar, the custard powder and a pinch of salt. Pour in the milk and vanilla and beat in. Then beat in the remaining one cup of icing sugar.

Topping – Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler, stirring gently. Pour the mixture on filling after it cools. Chill the pan for two hours, and then cut it into slices.

Warm Apple Crisp

Ingredients: Six cups peeled and sliced apples, One teaspoon vanilla extract, One-third cup whole wheat flour, Half cup packed light brown sugar, Half cup unsalted butter, One-and-a-quarter cups regular rolled oats, One teaspoon ground cinnamon, A pinch of salt, One-quarter cup maple syrup


Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Place the apples in a large baking dish (1.5L by volume) and coat them with maple syrup and vanilla. In a saucepot, melt the butter until it turns brown. In a bowl, mix the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add melted butter and blend well. Cover the apples with this layer and bake for 45 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes and serve.

Pumpkin Spice Cake Cookies

Ingredients for the cookies: Half cup unsalted butter, One cup pure pumpkin purée, Two-and-a-half cups all-purpose flour, One teaspoon ground ginger, Half teaspoon ground cinnamon, One teaspoon baking powder, One teaspoon baking soda, One teaspoon salt, One cup granulated sugar, Half cup packed light brown sugar, One large egg, One-quarter teaspoon ground nutmeg.

Ingredients for the frosting: Half cup unsalted butter, One teaspoon vanilla extract, Ground cinnamon, for sprinkling, Half package cream cheese, Two to three cups icing sugar, sifted.


For Cookies: Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper. Beat the butter and both sugars until smooth and then add the egg. Mix in the pumpkin puree and blend well. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in another bowl and then add the mixture to the pumpkin batter. Fold it well. Scoop the cookies onto to the baking trays and bake for 17-20 minutes. Cool before adding the frosting.

For Frosting: Beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add one cup of the icing sugar and mix well. Pour in the vanilla and another cup of icing sugar and beat until the mixture becomes spreadable. Pipe or spread the frosting onto each cookie. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top.

Biscotti Ricotta Cheesecake

Ingredients for the crust: Two-and-a-half cups finely crushed chocolate pistachio cantucci (or other biscotti), Half cup unsalted melted butter.

Ingredients for the filling: One-and-a-half pounds ricotta cheese, Two-third cup granulated sugar, Pinch of ground nutmeg, One-quarter cup sweet Marsala (optional), Two tablespoons vanilla extract, Two large eggs, Two large egg yolks, One teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated, One teaspoon orange zest, finely grated, Three tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, One-quarter cup dark chocolate, finely grated.


For Crust: Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Grease a 9-inch pan and place it on a baking tray. Combine the crushed cantucci with the melted butter and press this into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, coming almost all the way to the top. Bake for 12 minutes and cool while preparing the filling.

For Filling: By hand, whisk the ricotta until smooth. Whisk in the sugar, eggs, yolks, Marsala, vanilla, lemon and orange zests, and nutmeg. Then whisk in the melted butter. Add the grated chocolate and pour the filling into the crust. Bake the cheesecake for an hour, or until it slightly jiggles in the center. Cool it for 90 minutes, and then chill for three hours before serving.

~ Courtesy Food Network Canada

Olson, A., ”Anna Olson’s Nanaimo Bars,” Food Network website;, last accessed October 05, 2016.
“Warm Apple Crisp,” Foodnetwork website;,last accessed October 05, 2016.