Best French Toast. Ever.

Usually there are French toast people and then there are pancake people. If you happen to be strictly among the pancake lovers I have the recipe to change your mind.



When it comes to making good French toast there are two very important factors. The first is good bread, cinnamon-raisin in my book is the best. As the bread cooks, the filling gets all melty and gooey, it makes all the difference in the world. The second is the custard, I was told once that just plain French toast could be delicious without syrup. Shocking I know, but if you have a good egg mixture to soak your bread in, you won’t even need syrup. French toast is way simpler to whip up than pancakes. So this weekend you can enjoy a delicious, yet simple breakfast right from home.

Here’s my Notes:

1)Forget the egg whites, just egg yolks in this recipe. If you don’t have heavy cream you can use half & half instead.

2)Slice the bread in thick slices. If you cut them too thin it will just fall apart.

3)I’ve only made my French toast with homemade cinnamon-raisin bread, but store-bought is definitely fine. But if you decide to make some homemade bread it keeps great in the freezer. Just pull it out whenever you get the craving.

Best French Toast. Ever.

Yields: about 4 servings

Ingredients:

4 egg yolks

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

pinch of salt

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 thick slices of cinnamon raisin bread

syrup & powdered sugar, for toppings

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and place a cooling rack on a baking sheet and place in the oven.

In a shallow dish (like a pie dish) whisk together all the ingredients except for the bread 😝.

Over medium heat melt one Tablespoon of butter in a skillet. Place a slice of bread in the egg mixture and allow it to soak on each side for about 1 minute. I cook mine for about 6 minutes each side. Once the french toast is cooked, place it in the oven to keep warm. Continue with the remaining slices of bread. Serve the french toast with powdered sugar or syrup. Enjoy!

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{Super-Easy} Apple Turnovers

Who knew that your favorite bakery treat was so easy to make? Get ready…. this is the easiest pastry ever. period.

It had been a while since I had a apple turnover. Recently, I whipped up a batch one morning for a breakfast I did for my friends. I sat there wondering why I haven’t made them sooner. They come together in no time, and they simply are just delicious. I mean seriously, how can you go wrong with puff pastry and spiced apples?

Here’s My Notes:

1)It’s very important to place the assembled turnovers in the freezer before baking them. Freezing them keeps the pastry super cold, which insures that the pastries will puff up and hold their shape while baking.

2)Honestly, I don’t think the kind of apple you use really matters in this recipe. I usually have Golden Delicious or Red Delicious on hand.

3)When it comes to nutmeg, freshly grated nutmeg is the best, not the already ground nutmeg in the container. I suggest getting whole nutmeg and grating it. I usually just eyeball the amount.

{Super-Easy} Apple Turnovers

Yields: 6 turnovers

Ingredients:

For filling:

1 cups diced and peeled apples (about 2 medium apples)

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

freshly grated nutmeg, about 1/8 teaspoon

pinch of salt

1 egg, beaten well

For icing:

1 Tablespoon powdered sugar

splash of heavy cream

1 Tablespoon butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 package of store-bought puff pastry (I really like the Pepperidge Farm Brand)

Directions:

In a medium-sized bowl combine diced apples, sugar, salt, and spices.

Roll out the puff pastry onto a floured sureface. Using the scores already on the pastry as a guide, cut each sheet into 6 equal rectangles. Using a pastry brush, brush the beaten egg around the perimeter of each rectangle.

Assemble the pastries on a parchment paper lined sheet pan. In the center of 6 of the rectangles place about 1 1/2 Tablespoons – 2 Tablespoons of the apple mixture. Then top with a rectangle of pastry. Seal by pressing a fork down into the pastry all the way around. Brush the tops with the rest of the egg and make 4-5 slits using a sharp knife.

Pop the assembled turnovers in the freezer for about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Once oven is preheated bake the turnovers for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Prepare the icing while the turnovers are baking.  Simply whisk the icing ingredients together with a fork in a small bowl.

Allow the turnovers to cool slightly before icing them. Serve & Enjoy!

 

 

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Braided Nutella Bread 

What is better than warm homemade bread filled with Nutella?

Whenever I get an idea for a bread recipe I always start with my trusty challah bread recipe. It has a nice tender texture, but it’s also able to hold up to whatever I fill it with.
This time around I kept the filling super simple and classic.

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Here’s My Notes:

1)When making bread I always find it helpful to read the recipe throughly before beginning.

2)This bread is best eaten the day it’s baked, any leftovers should be stored well covered. This bread makes an amazing breakfast! I have a recipe coming soon for any leftover bread you may have. So be looking for part 2.

3)I love the ripples of Nutella throughout the bread. BUT don’t go over board with the filling. I don’t have measurements for the Nutella, just spread enough to cover the rolled out dough and that’s it. If you overfill the loaf it will ooze everywhere and cause a mess.

4)I find that the laundry room is a good place to rise dough. I place the bowl on the dryer and close the laundry room door.

 

Braided Nutella Bread

Yields: 1 large loaf

Ingredients: 

•2 teaspoons dry yeast

•1 cup warm water (around 108-112 degrees F.)

•4 – 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

•1/4 cup sugar

•2 teaspoons salt

•2 eggs

•1 egg yolk

•1/4 cup oil

•Nutella

Directions:

Prepare the yeast: In a two-cup measuring cup sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and add a pinch of sugar to help activate the yeast. Stir to dissolve the yeast and allow to stand for about 10 minutes or until you see a thin frothy layer over the top of the water.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the 4 cups flour, sugar, and salt. Making a well in the center of the flour add in the eggs, yolk, and oil. Pour in the yeast mixture and whisk to make a slurry. Switching to a wooden spoon mix until you form a shaggy dough.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, knead the dough on low for about 6-8 minutes. If the dough still seems very sticky add a little flour at a time, about one Tablespoon. The dough is finished kneading when it’s soft, smooth, and forms a ball.

Place the dough in a oiled bowl, covered with plastic wrap, and place in a warm place for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until doubled in size. Once the dough has risen, remove the dough from the bowl onto a well floured surface. Roll into a rectangle, about 3/4 of a inch thick. Then, spread a layer of Nutella over the rolled out dough.

Now, roll the dough up, starting with the side farthest away from you rolling the dough towards you. Next, cut completely down the center of the dough, end to end. Turn the sides up and carefully twist the dough….I start from the middle. Such the ends underneath the twisted loaf. Gently place the loaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat. let the loaf rise for 1 hour.

Bake the loaf in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F. for 35-40 minutes or until the bread reaches an internal temperature pf 190 degrees F. and is golden brown.

You can enjoy this bread right out of the oven. I love to dust the top with powdered sugar. Enjoy!

 

 

♥More recipes using my favorite Challah Bread Recipe

 

Braided Orange & Almond Sweet Bread

 

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Apple Cinnamon Crunch Bread

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Honey Sweetened Iced Green Tea {Tazo Tea Copycat}

Out of all the iced tea recipes I’ve come up with….this is the favorite. I’ve made this tea several times for different occasions and every time it’s a huge hit. When I show up at get- togethers I’m always asked, “Did you make the TEA?”.

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This tea is a copycat for Tazo Iced Green Tea, which I bought on a total whim at a health food store for an afternoon lunch with a friend. We both fell absolutely in love with it and I knew immediately that I had to recreate it.

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Now that it’s summer, it’s the perfect refreshment to enjoy with friends. Go ahead and make a double patch, you’ll thank me later.

Here’s My Notes:

 1)The secret to this tea tasting like the real thing is using Tazo Zen  tea bags…. it’s infused with spearmint & lemongrass.

2)As I say in every iced tea recipe….iced tea tastes better after it has time to chill. Please, please chill it for at least 2 hours before you drink it 🙏.

3)I love my tea sweet, not lightly sweetened or a hint of sweet, so I add two cups of sweetener per gallon. I know that two cups of sugar may not be everyone’s cup of tea (😉) , so feel free to half the sugar.

4)After making this tea several times, I like the flavor of more honey. I use half honey, half sugar. Again, feel free to half the sugar or sweeten to your taste…to each his own.

 

Honey Sweetened Iced Green Tea

Yields: 1 gallon

Ingredients;

Tazo Zen tea bags

4 black tea bags, I use Red Rose tea

6 cups water

1 cup honey

1 cup sugar

lemon slices & fresh mint are nice garnishes

Directions:

In a medium sized saucepan bring the water and tea bags to just a boil; steep for about 15-20 minutes.

In a 1 gallon pitcher pour in honey and sugar, once the tea has steeped add it to the pitcher. Stir well to dissolve the sugar and place in the fridge to chill for a least 2 hours before serving. Garnish with slices of lemon and a handful of fresh mint.

Enjoy & Happy Summer !

 

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enjoying my iced green tea in my favorite cup

Chocolate Punch Bowl Dessert 

There is just something about creamy, layered desserts that people just can’t get enough of…


This dessert was inspired by my Aunt Sheree, who described to me a dessert she had just made for a church luncheon. (She informed me that cook & serve pudding is way better than just the instant.) I thought I would give her version a try, and served it at my church too. Well, I could barely get a picture before they devoured it. Layered desserts always seem to do well with crowds. They’re easy to make, but impressive to look at…..not to mention it’s delicious. I promise if you take this to a summer cook-out, it will be a huge hit!!

Here’s My Notes:

1)When you’re using cook & serve pudding make sure you use it right away. As the pudding cools, it will form a skin on the top— so layer immediately.

2)I decided to top my dessert with fresh strawberries, but mini Oreos would be cute too.

3)I crushed my oreo cookies in my food processor to crumbs. You can just crush them up in a plastic Zip-loc bag.

4)I wanted to put my dessert in a punch bowl, but they were all too big…so i just went with a trifle dish. But if you really want to feed a crowd you could easily double this recipe and serve it in a huge punch bowl.

5)This dessert is perfect to make in advance.

 

Chocolate Punch Bowl Dessert

Ingredients:

•1 (18.3 oz) package brownie mix

•1 (8 oz) package cream cheese

•1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

•1/2 cup sugar

•1 1/2 cups heavy cream

•1 teaspoon vanilla

•1 (3.4 oz) cook & serve chocolate pudding

•1 (14.3 oz) package oreo cookies (crushed)

🍓 Strawberries, halved 

Directions:

Prepare and bake the brownie mix according to the package directions; allow to cool completely before cutting into cubes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together the cream cheese and sugars until smooth; transfer to another bowl. In the same stand mixer bowl whip the heavy cream and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese – sugar mixture to the whipped cream; beat together for about 5 minutes on high speed.

Prepare the cook & serve pudding according to package directions.

Assembly

It’s finally time to layer the chocolate masterpiece! Begin with a brownie layer… next, a generous layer of cream…then pudding… and finally crushed oreos. Continue this process til u fill the bowl. Chill for at least two hours before serving. I suggest making it the night before and chilling it overnight. I topped my dessert with halved strawberries, but garnish however you desire. Enjoy! 🍓

 

♥More summer desserts:

The Easiest Dessert Ever!

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Blueberry & Peach Cobbler with Bourbon Caramel Sauce

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Easter Egg Nest Candy 

How can something so simple be so delicious and so addictive ?!


At Christmas time, haystack candy is often made and given out as gifts to family and friends. But if you’re like me…. you want to enjoy it year round.  Here is a way to make it springtime appropriate. How cute would it be to receive these in your Easter basket 🐣

Here’s My Notes:

1)When I was at the store getting my Chow Mein noodles there were two options: a 12 ounce bag of noodles & a 5 ounces can of noodles. Since this was my first time making this candy, I wasn’t sure which to get. Thanks to this kind lady behind me in the check-out line for informing me that it doesn’t matter which one to use…..they’re the same. I used the can because it was already weighed out. 

2) You can use whatever egg shaped candy you like.  I used Peanut Butter M&M’s candy.

🌷 Easter Egg Nest Candy 🌷

Yields: 10 nest candies

Ingredients:

1 (12oz.) package butterscotch chips

1 (5oz.) can Chow Mein noodles

Egg shaped candy, such as M&M’s

Directions:

In a large glass bowl melt the butterscotch chips in the microwave, it took about two minutes to completely melt. Add the Chow Mein noodles to the bowl of melted butterscotch chips and stir to completely coat the noodles. Scoop out the candy onto parchment paper to form little monds. Press a few eggs in the center to create a little nest. Allow the candy to harden completely. Enjoy !

  French Patisserie Inspired Chocolate Chip Cookies 

I seriously have no idea if there are chocolate chips cookies in a French Patisserie….  If they are….these would be in it.


As soon as I saw these cookies my immediate thought was that they should be in a cute French sweets shop. There is something so elegant about this ultra flat cookie with it’s crinkly edges and specks of dark chocolate.

Another thing about these cookies that caught my attention was the actual recipe. After 10 minutes of baking you take the tray of cookies and drop them against the oven rack. This creates crinkle edges and a completely flat cookie.


I know this is a bold statement but these are the absolute best cookies I’ve ever had. They’re crispy and thin but still some how chewy. Another bonus is that they taste equally as good the next day.

Here’s My Notes:

1)You must freeze these cookies for 15 minutes before baking. They will spread way too much if you don’t. I know it’s a extra step but it’s well worth it.

2)Even if you’re a fan of thick, soft cookies I still recommend making these….they’re life changing.

3)Because these cookies spread a lot, I only put four on each baking tray.

4) I weighed my dough on a scale, 3 1/2 ounces of dough per cookie. If you don’t have a scale you can just measure out a 1/3 cup of dough per cookie.

5)Lining the pans with foil is important, this helps to create the crinkles and an extra-crisp, golden brown bottom.

French Patisserie Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yields: 12 (4-inch) cookies

Ingredients:

•1 cup (two sticks) butter, softened

•1 1/2 cups sugar

•1/4 cup brown sugar

•1 egg

•2 Tablespoons water

•2 teaspoons vanilla

•2 cups all-purpose flour

•1/2 teaspoon baking soda

•1/4 teaspoon salt

•6 ounces dark chocolate chopped

•Sea Salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line three cookie sheets with foil, dull side up.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed for about 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add the egg, vanilla, and water; mix  on low until combined. Mix in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Fold in chopped chocolate.

Form 3 1/2 ounce balls of dough and place four balls of dough on each baking sheet and freeze for 15 minutes before baking.

Place the chilled baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for ten minutes. After ten minutes of baking, lift the the baking sheet up about 4″ and let it drop down against the oven rack; repeat this step every two minutes (I dropped my cookies three times). Bake the cookies for a total of 18 minutes. Look for golden brown edges and a light center that’s not fully cooked. Let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes before removing them from the pan. Enjoy ! 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Waffle Sundae

Grab a friend, cause your going to want to share.

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Here in the south we have been having some extreme weather changes. One week it’s freezing temps and the next it’s sunny & 75 degrees out. To take advantage of the warmer days Rachel and I made this cooling sweet treat. It’s really easy and simple to make…no oven required.

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Rachel and I enjoyed our sundae while listening to Jon Bellion

You can put anything in a waffle maker, so why not cookie dough? We just used store-bought refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough. Once the giant cookie has been cooked, it taste just like a Chip Ahoy cookie. Bonus, it only takes a matter of minutes for this cookie to cook. You will have a delicious dessert in no time! Whip one of these up and head to the back porch.

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For toppings we wanted to keep it light & fresh for our sundae, so we opted for fresh strawberries and sliced banana. The topping possibilities are endless for your sundae……hot fudge sauce, sprinkles, chopped pecans, whipped cream, etc.

Here’s My Notes:

1)It will take about a whole (16.5 ounces) package of cookie dough for one waffle.

2)Don’t over fill you waffle maker.  If you over fill the waffle maker, the cookie dough will run out the side and cause a huge mess…I know.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Waffle Sundae

Yields: 1 waffle; 2 servings

Ingredients:

•1 (16.5) package refrigerated cookie dough

•Ice Cream

•Strawberries, sliced

•Bananas, sliced (we used one large banana)

Directions:

Before you heat up the waffle maker spray it well with non-stick cooking spray. Fill the waffle maker with cookie dough, leaving a 1 and 1/2 inch space from the edge. Plug in the maker and cook the cookie for about 2 minutes. Transfer the cookie to a plate and top it with a few scoops of ice-cream and tons of sliced strawberries and banana. Grab some spoons and Enjoy !

 

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Brownie Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies {Levian Bakery Style}

The Levian Bakery is located in New York City. The bakery is famous for their ginormous cookies that are served fresh out of the oven.  I’ve never been there myself, but I’ve made copycat recipes for their cookies quite a few times and … they’re pretty amazing.

The Levian Bakery cookies weigh a whopping 6 oz.! That is a huge cookie, but I love that about them… it’s so extra.

I wanted to make a even more outrageous cookie and stuff an already 6 oz. cookie with a brownie, because………why not?!

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Here’s My Notes:

1)The key to these cookies are to under-bake the brownies and the cookies. If that’s not your thing this probably isn’t the cookie for you.

2)I just used a boxed brownie mix, if you want to make a homemade brownie…go for it.

3)I’ve tried chilling the cookies before baking them and no chilling at all. Honestly, I think it’s worth it to chill the cookies before baking. They hold their shape way better and don’t spread, which means a more gooey center…which is exactly what you want for this recipe.

3)I suggest a darker chocolate for these cookies, I used a mixture of semi-sweet chocolate chips and chopped dark chocolate.

4)These cookies the next day are not as good as when they’re fresh. An easy fix is to pop it in the microwave for about 15 seconds…I promise it tastes like it’s fresh out of the oven.

5)My cookies tip the scale at 8 ounces and I enjoyed mine with a cup of coffee, but a glass of milk is always a good idea with a warm chocolate chip cookie. Btw I had no problem at all with eating a whole cookie.

6)If you don’t have bread flour, it’s no big deal. I have made these cookies with just all-purpose flour. However, the bread flour does make the cookie more tender and ultra soft. Also, I do weigh my flour and sugar out on a scale, but feel free to just measure it with measuring cups.

Brownie Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies {Levian Bakery Style}

Yields: 8 (8oz.) cookies

Ingredients:

•1 boxed brownie mix, baked according to package directions (I baked mine for just 25 minutes     to get a gooey texture)

•3 cups (13.5 ounces) bread flour

•1 teaspoon baking powder

•1/4 teaspoon baking soda

•3/4 teaspoon salt

•1 cup butter, room temperature

•3/4 cup + 4 teaspoons (6 ounces) brown sugar

•1/2 cup sugar

•2 eggs

•1 teaspoon vanilla

•8 ounces chocolate, I used a mixture of semi-sweet chocolate chips & chopped dark chocolate

Ingredients:

Bake the brownie mix according to package directions in an 8×8 pan. Allow them to cool completely, cut the brownies into 25 squares (5 by 5 rows).

Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Using a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars for about 1-2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla; beat until fully incorporated. Then, add in the dry ingredients. With a rubber spatula mix in the chocolate.

Scoop the cookie dough with a 1.5 Tablespoons cookie scoop.  Place six scoops of dough on a cookie sheet. Flatten out the dough with your hand. Take a brownie square and place it in the center of the cookie dough. With the remaining cookie dough in the mixing bowl, use your fingers to cover the brownie squares on each cookie. This can be messy and imperfect, but you can do it! Put the baking sheets in the fridge for 1 hour or 30 minutes in the freezer.

Once the cookies have chilled, bake them at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool for about 5 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack . Enjoy !

This recipe was adapted from HERE

♥ Other copycat recipes to check out:

Decadent Brownies with Raspberry Sauce {A Bonefish Grill Copycat}

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Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Roll Cups {A Cinnabon Copycat}

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Check out my Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe:

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Whole Wheat Molasses Cranberry- Walnut Bread

When I was younger, a close family friend baked us a loaf of cranberry-walnut wheat bread, I remember thinking it was the best bread I had ever eaten. At the time, I knew nothing about baking bread and the thought of someone making it homemade was so impressive to me. Now I know how simple and enjoyable it can be. You don’t have to be a well-seasoned baker to have fresh bread at home.

This bread is not just for your morning toast or simply just to slice and top with butter…..although it is great eaten like that……I love it to make sandwiches with it.  Especially a good turkey sandwich (Recipe will be at the bottom of this post).

Lunch with my little friend Emma 🤗

 

Here’s My Notes:

1)If you’re new to baking bread, I suggest reading through the recipe before beginning. The key to making bread is activating the yeast. Make sure your yeast has a good date and your water is 100-110 degrees. Anything less, and the yeast will not activate, if the water is too hot the yeast will die and be no good.

2)To me, the easiest way to know if your bread is baked through, is to use a thermometer to check the internal temperature. Bread is done when it reaches a temperature of 190 degrees F.

3)If three loaves of bread is too much, simply wrap the bread up in foil and freeze. Thaw on the counter when your ready to use. Or you can share with someone special……

 

Whole Wheat Molasses Cranberry Walnut Bread

Yields: three loaves; Approx. 32 servings

Ingredients:

•3 cups warm water (100-110 degrees F.)

•2 (.25 ounces) packages or 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

•1/3 cup molasses

•1 Tablespoons sugar

•5 cups bread flour

•4 Tablespoons butter, melted

•1/3 cup honey

•1 Tablespoon salt

•3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 (12 ounce) package dried cranberries, chopped

1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together the warm water, yeast, sugar, and molasses. Add in the bread flour and mix using a wooden spoon. Allow to set for 30 minutes, it will be big and bubbly.

Add in the melted butter, honey, salt, dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts. Stir with the wooden spoon until well combined.   Mix in the 2 cups of whole wheat flour. Flour a flat work surface, knead dough with more wheat flour until it’s no longer super sticky, this may take an additional 2-4 cups of flour. Place the dough in a well oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat the top. Cover with a clean dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Punch down the risen dough, and cut them evenly into three loaves. Place in greased loaf pans, cover and allow to rise again until doubled in size (about 30 minutes).

Bake the loaves in a oven preheated to 350 degrees F. for about 25 minutes. I’ve baked this bread many times and my loaves are always done at 25 minutes of baking, ovens very. Enjoy !

 

The Best Turkey Sandwich:

Toast two slices of Whole Wheat Molasses Cranberry-Walnut Bread. Spread a thin layer of room temperature cream cheese on each slice. Add sliced or mashed avocado, season with salt & pepper. Layer on deli-sliced turkey meat, lettuce and tomato. Serve with your favorite chips or fresh fruit … you seriously have the perfect lunch.

 

 

♥ Other delicious bread recipes:

 

Apple Cinnamon Crunch Bread

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Braided Orange & Almond Sweet Bread

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