Holiday PieLogen: Get to Know This Sweet Christmas Triple Threat

That traditional holiday Yule Log just slipped into its sultry holiday party dress and is ready to make all of your sweet, sweet dreams come true.

PieLogen combines your favorite holiday desserts into one tricked-out, unforgettable treat. With strategies, tips and tricks, and even a few variations on the original to help you perfect your PieLogen game, you too can be the holiday dessert hero. Just beware of jaw-dropping, mind-blowing dessert insanity as you unveil this badboy at your Christmas party.

PieLogen Plan of Attack

Yes, we know, it’s is a time-consuming endeavor. This is not a “same-day recipe” or a “let me slap something together” project. But don’t be intimidated by this yule log/cheese cake/pecan pie triple threat recipe. We’re here to help break it down so you can blow everyone away this holiday season.

The best plan of attack is to make it over the course of a few days.

Day 1: Make the Chocolate Caramel Yule Log

Once you’ve made the cake and frosting and assembled the log , freeze it.

Day 2: Make the Eggnog Cheesecake

Wrap and refrigerate it.

Day 3: Make the Toffee Pecan Pie

You’ve made it to day 3! Now refrigerate the pie.

Day 4: Assemble

Go through the last steps to assemble your masterpiece, then decorate with your favorite woodland creatures. Refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve it. At this point, the cake will hold for another day or so. The finished cake can also be frozen if tightly wrapped.

For full instructions on what to do each day, go to the recipe here >>

PieLogen Variations

If the original recipe isn’t cutting it, we’ve got a few variations that will surely work for you.

Don’t have the time or energy to make this beautiful thing from scratch? We’ve got you covered with the Lazy PieLogen: Buy a pecan pie, buy a cheesecake, use chocolate cake mix. Make the frosting — sorry, store bought frosting will not work with this.

Drunken PieLogen: Replace the water in the chocolate cake recipe with stout beer and add three tablespoons of Irish Whisky when you add the caramel to the frosting. When the pecan pie comes out of the oven, and is still hot, sprinkle or brush ¼ cup of the Whisky on top of the pie.

Festive Fruity PieLogen: Replace the nutmeg in the cheesecake with grated orange zest. Instead of making the caramel for the buttercream, add 1 cup of raspberry preserves — we like the one with seeds. Garnish the top of the finished log with dried cherries or cranberries.

Tropical PieLogen: Replace the caramel in the buttercream with 1 cup crushed and drained pineapple. Replace the pecans in the pie with chopped and toasted macadamia nuts and the toffee bits with sweetened shredded coconut. Remove the nutmeg and whisky from the cheesecake and add the zest of 1 lime and 1 teaspoon coconut extract.
 

Garnish Your PieLogen

There are a few different ways to go about creating your decorations. You can find inexpensive plastic chocolate molds at craft stores or online. Look for cute woodland creatures, leaves, mushrooms or even unicorns (hey, it’s a PieLogen, it doesn’t have to make sense). If you aren’t proficient at tempering chocolate, buy “candy melts” to fill the molds.

You can also make cute garnishes out of marzipan! It’s like sweet almond playdough. There are plenty of online tutorials on how to work with it. It’s also a great project for children.

Scraps?

Don’t waste them — make truffles! If you aren’t snacking on the pie crust scraps, trimmed yule log ends, heath bar pieces and extra frosting, you can combine them all in a bowl with a few splashes of whisky or rum. Mash it all together and refrigerate until firm enough to ball. Roll into one-inch balls and freeze for 30 minutes. Roll these in melted chocolate, cocoa powder, powdered sugar or chopped nuts.

Ready to take this PieLogen on?

We think you are. Give the recipe a try here >>

Photos by Dillon Burke

About Zac Young

Contributing Host of Cooking Channel's "Unique Sweets" and Executive Pastry Chef of David Burke Group.