Let us give thanks for this one day that is, by design, moderation resistant. May no American pretend to prepare healthy food or plan to eat sensible amounts, and may no pie go unaccompanied by ice cream, whipped cream, or better yet, another slice of pie.
As we are utterly in favor of spending Thanksgiving gilding the lily, food-wise, we naturally suggest spiking your traditional desserts -- bread pudding, pumpkin pie -- with a hit of your favorite rich, dark spirits. Here's four can't-miss (and can't-stop-eating) ways to celebrate all of the things in life for which you're grateful.
Kentucky Bourbon Brownies
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
2 tablespoons water
1 6-ounce pkg semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1/4 cup bourbon
Powdered sugar, for garnish
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and stir, then set aside. Combine sugar, shortening, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; remove from heat once thoroughly combined. Add chocolate chips and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, stirring throughout. Add dry ingredients and walnuts. Pour mixture into a greased 9-inch square pan. Bake at 325°F for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately out of the oven, drizzle bourbon evenly over warm brownies. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Adapted from The Junior League of Owensboro, Kentucky
Jack Daniel's Bread Pudding
Makes 12 servings
1 cup raisins
1 tablespoon fresh orange or lemon zest
1/3 cup Jack Daniel’s® Tennessee Whiskey
7 cups cubed white bread, lightly toasted
1 cup sugar
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup (½ stick) butter, cut into small pieces
Nutmeg, to taste
Heavu cream, to serve (optional)
Combine the raisins, zest, and Jack Daniel's® in a small bowl. Let soak about 20 minutes. Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Place bread cubes in the prepared dish. Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the milk and vanilla. Sprinkle the raisin mixture evenly over the bread cubes. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and let stand about 15 minutes. Heat the oven to 375°F. Dot the top of the pudding with butter and sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake until golden brown and set in the center, about 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm. Drizzle each serving with heavy cream, if desired.
Knob Creek Pumpkin Pie
2 cups cooked pumpkin, strained
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spices
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons Knob Creek ® Bourbon
2 tablespoons flour
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
Dash of salt
1 cup milk or light cream
To the pumpkin add melted butter, spices, lemon juice and bourbon. Beat eggs until light and lemon colored. Add the flour. When well blended, add sugars, salt, and milk. Combine the two mixtures. Pour into a 9-inch unbaked pie shell.
Bake 15 minutes at 450°F, reduce heat to 375°F and bake an additional 30 minutes or until pie sets.
Evan Williams Apple Crisp
8 medium tart apples (Jonathan or Granny Smith)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Evan Williams Bourbon
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 1/1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup soft butter
vanilla ice-cream, to serve
Peel, core, and slice apples. Toss with sugar, Bourbon, raisins, and nuts. Place in 1 1/2 quart buttered baking dish. Blend together brown sugar, flour, rolled oats, cinnamon and butter. Spread mixture over apples. Bake at 375°F for 35 to 40 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is golden brown. Serve warm, topped with vanilla ice-cream.