French Toast Muffins

When I first looked at this recipe, I was hesitant.  I’m not a pup anymore.  Remember when you could eat a huge cinnamon roll donut as a kid and be just fine until lunch?  Ya, me, too.  Try that now and I feel heavy and sick to my stomach.  Don’t even get me started on the feeling like a nap is imminent.  These are the reasons I had to pause.  But, I was making this ahead for Tahoe, so coupled with some eggs, if just might work.  And I dare say, it did!

Ingredients:

For muffins:

1 loaf French bread cut into 1/2″ cubes (challah is a great option here)
2 cups milk
6 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (such as Spice Island)

For streusel topping:

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces

Preparation:

Spray a 12-muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Cut bread into cubes and completely fill each well with bread.  In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, sugar, and vanilla.  Carefully pour mixture evenly over each muffin well, compressing the bread cubes to allow more liquid to be absorbed. Cover the tin with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 – 12 hours.  (I refrigerated 2-3 hours and they were still amazing!)

Preheat oven to 350° and prepare streusel topping.  In a small bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and butter.  Use two forks or two knives to crumble mixture into coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle mixture evenly on muffins.

Bake muffins 20 – 25 minutes, or until tops are golden.  Let muffins cool about 5 minutes and serve warm.  These are great made ahead and then popped in the toaster oven.

Serves: 12 muffins
Total time: 2 hours, 40 minutes

Serves-4.com

*Derived from The Pioneer Woman

Chai Spiced Banana Bread

Chai Spiced Banana Bread - Loaf

Sometimes you just know a recipe is going to be perfect. From that first moment you lay eyes on it. Maybe it’s the ingredients that are your favorites or bring special memories. Maybe it is the Chef. Someone that has a history of delighting your palate. In this case, it was both. When my eyes first danced upon Chai Spiced Banana Bread from Jennifer Segal of Once Upon a Chef, I had to stop as a quick breath escaped my lips. Chai? And banana bread? How can that be? How can that be!? I could hardly wait for everyone to fall asleep that night (there is some baking / cooking you want to do on your own. I can’t explain it.). As I was cleaning the dishes I assembled the ingredients. I would go in at bedtime as everyone was quietly snoring. As I sifted the spices: cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice, I knew this was going to be perfect. As I mashed the bananas and readied my inverted pumpkin loaf pan, I knew this was going perfect. My only hesitation, my only fear, came as the bread was baking and the most amazing aroma enveloped my home. Surely it was going to wake at least the family, and quite possible the whole sleepy neighborhood! No one awoke and I was able to get a few hours sleep before my youngest foodie made her appearance. “What is that amazing smell Mommy?” “Oh that? Just some bread I made last night. Would you like to try it?” And as I showed D the bread she started jumping up and down, licking her lips. I gave her a big, fat slice (it was breakfast time, after all). “Oh mommy, this is SO good. You are the best cooker ever! I love everything you cook. Can you cook this again?” And I knew it was perfect.

Ingredients:

1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off with a knife
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas, from 2-3 bananas
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a 9x5x3″ loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.  In a large bowl or electric m ixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each addition.  Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and salt.  Add to the butter mixture and beat gently until just combined.  Add bananas, sour cream and vanilla and mix on low speed until just combined.  Gently stir in nuts if using.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake until deep golden brown and cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 60 – 70 minutes.  Let rest for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely.  Serve warm or even toasted.

Servings: One Loaf
Prep time: 10 minutes; Baking: 70 minutes

Chai Spiced Banana Bread - Slices

Courtesy:  Once Upon A Chef

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Peach Cake

I made this a month or so ago when I was hosting a housewarming party for my sister and am just now getting to post it (there are several other recipes from that afternoon that I have yet to add, so stay tuned).  This is my 3rd peach cake / cobbler this summer!  There is nothing like fresh summer peaches.  Biting into them and the juice runs down your chin making your neck and hands sticky.  In this recipe I used white peaches,  next time I’ll use the classic yellow peach.  Picking them up at the farmers market ensures their juiciness (and has absolutely nothing to do with the large $5 bag of kettle corn I might accidentally buy there).  So while we’re now full on into apple and pumpkin season, hopefully there are still some amazing peaches to be had and baked with  🙂

Peach Cake 2

Ingredients:

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 tsp pur vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 large, ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup chopped pecans (I omitted this since it was for my sister and she doesn’t like pecans)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350.  Coat 9″ square baking pan with cooking spray.

Beat butter and 1 cup of sugar for 3 to 5 minutes on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy.  With the mixer on low, add eggs, one at a time, then the sour cream and vanilla, mix until batter is smooth.  In separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until combined.  In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon.

Spread half the batter evenly in the pan.  Top with half of the peaches, then sprinkle with about two-thirds of the sugar mixture.  Spread remaining batter on top, arrange the remaining peaches on top and sprinkle with the remaining sugar mixture and pecans

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 8

Prep time: 20 mins; Baking time: 55 minutes

Peach Cake 3

*Courtesy of Barefoot Contessa

Stone fruit Cake

From the first bite, I had visions for this cake. I envisioned myself sitting on the deck, drinking my coffee, reading the Sunday paper, eating this cake still warm from the oven. Also, I envisioned myself inviting my best girlfriends over for brunch and serving this cake with a mimosa. Dust it with powdered sugar instead of the cinnamon and sugar and inviting friends over for the last BBQ of the season just got a little easier. No matter how you slice it (did I just really say that??) this cake deserves to be on your regular rotation. Oh, and don’t let me forget to me mention, my first bite of this cake was Thanks to my good friend Michele O. I’ve switched it up a little (because that’s what I do), but you can try her version, it was amazing!

photo (2)

 

Ingredients:

1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar + 2 T divided
2 eggs at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
3-4 sliced peaches (or other ripened stone fruit, MO used nectarines)
1/2 cup raspberries
1 tsp cinnamon (MO used fresh grated nutmeg)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream together butter and 3/4 cup of sugar; add 2 eggs, blending one at a time; add vanilla and beat until fluffy.

In separate bowl, whisk together flour with baking powder. Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture, beat until just blended.

Spray pan with nonstick cooking spray (MO buttered her pan). Spread dough into pan. It’s going to look like there isn’t enough dough. Believe me, there is.

Top dough with fruit. In a small bowl, combine remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over top of cake.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan. Either serve immediately, or whenever the mood guests arrive.

Cook time: 45 minutes; Total time: 1 hour

108

Derived from: Michele Oeberst recipe


French Toast

I usually use brioche or french bread when making this French Toast.  This time, however, I used thick cinnamon swirl bread that I found at Lunardi’s when I went to pick up some salmon.  The kids had been begging me for french toast and the Hubs tried to make it one morning with just our regular wheat bread.  Their response?  “This is not how mom makes it!”  They were in for a treat!  And why not?  After crinkling their noses when comparing the Hubs’s to mine?  I would have given them the credit card!

French Toast bread

Ingredients:

1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbs sugar
4 Tbs butter
4 eggs
1/4 cup of milk (can use soy, but will change flavor slightly)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (such as Morton & Bassett Spices)
8 slices challah, brioche, or french bread

Preparation:

In a small bowl combine cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar.  Set aside.

In a 10″ or 12″ skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Whisk together cinnamon mixture, eggs, milk, and vanilla and pour into a shallow container.  Dip bread in egg mixture.  Fry slices until golden brown, then flip to cook other side.  Serve with warm preferred toppings such as syrup, fruit compote, or powder sugar.

Serves 4

Total time: 30 minutes

Finished French Toast

*Courtesy of Robert Irvine @ Foodnetwork

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