Langlois Stuffed French toast

Finished stuffed french toast
This is another recipe J and I learned to make while at the amazing Langlois Culinary Crossroads. It is perfect for a new year’s day breakfast or brunch. While it looks complicated, it’s actually pretty easy. The hardest part os stuffing the brioche!

Print Recipe
Langlois Stuffed French toast
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Bread and filling ingredients:
Custard ingredients:
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Bread and filling ingredients:
Custard ingredients:
Instructions
  1. Cut the Brioche into about 6 2 by 2 rectangular pieces. Using a skewer precut the hole for the filling. You will have to turn it around to make a hole larger than the skewer. This is where slightly stale bread comes in handy.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, beat the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon zest and juice together on medium speed until well blended.
  3. Put the filling into a ziptop bag. Cut off the corner. Pipe into the skewer holes.
  4. If this doesn't work, you can make a sandwich by making a pocket (think pita pocket), just make sure to only cut through one side of the bread or it will be more difficult to brown. Set this aside.
  5. In another medium-sized bowl, beat the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt. Dip each piece of stuffed bread into the custard and turn once to completely coat. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes (overnight is better!) but no longer than 24 hours.
  6. When you're ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  7. In a large skillet melt the butter over medium to medium-high temperature.
  8. Brown each piece of stuffed bread on all sides. Do not move it around. Do not check and see if it's browning.
  9. Let it sit longer than you think it needs to. About 5 minutes per side.
  10. Place the browned pieces into a casserole dish and cook in the oven for about 10 minutes. Garnish as you please and serve.

My opinion:
Sometimes we cover this in powdered sugar, other times maple syrup. It’s just as good alone though. We’ve served this to friends and family and everyone has raved about it each time.

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Tyler Florence’s Roasted Sweet Potato Banana Puree

As promised, now that Thanksgiving is over and we have had a chance to do a post-mortem on what worked and what didn’t, I’ll be sharing the recipes that made the cut. First, is this delicious take on sweet potato casserole.

C found this recipe on the Fabulousfoodshow.com and has perfected it in the last year.  We kept it warm in a crock pot while other dishes took up precious oven and burner space.

Print Recipe
Tyler Florence's Roasted Sweet Potato Banana Puree
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork and put them on a roasting pan.
  3. On another roasting pan prick bananas and lay out in a single layer.
  4. Roast sweet potatoes for 45 minutes until very soft and roast bananas for 25 minutes. (If you are in a huge hurry, you can boil the sweet potatoes, but do not try boiling the bananas!)
  5. Remove both pans from the oven and allow to cool slightly.  
  6. In a small sauce pot heat cream with bay leaf until reduced by half, then keep warm until ready to puree potatoes and bananas. 
  7. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into the bowl of a food processor (A blender will work, but only if the potatoes are cool).
  8. Add peeled bananas. Season with salt, add butter, cream (make sure you took the bay leaves out!), cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and puree until smooth (or if you like it a little chunky, a little chunky).
  9. Pour into an oven-proof dish. 
  10. Make the topping by combining flour, cold butter and brown sugar in the food processor and pulse until you have the texture of coarse bread crumbs.
  11. Sprinkle on top of the puree and place under the broiler until golden brown and crispy, about 4-5 minutes.

My opinion:
I really love this dish. This year we actually forgot the topping and it was still just as wonderful! You can make it a couple of days (no more than 2!) ahead of your holiday meal and keep it refrigerated. Then reheat in a crock pot like we did or in the oven. If you are keeping it in the crock pot, sprinkle each serving with the topping and use a brûlée torch to make it golden brown and crispy.

S’s Sopapilla Cheesecake Dessert Recipe


A dear friend, S, makes the most amazing desserts, ever. I’m not the best baker, which means I rely on my friends to make these decadent treats. Turns out not only is S an amazing dessert chef, but she’s savvy too. This dish tastes like a million dollars, but is really easy to make. Thank you, S, for sharing this with me!

Ingredients:
3 (8 ounce) packages reduced fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 (8 ounce) cans crescent roll dough (store brand is fine!)
1/2 cup melted butter (key here is melted!)
1/2 cup white sugar (for topping)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sliced almonds (more or less depending on taste. These are to sprinkle on top.)
drizzle of honey (this is what makes it a Sopapilla cheesecake!)

Directions:
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Beat the cream cheese with the sugar and the vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth. Unroll the cans of crescent roll dough, and use a rolling-pin (gently!) to shape the each piece into 9×13 inch rectangles. Press one piece into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture into the baking dish, then cover with the remaining piece of crescent dough. Drizzle the melted butter evenly over the top of the cheesecake. Stir the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar together with the cinnamon in a small bowl, and sprinkle over the cheesecake along with the almonds. Bake in the preheated oven until the crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown, about 45 minutes. Drizzle with honey while still warm. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into 12 squares. She adapted the recipe from this one on All Recipes.

My opinion:
This dish is sweet without being too sweet. Crunchy and flaky and creamy. It’s really hard to eat just on square. Next time you’re invited to a BBQ or a picnic bring this with you. Everyone will love it. I promise.

M&M cookies

I don’t bake very often, so around the holidays I bake up a storm. This year I made M&M cookies from scratch. I followed the traditional Toll House recipe, except I use M&Ms instead of chocolate chips.

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (or one package M&Ms) I prefer more M&Ms to less.

Directions:
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

My Opinion:
For some reason these turned out way fluffy. I prefer chewy cookies, so I was a bit disappointed. Also, I did not use nearly enough M&Ms. Parts of the cookies had no M&Ms at all! Next year, I’ll be sure to add the whole bag, not just 2 cups.

This week’s food posts are brought to you by#cookchat. My co-moderator, Matt LaCasse and I are announcing #cookchat’s triumphant return on Thursday January 20, a 8 p.m. CST. Join us for an hour of food filled conversation.

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Very easy to make.

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/3 cups hot strong coffee

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Combine milk, egg, oil and vanilla in a glass measuring cup. Make a well in center of the dry ingredients and gradually pour in the milk mixture, stirring until combined. Spoon into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Dissolve brown sugar in coffee; spoon over batter. (I missed this step.) Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes; serve hot or warm. (It took 35 minutes for this to work for me.) This recipe is originally from Eating Well.

My opinion:
The cake is so so much better warm! It’s not bad. It does need a little something though. It tastes a bit off, but not in a bad way. That might be my fault as I used the good unsweetened cocoa. I would definitely make this again as it was super simple and made the house smell wonderful. Next time though, I will add chocolate chips or peanut butter chips or a raspberry glaze.