Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas morning French Toast

I saw this on one of my fave cooking shows, Tyler's Ultimate, and thought it looked amazing! Then I decided to make it on Christmas breakfast because I thought it would be a good combo of the baked apple and the pancake/french toast. It honestly tasted like baked apples on top of the best french toast you've ever eaten. Plus, I loved that it called for Challah bread because I just used my leftover Challah from the Holy Land dinner the night before. Soooo amazing! I highly recommend that it become a permanent fixture on the Christmas morning breakfast menu! I know it has at my house:)

Upside-Down Apple French Toast with Cranberries and Pecans
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence, 2008
4 to 6 servings

French toast:

4 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 loaf challah bread, cut into 1 inch-thick slices
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup light brown sugar, plus more for sprinkling, divided
4 Granny Smith apples
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Confectioners' sugar, garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a flat dish, crack eggs and add milk, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Whisk until well combined then lay challah slices in mixture to coat and absorb it all, turning occasionally.

Set a 10-inch skillet, seasoned cast iron if you have, over medium heat. Add the butter and 1 cup sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar has melted and caramelized, about 8 minutes. While the sugar is melting, peel apples, core and cut into halves. Remove from heat and gently whisk in the heavy cream. Sprinkle in the pecans, dried cranberries and gently press in the apple halves so there is a flat surface. Lay soaked slices of challah over the top so it is completely covered - you should be able to arrange the large slices and small slices so there are no gaps. Sprinkle the top with some brown sugar and place into the preheated oven. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is golden and puffy.

When done, allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes then invert onto a large plate. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired, and serve.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Amazing Olive Oil Cookies

So the Texan showed me this recipe and it is AMAZING... also it breaks like every cookie recipe rule that I considered dogma, but IT WORKS and they're like way lower fat than your wedlior type. Seriously, life altering cookies.

Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Slice of Feist

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 or 2 tablespoons of milk (or rice milk)
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

2. Combine sugars, vanilla, and olive oil. Beat in the eggs one a time. Gradually beat in the flour mixture, then add in a tablespoon of milk to make the dough a bit firmer, maybe another tablespoon if you need it/if you feel the dough is too sticky/dry (I used about 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon).

3. Roll the dough into balls with your hands and place on a greased and/or lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden and set. Mine took about 10 and a half minutes. These overbake quickly, so it’s better to take them out a bit early if you’re unsure. Allow to cool for a bit on the baking sheet, then move to another surface to finish cooling.