Thanksgiving Brussels Sprouts
- 2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup toasted, chopped pecans
- 3 tablespoons balsamic (use a sweet syrupy one or a balsamic glaze)
- 1/2 cup grated white cheddar cheese, optional
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl, toss the halved sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Don’t worry if leaves come off the sprouts, as these will crisp up nicely. Divide the seasoned sprouts between two half-sheet pans and roast until tender and nicely caramelized, about 25–30 minutes, turning with a spatula once or twice during cooking.
While the vegetables are roasting, cover the dried cranberries in hot water to plump them up. When the sprouts are done, toss them with the drained cranberries, pecans, and balsamic. If I’m serving these piping hot, I skip the cheese because I don’t want it to melt. If I’m serving them at room temperature, I toss them with the white cheddar. Drizzle with additional balsamic, if desired.
Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits
- 4 oz. of cream cheese (1/2 package), cold from the fridge, is fine
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Pinch salt
- 1 3.4 oz. package vanilla pudding mix
- 2 tsp. pumpkin spice
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- About 1 1/2 cups gingersnaps, 1 sleeve of cinnamon grahams, or 10 Biscoff cookies (my personal favorite)
Whip the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until smooth. Add the heavy cream, vanilla, salt, and whip until stiff peaks form. Divide this mixture in half; one portion will be folded into the pudding, and the other half will be used to top the parfaits.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla pudding mix, pumpkin spice, and milk. The package will call for 2 cups of milk, but 1 1/2 cups will allow for a slightly thicker pudding. Let stand for a couple of minutes to thicken. Fold the pumpkin puree and the reserved portion of the cream cheese whipped cream into this mixture. Roughly chop the cookies or put them in a resealable plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. I used 10 Biscoff cookies, which yielded about 1 1/4 cups of crushed cookies. To assemble, layer the pumpkin mousse and cookie crumbs in individual glasses (I did 3 layers), then top with the reserved whipped cream. I use a piping bag for both the pudding and the whipped cream for the cleanest, easiest assembly. I divided this recipe among eight 6-oz glass cups for full servings. If this will be one of several desserts, I would make small shot glass-size servings.
- make cream cheese whipped cream, whisk pudding, and start to trim Brussels
- season and get Brussels in to roast; fold in pumpkin puree to finish mousse
- crush cookies and assemble mousse; finish Brussels