Indulge your sweet tooth this Thanksgiving with these delicious twists on traditional desserts from Stella Parks, pastry chef with Table 310 in Kentucky.
Pumpkin Pie Spiced Brownies
1 cup all purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa, preferably Dutch process
2 sticks unsalted butter
¾ cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice (or 2 tsp. ground cinnamon, ½ tsp. ground ginger, ¼ tsp. ground cloves, and ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg)
¼ cup pumpkin seeds or chocolate covered sunflower seeds
Preheat the oven to 300° and lightly grease a 10" cast iron skillet (or 9" x 13" brownie pan).
Sift together the flour and cocoa, then set aside.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Once melted, increase the heat to medium and cook until hot and bubbly. Immediately remove from heat, add the chocolate, and whisk until smooth.
Combine the eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, and spices in a medium bowl. Use a hand or stand mixer (fitted with a whisk attachment) to mix the ingredients on low speed until fully moistened. Increase speed to medium and whip for about five minutes, or until the mixture has lightened in color and increased in volume.
Shut off the mixer and pour in the butter/chocolate mixture all at once. Mix on low speed until combined, then add in the flour/cocoa mixture. Keep mixing on low until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Stop mixing and stir with a rubber spatula, to make sure no unmixed pockets of batter remain. Adjust spices to taste.
Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan, using the back of a spoon to smooth.
Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and bake for about 30 minutes. The brownie is very dense and will retain its heat and keep cooking for quite some time, so it's alright if it seem a little underdone.
Cool to room temperature before cutting. Stored in an airtight container, the brownies will keep for about one week.
Brown Sugar, Pear and Pistachio Cake
4 sticks butter
2 lbs. (6-8) winter pears, or unripe Bosc or Bartlett pears, scrubbed clean
6 large eggs
3 cups brown sugar
3 tsp. baking soda
1½ tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
3 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 lb. (3 cups) toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
GINGER BUTTERCREAM FROSTING