I used to hate french toast.
Maybe it’s because I had never had croissant french toast with soft caramel apples.
I like french toast now.
Peeling apples is one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen. I always dread it because of the “arthritis” in my hands but once I get started, I find it therapeutic. It also makes me think of the scene in Sleepless in Seattle when Tom Hanks is telling his young son about his deceased mother and how “she could peel an apple in one… long… curly strip. The whole apple.” And us viewers know that Meg Ryan sits in her kitchen all the way across the country able to do the exact same thing. I love that movie.
I always try to peel the apple in one long, curly strip but it never works out. The below picture was the best I could do this time around. Have you ever done it?
Caramel and Apples. Mmmm. Now Tyler says “don’t freak out” if your caramel seizes on you. Mine did and I’ll admit I freaked out even though he said not to. I was stirring caramel the consistency of peanut brittle for a long time. But it all worked out ok in the end. I found the apples needed a longer cook time than the 10 minutes he suggested, I think they needed more like 15 or 20.
No, that fourth picture is not chicken that I slipped in this post by mistake. But it kind of looks like chicken.
I really liked this and I’d recommend it for your breakfast this weekend. It’s easy to make, doesn’t cost that much and most of the ingredients you’ll already have at home. It gets a five star rating on Foodnetwork.com as well.
My boyfriend thinks this post is taking too long for me to write since he wants to go to bed and my light is still on. He says “it’s apples, two slices of french toast croissant to make it a sandwich, topped with a little powdered sugar and cinnamon… it’s good. What else is there to say?”
So there you have it.
Tyler Florence’s Croissant French Toast with Soft Caramel Apples
Show: Food 911 Episode: B&B Breakfast
From the book Tyler Florence’s Real Kitchen
Cook Time: 35 min Yield: 4 servings
3 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut in 1/2-inch-thick wedges
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large croissants, halved lengthwise
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Ground cinnamon, for dusting
Click here for directions!
Croissant French Toast with Soft Caramel Apples is my twelfth post for Tyler Florence Fridays, a group with the freedom to make any recipe of Tyler’s that they choose and then share their experiences every Friday.
These Easy Sticky Buns from Ina Garten are pretty good. A lot of recipes for things like this (see others I’ve made) are time consuming because they involve yeast for the dough. Not this one. It utilizes puff pastry which saves a huge step, so all in all, it barely takes any time to put everything together. You could even make them the night before, and just take them out of the fridge the next morning once the oven is pre-heated.
The components consist of a butter and sugar mixture that it topped with pecans in the bottom of a muffin tin. The puff pastry is thawed and then rolled up with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins inside. After the roll is cut, you place each individual piece inside the muffin tin and bake. Once out of the oven, you flip the pan over and you have Pecan Sticky Buns for breakfast.
Sounds easy, right? Of course, there is one little downfall… the puff pastry gets pretty hard in places. Maybe baking them a few minutes less might help, but it’s really kind of in a Pecan Rolls nature to become a rock soon after baking. I would say make only as many of these as you need at one time, although they do reheat ok.
Also, make sure you follow the step about placing the pan on a baking sheet with parchment paper underneath. (You’re going to need the parchment when you invert the rolls anyway, although I got around this by just spooning the pecan mixture over the tops of each one after flipping them over.) Normally I just say “yeah, yeah, whatever” to this type of parchment placing step in a recipe with no ramifications, but it backfired on me this time. The butter mixture overflowed… a lot. All over the bottom of my oven. It was pretty obvious to me that I ignore steps like this so much because until someone pointed out my mistake on one of the Musings posts, I didn’t even know it was written in the recipe! Note to self: need to pay more attention and actually read things.
Ina Garten’s Easy Sticky Buns
From: Back to Basics
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup pecans, chopped in very large pieces
1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted for the filling
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a 12-cup standard muffin tin on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper (please do not ignore this step like I did – the butter mixture overflowed onto the bottom of my oven).
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the 12 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Place 1 rounded tablespoon of the mixture in each of the 12 muffin cups. Distribute the pecans evenly among the 12 muffin cups on top of the butter and sugar mixture.
Lightly flour a wooden board or stone surface. Unfold one sheet of puff pastry with the folds going left to right. Brush the whole sheet with half of the melted butter. Leaving a 1-inch border on the puff pastry, sprinkle each sheet with 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of the raisins. Starting with the end nearest you, roll the pastry up snugly like a jelly roll around the filling, finishing the roll with the seam side down.
Trim the ends of the roll about 1/2 inch and discard. Slice the roll in 6 equal pieces, each about 1 1/2 inches wide. Place each piece, spiral side up, in 6 of the muffin cups. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry to make 12 sticky buns.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the sticky buns are golden to dark brown on top and firm to the touch. Allow to cool for 5 minutes only, invert the buns onto the parchment paper (ease the filling and pecans out onto the buns with a spoon), and cool completely.
Breakfast Part 2,3 and 4: Ellie Krieger’s Cherry Vanilla Oatmeal, Apple-Pecan Muffins, and Peach French Toast Bake
This is the post that could not be written. Every single time I tried to sit down to write, nothing would come. I felt determined to finish it once I kept seeing people were arriving to my blog while searching for the Ellie Krieger things I’ve said I’ve made on my sidebar tracker. So in continuing on with my quest to eat healthier, my obsession with all things breakfast related, as well as Ellie Krieger recipes from The Food You Crave, I bring to you the following three breakfast ideas.
First up we have Cherry Vanilla Oatmeal.
I love oatmeal. The only problem is it’s a tad bland unless you’re eating one of the sugar laden instant kinds (the kind that I know and love so much). To me, oatmeal was never something you broke out a recipe for. Until now. I’ve made this probably 20 times. It’s perfect. It’s old fashioned oats mixed with cherry jam, dried cherries, vanilla and milk. There’s no added sugar but I found it was sweet enough from the jam alone. I’ve adapted to making it in the microwave with no problems.
Second, I offer to you Apple-Pecan Muffins.
I absolutely loved these. I made a full batch and they were gone in about 10 minutes around here. I thought about adapting this recipe into a loaf. It would make a really good apple bread. You must make these muffins soon, I’m not kidding. They’re made with whole wheat pastry flour and brown sugar. Applesauce and buttermilk add tons of moistness.
And last but certainly not least, we have Peach French Toast Bake.
This one intrigued me from the first time I came across the recipe. Not sure why because I really don’t care for French Toast that much. (Although, I’m considering trying to come around. Matt, my blogging friend, recently featured a Crème Brûlée French Toast that looks pretty good.)
Anyway, this Peach French Toast couldn’t be easier. You make it the night before so in the morning all you have to do is turn on the oven and bake. A whole wheat baguette is the base underneath a milk and egg mixture that’s topped with frozen peaches, brown sugar and cinnamon. Ooooh Mama! It’s only lightly sweet which I think makes it really good.
Ahh, it feels so good to clear this draft out of my posts. The bottom line is you can’t really go wrong with a healthy breakfast. Remember kids, it’s the best way to start your day. And Ellie Krieger can do no wrong right now with me. Everything I’ve tried of hers has been good.
The recipe links again:
Since Val of More Than Burnt Toast was the winner of the Barefoot Bloggers Bonus Recipe Challenge for October, she got to choose an optional bonus recipe for all the bloggers to try out. I was kind of happy inside when I saw that Ina’s Easy Cheese Danish was Val’s selection. I go in and out of Cheese Danish obsessions from time to time where I crave one every day. Taste wise, I love when this particular obsession hits. Weight wise… um, not so much!
The word “easy” is in the title of this recipe and I found out that Ina does not lie. Frozen puff pastry is one of the best culinary conveniences in the world. Without a product like this, we’d be chilling, folding, chilling and folding dough in our kitchens for hours on end. While it’s very satisfying to actually pull off making pastry doughs, sometimes it’s great to just catch a break. Love you, Pepperidge Farm! (Tip: just remember you have to plan to leave yourself about 45 minutes to thaw the dough out first.) The cheese filling is made up of a few ingredients that you simply mix together in your mixing bowl. After assembly and one 15 minute chilling period, you’re 20 minutes away from breakfast. I would recommend making these the night before so all you have to do in the morning is heat the oven and bake.
Changes I made: used dried lemon zest instead of fresh, used low fat cream cheese and ricotta, and vanilla bean paste.
I made these for a Sunday morning breakfast in bed for my boyfriend. Awww, aren’t I sweet? They went over really well. There was a *tad* too much puff pastry around the edges for me, so next time I would spread the cheese filling out a bit more. Other than that one tiny personal complaint, these were awesome!!
And with that, the October Bonus Recipe is complete. Tonight, I plan on catching up on the Butternut Squash Risotto that I missed a couple of weeks ago. Make sure you stop by More Than Burnt Toast to see what Val had to say about her choice. Then make your way over to the Barefoot Bloggers blogroll to see what everyone else is up to.
Ina Garten’s Easy Cheese Danish
8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 extra large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 T ricotta cheese
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 – 1 T grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Place the cream cheese & sugar in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment and cream together on low speed until smooth. With the mixer still on low, add the egg yolks, ricotta, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest and mix until just combined. Don’t whip!
Unfold one sheet of pastry onto a lightly floured board and roll it slightly with a floured rolling pin until it’s a 10×10 inch square. Cut the sheet into quarters. Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese filling into the middle of each of the 4 squares. Brush the border of each pastry with egg wash and fold two opposite corners to the center, brushing and overlapping the corners of each pastry so they firmly stick together. Brush the top of the pastries with egg wash. Place the pastries on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and refrigerate the filled Danish for 15 minutes.
Bake the puff pastries for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown. Serve warm.
Makes 8 Danish
This week, the My Kitchen, My World group went to Mexico to find culinary inspiration. I went to Mexico on a cruise back in January of 2003 and we went to Cozumel on one of our stops. Talk about the most beautiful beaches and crystal blue water I have ever seen, it was amazing. I’m used to gray oceans around here where I live.
I had to think for a while about what I would choose to make this week. I knew I would not be able to post on Saturday like I was supposed to due to timing issues. So I decided to wait until Sunday morning and make a common Mexican breakfast – Huevos Rancheros.
Huevos Rancheros translates to “Eggs Ranch Style”. Common versions consist of fried corn tortillas, a tomato based sauce and fried eggs. It’s a dish that I’ve never had before. One of my best friends eats Huevos Rancheros every Saturday at a popular local Mexican place so I decided this challenge was the perfect time for me to try it out for myself.
The sauce is probably the most complex thing to make in this dish and it’s not even hard. The recipe I used called for charring the tomatoes, onion and pepper before pureeing in a blender with a little salt and garlic. The tortillas are fried two at a time for about 30 seconds each. The eggs were cooked over medium heat for about 3 to 4 minutes. Then everything is put together and covered with some cheese and a little cilantro. Nothing to it really. This doesn’t have to just be a breakfast meal either.
Um, excuse the chip in my plate. Thanks.
I ended up using the Huevos Rancheros recipe in the big yellow Gourmet cookbook. I found a simplified version online at Epicurious that is worth checking out:
Click here for Gourmet’s Huevos Rancheros Recipe
Things I learned this week: I fried an egg for the first time ever (I think). Usually I just scramble them. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not much of a cook (I’ve always been partial to baking) so a lot of these techniques coming up in the future will probably be new to me. Just like cooking a whole chicken was last week – which I cooked and served upside down but hey… whatever.
Also, I HATE cilantro. I really do. It’s like the Seinfeld where Newman is forced to eat broccoli, he spits it out and exclaims “VILE WEED!”. That’s EXACTLY how I feel about cilantro. The taste and the smell just put me off. But anyway, I put the hate aside and used it in this recipe and it made it through ok.
Thanks to Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies who chose Mexico for all of us. Make sure you stop by her blog to check out her Mexican meal. And then stop by the My Kitchen, My World site to see everyone else’s.
On another note:
Susan of She’s Becoming doughMESStic who created the My Kitchen, My World blog event has also recently began Operation Baking Gals, a group that will bake monthly and send the baked goods overseas to troops stationed in Iraq.
About a week ago, Susan put out a call for help from fellow bloggers to help her bake enough goodies to send to her cousin stationed in Iraq and all of his troop mates. Within a few hours, she got such a tremendous response from people willing to help her out that she decided to create Operation Baking GALS (Give a Little Support) in order to keep it going to send homebaked goodness to other troops as well. The VERY FIRST package of cookies have been received by the soldiers and you can see the post with pictures over at the Operation Baking Gals site. I’m excited for Susan, this is amazing!!
If you’d like to join in, stop by Operation Baking Gals to sign up!