This jazzed-up Southern cornbread dressing is made with Louisiana chef Frank Brigtsen's cornbread, which is sweet and flecked with scallions and jalapeños. If you want to streamline the dish, use store-bought cornbread.
To prepare cornbread: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square baking dish with cooking spray.
Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir in scallions and jalapeño.
Whisk eggs in a medium bowl until frothy. Add buttermilk and melted butter; whisk until blended. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a flexible spatula until well blended. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish.
Bake the cornbread until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack, about 30 minutes.
To prepare dressing: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add 6 cups onions, 4 cups celery, 2 cups bell peppers and bay leaves. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are very tender and dark brown, about 15 minutes.
Add the remaining 2 cups onions, 1 cup each celery and bell peppers, garlic, salt, thyme, pepper, white pepper and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the recently added onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Discard the bay leaves.
Crumble the cornbread and add to the vegetable mixture, along with broth; mix until well blended. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes.
Whisk eggs in a medium bowl until frothy. Add 3 large spoonfuls of the cornbread dressing, one at a time, mixing well after each spoonful. Fold the eggy mixture back into the dressing in the pan. Add butter and mix until well blended. Bake until the top is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes more.
To make ahead: Store cornbread (Steps 1-4) airtight at room temperature for up to 2 days.