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"A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" Book Discussion and Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe

I wish to inspire readers, teachers, and book clubs to bake along with their reading and promote discussion about the books we've enjoyed.

Read  "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" with your kids and bake yummy pumpkin cupcakes!

Read "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" with your kids and bake yummy pumpkin cupcakes!

A Charlie Brown Holiday Lesson

Sally and the kids all learn from Linus about Thanksgiving and why we should give thanks. Lucy tries yet again to trick Charlie Brown into kicking a football. Peppermint Patty invites herself and Marcie over for Charlie Brown’s turkey dinner (without being asked!) even though he is going to his grandmother’s. Snoopy and Woodstock help Charlie Brown make the only thing he knows how for dinner, and they dress up as pilgrims. Based on the beloved cartoon episode and comic, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is a great reminder for children why we give thanks.

Perfect for ages four and up (and for adult kids, too!).

Discussion Questions

  1. What were Charlie Brown’s plans for Thanksgiving, and how did Peppermint Patty create a conundrum?
  2. What are some things Linus was thankful for?
  3. What silly things did Charlie Brown “make” for Thanksgiving dinner?
  4. What did Peppermint Patty want instead?
  5. What lesson did she learn?
  6. What is Thanksgiving all about?
  7. How does Charlie Brown’s grandmother solve the problem?
Snoopy and Woodstock end the story by eating slices of pumpkin pie. To celebrate this, I created a delicious recipe for pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon vanilla frosting.

Snoopy and Woodstock end the story by eating slices of pumpkin pie. To celebrate this, I created a delicious recipe for pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon vanilla frosting.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Cupcakes With Cinnamon Vanilla Frosting

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup / 8 ounces / 2 sticks salted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed down
  • 1 1/2 cups canned 100% pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (see recipe below)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (optional)

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup / 8 ounces / 2 sticks salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger

Instructions

Combine in a bowl and store leftovers for later use.

Instructions

  1. Combine the brown sugar with 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter in a stand mixer on medium-low speed using a paddle attachment. Add the pumpkin puree, sour cream, and vanilla extract and mix on low speed. In a separate bowl, sift together the pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, powder, and flour. To the wet mix, slowly add the dry ingredient. Stop the mixer to scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula, then add the eggs one at a time. Mix just until combined (scraping the inside of the bowl again if needed).
  2. If using the graham cracker crumbs, sprinkle just enough in the bottom of each cupcake liner to cover the bottom (about 1 teaspoon), or more if you like a thicker layer. Then scoop batter on top in cupcake liners, filling to about two-thirds full inside a cupcake tin. Bake at 325°F for 17 to 21 minutes. It’s done when you can insert a toothpick into the center and it comes out clean. Note that this recipe will take a little longer (about 2 to 3 minutes) to bake than a typical cupcake recipe because of the extra liquid from the pumpkin. Makes 1 1/2 to 2 dozen cupcakes
  3. For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed (3 or 4), whip two sticks of softened butter for about 2 minutes using a whisk attachment. After 2 to 3 minutes, drop the mixer to medium-low and add the cinnamon and vanilla extract. Once combined, drop the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar, only one cup at a time. After half is added, add the milk, then the rest of the powdered sugar. Pipe onto cupcakes that have cooled for at least 15 minutes.
This is a perfect recipe and book for ages four and up (and for adult kids, too!).

This is a perfect recipe and book for ages four and up (and for adult kids, too!).

Optional Craft: Cloth or Paper Napkin Boats

This craft will make napkins like the ones Snoopy and Woodstock did in preparation for the Thanksgiving dinner. The directions can be found on WikiHow.

Find a rectangular napkin. Lay your napkin flat on a surface. Fold down the top edge of your napkin. Position the napkin so that the top and edges are the small sides of the rectangle. Fold down the top edge until it meets the bottom edge. Bend the two upper corners down. You can do one at a time or both at once. Fold them towards the middle until the two corners meet. Make sure the two edges of the flaps are flush with one another. Lift the bottom flaps up. There should be two bottom flaps. Lift the top flap up until you are covering about half of the triangle. Flip your napkin over, and flip up the other bottom flap the same way. Press in the flap corners. On each of the flaps you just folded up are two corners, totaling four. Use your finger to poke in each of these corners. When you get done with all four, lay the flaps back down. Poke the corners in even more to make sure the edges of the poked-in corners line up. You should now be left with what looks like a triangle. Open up the triangle. After you do this, grab the two sharp corners and pinch them together. While holding the corners together, press down on the rest of the napkin. Give the new edges a crease with your hands or a heavy object. You should now be left with what looks like a diamond. Grab the bottom corner of the diamond. The bottom corner is the corner with the two flaps, not the one that is simply a flat corner. Fold one of the bottom corners up until you form a triangle. Flip the diamond around, and lift up the other bottom corner. You should now be left with what looks like a small hat (triangle). Open up the triangle. Just like you did before, open up the triangle, and pinch together the two sharp corners. Flatten out the rest of the napkin while you are pinching the corners. You are now left with a diamond shape again. Pinch the top corners of the diamond. Slowly pull them open. Tape the corners together to maintain the sturdiness of your boat. You now have a napkin party sailboat. You can just lay them out as they are or add chips/candy into the open area of the boat.

These cupcakes are a perfect accompaniment to "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving"!

These cupcakes are a perfect accompaniment to "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving"!

Books by Charles M. Schultz about Charlie Brown and the gang:

  • Charlie Brown Christmas
  • It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
  • Snoopy the Master Chef
  • Snoopy: Cowabunga!
  • Charlie Brown and Friends
  • Woodstock: Master of Disguise
  • I’m Not Your Sweet Baboo!
  • and many more

Other books about Thanksgiving:

  • Bear Says Thanks
  • How to Catch a Turkey
  • Pete the Cat and the First Thanksgiving
  • Never Ever Tickle a Turkey
  • I Am Thankful
  • I Love to Gobble You Up
  • The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks
  • Llama Llama Gives Thanks
  • Little Critter: Just a Special Thanksgiving
  • Taylor the Thankful Turkey
  • Winnie the Pooh’s Thanksgiving
  • and many more
I hope you enjoy reading this classic along with the cupcake recipe it inspired!

I hope you enjoy reading this classic along with the cupcake recipe it inspired!

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© 2021 Amanda Lorenzo