By the time Wednesday rolls around, I’m usually thinking seriously about my weekend breakfast options. Geez, that sounds pretty lame, but I eat granola and yogurt every morning during the workweek, so I’m more than ready for a switch-up by the time Saturday arrives. Usually I’ll go with pancakes over French toast, but last weekend I couldn’t resist the photo of ”French toast sandwiches” in a great breakfast cookbook I have. This is a lot like stuffed French toast, except here you just sandwich together two slices of bread (I used homemade brioche that I had in the freezer) rather than making surgical-style incisions and injections into one fat slice. The filling is just a schmear of soft cream cheese and your favorite jam. I think a marmalade or a tart jam works best…I used my homemade plum jam here…especially if you plan to slosh it with maple syrup.
Cheese-and-Jam French Toast Sandwiches– makes four servings
adapted from Williams-Sonoma Breakfast Comforts by Rick Rodgers
1 cup milk
finely grated zest of 1 orange
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice or orange-flavored liqueur
1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 slices challah, brioche or other egg bread
4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons jam or orange marmalade
canola oil or butter for cooking
unsalted butter, at room temperature, for serving
maple syrup for serving
-Preheat the oven to 350°F.
-In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla. Lay one bread slice on a work surface and spread with one-fourth each of the cream cheese and jam. Top with another bread slice. Repeat with the remaining bread, cream cheese and jam.
-Preheat a griddle over medium-high heat until hot. Lightly oil the griddle.
-One at a time, dip the sandwiches into the egg mixture and turn gently to coat evenly, keeping the sandwiches intact. Let stand until the bread has soaked up some of the egg mixture, about 30 seconds.
-Remove the sandwiches from the egg mixture, letting the excess drip back into the bowl, and place on the hot griddle. Cook until golden brown underneath, about 2 minutes. Turn the sandwiches over and cook until browned on the other sides, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.
-When all four sandwiches are on the sheet, place the sheet in the oven and bake until the cream cheese melts, about 10 minutes.
-Serve the French toast sandwiches immediately with butter and maple syrup.
Tags: baking, biscuits, breakfast
…or something like that. I had intended to make Buttermilk Biscuits. I had followed the recipe…it said it was “basic.” I had been having such good luck with scones recently that I thought biscuits would come out of the oven. I’m pretty sure that, while what came out was delicious, it was technically not a biscuit. It was something more bready, with a bottom that had essentially fried in its own butter on the baking sheet. More English muffiny maybe. Whatever happened, this little breakfast roll was great with homemade jam…both apricot and concord grape. I’ll have to try again for proper biscuits though.
Tags: baking, breakfast, cake
This Apple Nut Muffin Cake is quintessential fall baking…apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, walnuts and raisins…all things that make your house smell great. Rolled oats (and swapping a little whole grain flour for AP) make this easy breakfast cake feel even more wholesome. It is just like a muffin in terms of technique and texture, but, not that I would ever really call muffin-making fussy, you simply slap the batter into a cake pan and go….ready for coffee in about 35 minutes.
Tags: cake, breakfast, baking
Plums are one of the last tastes of summer fruit. Let’s not be too sad to see the summer go…instead, let’s celebrate with plum cake– Flip-Over Plum Cake. This is the world’s easier batter to throw together…a quick whisk and that’s it. It doesn’t even have any eggs. That was kind of a curveball, actually– I had to, like, quadruple check the recipe to make sure I wasn’t missing something. Scatter the plums over top and toss it in the oven. The plums magically turn into a sweet-tart jam layer on the bottom, and the bizarrely egg-less batter turns into delicious cake!
Dorie has this in the breakfast section, and it’s so tasty, I’m sure it would be a fabulous way to start the day, but a little whipped cream turns it into a perfectly lovely dessert, which is how we ate it over here. I’m betting it would also be great with peaches or nectarines, although I am partial to that intense plum-red color bleeding though.
Tags: baking, breakfast
An earthquake and a hurricane in the span of a few days– what a weird weather week for New York City! If it weren’t for Irene cancelling work this weekend and keeping me housebound, I would not have gotten to make this Cornmeal and Fruit Loaf. Something about baking at home helps calm my nerves if I’m feeling anxious, and wondering if our house would make it through the big storm without any major damage was making me fret (more than just a bit). Thankfully, a little water in the basement was the extent of it for us. If you are on the East Coast, I hope you managed to stay safe.
Whether you are baking to take your mind off something, or just because you want a tasty breakfast treat, this loaf works. It’s totally made by hand…theraputic, quiet and easy. And it’s hearty and satisfying to eat…cornmeal and apples (fresh and dried) give it great texture. It’s not too sweet, so it definitely leans more towards a comforting breakfast or snack than dessert.
Tags: baking, breakfast, muffins
“Muffin” is a weird word. And I just realized that I totally spelled it wrong in the titles of my last two muffin posts. How dumb, and obvious now that I look at those posts again. (OK, I’ve just gone back and corrected that, so it’s as if it never happened).
These Carrot Spice Muffins are something of a substitute for when your tummy really wants a piece of Bill’s Big Carrot Cake (wow, that cake was awesome…I think about it all the time) for breakfast, but your head just won’t let you. Like a good carrot cake, they have lots of add-ins beyond carrots…walnuts, coconut, raisins and, of course, a gentle amount of warm spices. Unlike carrot cake, though, they are sans that decadent cream cheese frosting (but now that I think about it, a thinned out cream cheese glaze would have been fabulous!), and they are a bit dialed down in the oil department. These seemed like they could be a vehicle for a little fiber boost as well, so I swapped about 25% of the flour with whole wheat. I also used unsweetened desiccated coconut instead of the sweet stuff. Then I ate two.
Tags: baking, breakfast, scones
It’s steamy hot out…hot and gross…but these Cream Scones were sooo worth turning the oven on for. Butter and cream…they are a combo to be reckoned with. I don’t know how two things that are so rich can make something that is so light, crumbly and almost melt-in-your-mouth, but there you have it. I’ll be making these again when it’s cooler out and I can stand a proper cuppa to go along with them.
After many attempts at scones and biscuits that wound up looking annoyingly like pancakes (sad!), I think that with my last few batches, I’ve finally gotten it down. I already told you all this stuff with the last one, but….now I grate my cold butter, and then pop it into the freezer while I assemble my dry ingredients. Then I just give a quick, fingertippy toss of the butter and dry stuff. I find that this way, I don’t have to do as much rubbing and working to get the two incorporated. Also, I pat the scones out a little fatter than Dorie says to ensure a tall rise (which I don’t think the angle on this photo shows, but I assure you, they were nice and high). Of course I get one or two fewer scones per batch, but that’s fine by me.
I skipped the currants here (I didn’t have any), but they aren’t really necessary anyway…especially when there’s jam. Also not strictly necessary (but crazy delicious!), one of my favorite things about British-style tea service is the thick cream you spread on along with jam. I found some of that Luxury Clotted Cream in a local shop, and shelled out for it in anticipation of these guys.
Tags: baking, breakfast, muffins
Will you think less of me if I admit to you that I don’t really “do” chocolate for breakfast? I eat sweet stuff for brekkie all the time–usually pancakes or waffles drowned in syrup– but chocolate for some reason feels a bit too indulgent. I made a little exception this past weekend (since it was a holiday and all) for these Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins. OK, these really are great with coffee. They’re not too sweet at all, and I did follow suggestions to add more chocolate chunks by doubling the amount of chips I folded into the batter at the end. Hey– if your gonna have chocolate for breakfast, you may as well really have chocolate for breakfast.
And, if chocolate in the a.m. isn’t really your thing either, I can assure you that they are also fab for dessert with a scoop of ice cream (may I suggest something like Strawberry- Sour Cream Ice Cream?).
For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here on Epicurious) or read The Way the Cookie Crumbles, as Bridget got to pick again this week. Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!
Tags: cake, breakfast, baking
A trip to up Boston for my Wellesley reunion this past weekend meant that I wasn’t able to make this Blueberry-Brown Sugar Plain Cake until this morning. Glad I got around to it though, because it is just plain good. It has a hint of cinnamon, a kiss of brown sugar and a big whomp of blueberries. With almost as much fruit as batter, I think it should stay moist for a good long time…although I won’t find out, because we’ll be polishing it off for breakfast tomorrow! (Hey–don’t judge–I only made half a recipe…we can’t eat that much cake in two days!)
For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here on Culinate) or read Everyday Insanity, as it was Cindy’s pick this week. Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!
P.S.: I forgot to mention that I swapped out some of the AP for spelt flour, one of my favorite flours to use in muffins and fruity cakes like this. Also, I think this cake would be tasty with raspberries, and I may try that out later in the season.
Tags: baking, breakfast, scones
I think I have finally found my scone mojo. Maybe I shouldn’t speak too soon, but these Oatmeal Nutmeg Scones are the second batch to come out just as I’d hoped (now I need to revisit the Apple Cheddar ones to see if I can get something with a bit more height). My two scone “secrets” (although I wouldn’t be surprised if these aren’t secrets at all, but just things I took forever to catch on to!)…first, I grate the cold butter into the dry ingredients. I find that this way, I don’t have to do as much rubbing and working to get the two incorporated…just toss the butter around a bit with my fingertips. Second, I pat the scones out a little fatter than I used to. Tricky, right? Of course I don’t get as many per batch, but that’s fine by me.
Yes, these scones have oatmeal in them, but they have a load of butter as well, so I’d be lying to you if I said they were a healthy breakfast. I did try to up the whole-graininess a bit by swapping 2/3 cup of the AP flour for whole wheat pastry flour. They are really hearty and good…only as sweet as they need to be and no more, which I appreciate in the morning…espeically when I’m slathering jam all over them anyway.