It’s officially two weeks until my favorite holiday…Thanksgiving.

And I couldn’t be more excited.

I love the emphasis on giving thanks. The simplicity of getting together with family or friends (or both) and enjoying a comforting meal together. I love the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and hearing about everyone’s various Thanksgiving traditions.

I also love knowing there’s a trio of football games waiting in the wings to enjoy with dessert (or that second plate of turkey and all the sides).

As someone who loves to cook, I love the preamble too. I page through my favorite culinary magazines, considering all the ways I could tweak the familiar dishes. And then pretty much wind up making what I always do. With one notable exception, mind you. This incredible salted caramel pumpkin pie, which became a Banister favorite only three years ago.

I have always loved the Two Peas & Their Pod blog and never had a Maria Lichty recipe fail me yet. She’s known for inventive comfort food and her incredible cookie recipes, so when I saw the recipe for this pie, I knew I had to give it a try. Even if it required making my own caramel, which I’ve heard nothing but horror stories about.

But as long as you pay attention and don’t try to multitask, melting sugar isn’t quite so scary. I sustained only the tiniest burn when I touched the pan that you’re not supposed to touch without, say, a potholder. The payoff is this crazy good pumpkin pie that’s a little more of an event.

I’m not that big of a fan of regular ol’ pie crust (I know, sacrilege), so I make a graham cracker crust. Last year, I made it with Speculoos cookies (you know the ones they give you free on a Delta flight). The year before I went with gingersnaps. But Will and I concluded that our favorite crust was the simplest. The one with graham crackers and a little cinnamon with the melted butter that I used the first time I ever made the pie.

While I enjoy the sweet ending after lunch on Thanksgiving afternoon, my favorite slice is the next morning with coffee. This is a pie begging to be enjoyed with coffee for breakfast. With a little extra salted caramel, it’s over the top. But you won’t regret it in the least.

Ok, it’s your turn: What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dessert? What sweet treat is always part of your festivities?