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!

img_1651-6

Advertisements

{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!

 

 

img_1651-8

Gluten-Free Banana Bread


This gluten-free version blows regular banana bread out of the water. My friends and I can’t get enough of it. I’ve made this gluten-free quick bread over and over the past few weeks….we’re nowhere close to being tired of it. It’s a quick breakfast, perfect topped with salted butter with your afternoon coffee, or a comforting after dinner treat. 

Here’s My Notes:

1)I like to use Gluten-Free multi-purpose baking mixes, they’re easy and have everything you need…you don’t have to worry about finding any “special” ingredients. 

2)I do like to use a little xanthan gum, but it’s easy to find at any grocery now.

3)I like to use a rice baking mix and a garbanzo bean baking mix

4)To me…the key to a perfect banana bread every time is not overfilling the pan. If you have too much batter for your loaf pan, simply make a few muffins with the leftover batter.

5)I have always liked making my banana bread the day before I plan on serving it. Banana bread is always better the next day. 

Gluten-Free Banana Bread

Yields: 1 loaf 

Ingredients:

1 cup garbanzo bean baking mix 

1 cup rice flour baking mix

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum 

1 teaspoon baking powder 

1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1 cup brown sugar 

2 eggs

1/3 cup oil, I use grapeseed or canola 

1/3 cup sour cream 

1/3 cup whole milk buttermilk 

1 cup very ripe banana, mashed (I use 3 bananas)

1 teaspoon vanilla 


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients with a rubber spatula. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the top evenly with about 1/4 cup brown sugar. 

Then bake in preheated oven for about 55 minutes – 1 hour. Allow the loaf to cool for at least an hour for cutting. Enjoy !

Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Roll Cup {A Cinnabon Copycat Recipe}

I only visited Cinnabon for the first time this past year with my friend Ana-Maria. We didn’t go for the classic original roll, but the Caramel Pecan Center of the Roll. It was super soft, bursting with cinnamon flavor, and topped with perfectly toasted pecans. I saw these cute paper cups at the grocery store and I knew it was time for us to recreate our first Cinnabon experience. 


I know homemade cinnamon rolls seem like a big undertaking, plus there are quite a few steps. But it’s quite simple and straightforward. The end result is totally worth it, you will not be disappointed. Someone even commented, “This must be what heaven tastes like.” I’ve already been asked to make more….everyone will love them.


Here’s My Notes:

1)If you don’t want to put the cinnamon rolls in the paper cups, you can just drizzle the caramel frosting and sprinkle the pecans over the rolls in the pan they were baked in.

2)The cream cheese icing….I wanted it to be thin. I put 1/4 cup of milk in the recipe, but just add enough of milk to your liking. Anywhere from 2 Tablespoons – 1/4 cup milk should be good. 

3)I made the dough by hand. The dough was super soft. I think it was from lightly mixing, I highly recommend just mixing it up by hand.

5)I think the paper cups are super cute and perfect for Valentines. I found mine at Walmart in the Valentine’s Day section. You could put a cinnamon roll cup in a little box and hand out to friends and co-workers…they will love you for it 💕. Or just keep them in the pan and have your own Valentine’s Day treat that morning for breakfast…a good way to start the day. 

Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Roll Cups

Yields: 12 cinnamon rolls or 8 cups

Ingredients:

Dough

1 cup milk 

1 Tablespoon yeast 

1/4 cup sugar 

1 teaspoon salt 

3 Tablespoons butter, melted 

1 egg

3 cups all-purpose flour

Filling 

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted 

1 cup dark brown sugar 

Pinch of salt 

2 teaspoons cinnamon 

Cream Cheese Icing

4oz. (1/2 package) cream cheese, softened 

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted 

1/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

Caramel Frosting 
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter 

1 cup brown sugar 

1/4 heavy cream 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

2 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted 

Chopped pecans, toasted 

Directions:

In a two cup measuring cup. Warm the milk up in the microwave for about one minute (I like my milk to be about 108-112 degrees F.) In a large mixing bowl whisk together the warm milk, yeast, sugar, and salt. Then whisk in the egg and melted butter. Add in the flour and with a wooden spoon stir to form a dough. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface kneading for about a minute. Spray the bowl you mixed the dough in with non-stick cooking spray and place the dough back in. Cover with a clean tea towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for 45 minutes – a hour or until the dough as doubled in size. 

While the dough is rising prepare the filling: In a medium-sized bowl combine together the melted butter, dark brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. 

Once the dough has doubled in size, place it on a lightly floured surface and roll the dough out to 1/2-inches thick. Spread all of the filling mixture over the top. Starting with the end closest to you, roll the dough up tightly. Cut 12 equals slices. Brush a 9×13 baking dish with butter and equally space the rolls in the buttered pan. Cover the dish with the same tea towel and place back in a warm place to rise again for 30 minutes or until the rolls have doubled in size. 

While the rolls rise, prepare the cream cheese icing: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer, beat the cream until creamy. Slowly add in the sifted powdered sugar. Then after the cream cheese and powdered sugar are fully combined add in the milk and vanilla, beat for about a minute.

Next prepare the caramel frosting: In a medium-sized saucepan melt the butter and brown sugar together over medium heat, bring to a boil, and while stirring boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add in the heavy cream and vanilla, stir well to combine. Let cool.

Now that the rolls have doubled in size, preheat to 325 degrees F. 

Bake rolls in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until barely lightly brown, do not over bake these rolls or your experience will be ruined. Remove the rolls from the oven and immediately pour the cream cheese icing over the top. Use an offset spatula to evenly spread the glaze over every roll, making sure each one is saturated covered with icing.

Add the powdered sugar to the cooled brown sugar mixture. Place the frosting in a 12-inch piping disposable piping bag, cut the tip of the bag.
Assembly:

Cut cinnamon rolls into quarters, place the pieces in a paper cup (we put about 1 1/2 rolls in each of our cups). Generously drizzle each cup with caramel frosting. Finally, and definitely not least, sprinkle with toasted chopped pecans. Enjoy ! 💘

Caramel Icing was adapted from HERE

Dough was adapted from HERE

                                                      

Homemade Granola Bars {Healthy Breakfast On The Go}

Granola bars are the perfect quick breakfast to just grab and head out the door. They’re also super easy to give to kids for a healthy afternoon snack. But my only problem with store bought granola bars is that after an hour of eating them…..I’m hungry again!

I wanted an easy to make + satisfying + healthy homemade granola bar. The ingredients are simple. They are probably ingredients you already have in your pantry.  And, most importantly, they are satisfying…finally. They’re great to have before you work out, which is the way I prefer, but if you like to have a post-work out snack, this is an excellent go- to. I  also like these for breakfast with a cup of coffee, it will keep me full for almost three hours….a miracle.

I wrapped some of these bars up for my friends to try out. I cut strips of parchment paper and tied them up with a little twine. They all loved them! One  is a runner, and said she enjoyed it for a pre-workout snack. It also kept her full for a good two hours. If you’re looking for a good, healthy snack, or a quick breakfast,  I’ve got you covered!

Here’s My Notes:
1)I used coconut, sliced almonds, & dried cranberries. Use whatever combination of dried fruit and nuts you like… pecans, raisins, dried dates, dried apricots, walnuts…just make sure everything is chopped up and stick to the measurements. If you put extra, the bars will not hold their shape, and will fall apart.

2)To store…. I placed cut up bars in a plastic bag and stored at room temperature.

3)If you want to cut back on the sugar, omit the brown sugar and add 2 Tablespoons of water.

4)These bars must be room temperature before cutting. I wait two-three hours before cutting.  Or you could make them at night and allow them to cool overnight.  They will cut easily and hold their shape.

5)I cannot stress enough how important it is to line your pan with parchment paper. These are sticky!  They will stick to the pan if you don’t spray it with non- stick cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Homemade Granola Bars {Healthy Breakfast On The Go}

Yields: 12 bars

Ingredients:

2 cups old-fashioned oats

1 cup sliced almonds

1 cup organic flaked coconut, unsweetened 

1 heaping Tablespoon coconut oil

2/3 cup honey 

1/4 dark brown sugar 

2 teaspoons vanilla 

Pinch of salt

1 cup dried cranberries, chopped 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spray a 10-inch square pan with non-stick cooking spray and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

In a large skillet over medium heat, toast the old-fashioned oats, sliced almonds, and coconut for about 5 minutes. It will smell fragrant and nutty once it’s toasted. Place in a large mixing bowl.

In a saucepan bring the coconut oil, honey, and dark brown sugar to a boil. Cook for about a minute, stirring with a wooden spoon, then remove from the heat, add vanilla & salt. Pour over the oat mixture and stir well. Stir in chopped, dried cranberries.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and press into the pan using the back of your spoon (I used a wooden spoon). Bake for 25 minutes. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cooled, remove from the pan and cut into 12 bars. Store in a plastic bag at room temperature or wrap individually in parchment paper. Enjoy !

This recipe was slightly adapted from HERE.
                                                                                          


Banana Baked Oatmeal {dairy-free} {easy}

Baked oatmeal is so easy to put together for a do ahead breakfast. Mix it up the night before, and place in the fridge overnight. In the morning, while your getting ready, just pop it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Then refrigerate the leftovers, and the next morning, warm it up in the microwave….it’s that easy. Because it’s breakfast, I wanted to keep this oatmeal as healthy as possible.  I cut the sugar and made it dairy-free. You can serve this oatmeal as is, or like me….with almond milk, sliced banana, toasted nuts and honey drizzle. This baked oatmeal will make you excited to wake up.


It’s also amazing with almond milk, sliced banana, toasted pecans, and…..Nutella.

Here’s My Notes:

1)Make-Ahead Directions: Allow oatmeal to sit out on the counter for 30 minutes before baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Banana Baked Oatmeal {dairy-free} {easy}

Yields:1 9-inch square baking dish or 1 9-inch pie dish

Ingredients 

2 cups old-fashioned oats

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups almond milk, I used sweetened almond milk

2 bananas, mashed

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted

honey, sliced banana, toasted nuts, almond milk

Ingredients 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray. Mix together oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium size bowl. Add in almond milk, bananas, egg, melted coconut oil, and vanilla. Pour into prepare pie plate and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Top with desired topping, the possibility are endless.