Other than the green beans, dressing is my favorite part of Thanksgiving. I’d tell you that you can also find me standing in front of the fridge chowing down on dressing for breakfast the next morning but that would be a lie. Because I eat the entire container of leftovers on Thanksgiving night. Just so I don’t have to share. ‘Tis true. Shameful, but true.

I made this dressing recipe because it calls for many of my favorite ingredients: cornbread, bacon, leeks, and pecans. With that combination of ingredients, how can it be anything but delicious? It’s also very simple to prepare – I would bake the cornbread the day before Thanksgiving (I used Jiffy mix, btw) and then all you have to do is saute the bacon & leeks and mix everything together on the big day.

Cornbread, Bacon, Leek, and Pecan Dressing
Ingredients
  • 2 cups pecans
  • 2 cornbreads rounds, squares, or loaves, 8 inches each, coarsely broken into 2-inch pieces (16 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces, plus more for dish
  • 8 slices smoked bacon chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 leeks white and pale-green parts only, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces, rinsed well
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 4 large eggs lightly beaten
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spread pecans on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in oven for 7 minutes. Let cool slightly; coarsely chop. Mix together pecans and cornbread in a large bowl.
  2. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Cook bacon in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat until almost crisp, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; add leeks. Cook until leeks are tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in thyme and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt; season with pepper. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Return skillet to medium-high heat, and add stock; bring to a simmer, scraping up brown bits and stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Add to bowl with bacon-leek mixture. Stir in eggs. Gently mix in cornbread mixture. (Do not overmix.) Transfer to baking dish. Dot top with butter. Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes.
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We’re about a week and a half away from Thanksgiving so it’s about time I start giving you some holiday recipes, huh? Recently Red Star Yeast contacted me and asked if I wanted to bake up some of their holiday treats to share with you guys. How could I say no? Working with yeast is one of my favorite things in the world and I’m thrilled to bring you some recipes that will hopefully make your holiday meals even better!

We’re kicking the festivities off with the perfect Thanksgiving morning breakfast! It’s just what you need the morning of – a little sweetness before a day filled with savory eats!

I’m not sure whose grandma created this created this recipe but she’s a smart cookie, that grandma. The dough is deliciously sweet and rises perfectly to create light and fluffy rolls. The filling is a fairly standard cinnamon roll filling: butter, sugar, cinnamon, and nuts – all the good stuff, of course. And the glaze, oh my goodness, the glaze. Normally I use heavy cream to thin out glazes but this recipe calls for butter! I cannot even begin to describe how amazing it is. It also includes maple flavoring (you could use syrup if you don’t have flavoring – just use a tablespoon and decrease the butter to 2 tablespoons) and coffee which just puts these bad boys completely over the top.

This recipe makes a ton so it’s perfect if you’ve got a house full of people and if not, it’s easily halved and still turns out perfectly.

Grandma's Cinnamon Rolls
Ingredients
For the dough:
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter at room temperature
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • cup bread flour
  • teaspoons yeast
For the filling:
  • 1/3 cup butter melted
  • ½ cup nuts chopped (I used pecans)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
For the glaze:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon maple flavoring
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons hot coffee
Instructions
  1. In large mixer bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast, ½ cup sugar, and salt; mix well. Heat milk, water and butter to 120F to 130F; butter does not need to melt. Add to flour mixture; add eggs. Blend at low speed until moistened; beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic, 5 to 8 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place until dough tests ripe.
  2. To make the filling, combine ¾ cup sugar, nuts, and cinnamon; set aside.
  3. Punch down dough. Divide into 2 parts. On lightly floured surface, roll or pat each half to a 12 x 9-inch rectangle. Brush each part with half of melted butter; sprinkle half of Filling over dough. Starting with 12-inch side, roll up tightly. Pinch edges to seal. Cut into 12 slices. Place in greased 13 x 9-inch pans. Cover; let rise until indentation remains after lightly touching side of roll.
  4. Bake at 375F for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Combine all Glaze ingredients; blend until smooth. Drizzle Glaze over hot rolls; cool.

This post is sponsored by Red Star Yeast. That said, Red Star Yeast is the only yeast I use and this recipe is fantastic!

 

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This week’s Project Pastry Queen recipe was chosen by Beth of The Powdered Plum and she chose the Caramel-Filled Brownies.

It amazes me that after all the times I’ve flipped through The Pastry Queen, I’ve never even noticed this recipe. Brownies, caramel, pecans – it’s everything I usually look for in recipes! The brownies definitely did not disappoint. They’re ooey and gooey just like brownies should be and the caramel just makes them extra gooey and delicious. They’re amazing – no, beyond amazing – right out of the oven. I’ve been heating up the oven each time I have one so that I get that fresh-baked, oozy caramel taste.

The recipe was simple but it will take longer than a typical brownie recipe. You bake half the batter, top it with the caramel sauce and the rest of the batter, then bake it the rest of the way. But it’s worth the extra effort, trust me. (I halved the recipe in an 8 x 8 pan and it worked out fine.)

Make sure you visit Beth to get the recipe and the Project Pastry Queen page to check in with the other bakers!

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