Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Baked French Toast

Ah weekends. Nothing beats sleeping in. Not that we sleep in like we did in our college days. Long gone are the days of sleeping in past noon. Now we're lucky if we make it to 10 AM....usually it's somewhere around 9 AM. Getting old means waking up earlier right? Might have to fight that as hard as I can.

BP is a fan of breakfast in bed, especially when he has played poker until the early hours the night before. So while he was playing poker, I prepped an excellent breakfast for us. Nothing beats a easy and delicious breakfast. 

I got up and got myself ready and then headed down to the kitchen to make breakfast while BP slept a little more. All I had to do was sprinkle the topping ontop and put it in the oven - can't beat that. While it was baking away I had some coffee and got ready for the day. I have to say that this smells so amazing while baking. I couldn't wait for it to be done. 

Oh man was this a huge hit! And it reheats amazingly well! So if you have leftovers don't worry. Mix it up with your favorite bread: Challah, Cinnamon Raison, Pumpkin, your choices are endless. So go ahead and make this over the weekend, you won't be sorry. 

Baked French Toast

French Toast
 Butter, For Greasing
1 loaf Crusty Sourdough Or French Bread
8 whole Eggs
2 cups Whole Milk
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Salt
 Freshly Grated Nutmeg (optional)
1 stick Cold Butter, Cut Into Pieces
 Warm Syrup, For Serving
 Butter, For Serving

For the French toast: Grease 13x9" baking pan with butter. Tear the bread into chunks, or cut into cubes, and evenly distribute in the pan. Crack the eggs in a big bowl. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover the pan tightly and store in the fridge until needed (overnight preferably). Or you can make it and bake it right away---delicious no matter what!

For the topping: Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and some nutmeg in a separate bowl. Stir together using a fork. Add the butter and with a pastry cutter, and mix it all together until the mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in a plastic bag in the fridge.

When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the casserole from the fridge and sprinkle the topping over the top. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture or for 1 hour-plus or more for a firmer, crisper texture.
Scoop out individual portions. Top with butter and drizzle with warm pancake syrup. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Holiday weekends are the best. Since we had an extra day to sleep in and hang out with friends, BP and I decided to have Game Night at our house with some friends. Out of the 10 we invited, 8 were coming over. Full house for us - that means I had to make enough food to feed all 11 of us (this includes myself, BP and his dad). Spaghetti and Meatballs for dinner and two desserts. 

BP had requested something with coconut. But when our search for the ingredients I needed came up short we had to change it up - and Pineapple Upside Down Cake it was. 

This was my first time making this and I have to say, it's incredibly easy. And the fact that it's pretty as well is always a bonus. 

I mean look at that - it's wrong how easy this was for it to be so pretty looking. And since there were so many of us, I made some Slutty Brownies as well. 

After a heated battle of Risk on the guys end and a hilarious version of a Scattegories on the ladies end it was time for dessert. Both were a huge hit. Not much of either were left at the end of the night after we finished playing Cards Against Humanity. 

Overall, an excellent night with great friends. We love a good game night. 

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup light brown sugar
sliced pineapple (6 canned slices or use fresh)
15-20 maraschino cherries

1 and 2/3 cups  all-purpose flour, careful not to overmeasure
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup  light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature preferred
1/4 cup yogurt
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
1/4 cup pineapple juice (reserved from the canned pineapple or use fresh)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Prepare topping first. Place 1/4 cup of melted butter into a 9-inch pie dish or 9x2 inch round cake pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Top with pineapple slices and arrange cherries between the pineapple slices.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Whisk in the sugars vigorously getting out any brown sugar lumps - mixture will be gritty. Whisk in egg, yogurt, milk, pineapple juice, and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until no lumps remain. Batter will be thick.

Pour/spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil (loosely to avoid the top from sticking to the foil). Bake for 20-25 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Invert cake on top of a cake stand or a large serving plate. Slice and serve warm, room temperature, or even cold. Try serving with vanilla ice cream - it's a delicious combination. Cover cake and store for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.