Croissant French Toast with Cranberry Apple Sauce

french toast (1 of 1)Like almost every stereotypical “basic bitch”, I love brunch.  Mimosas and breakfast/lunch combo food served until 3pm; my dream come true ad everyone’s dream, apparently. Almost every brunch place in Denver has ridiculously long wait time. I’m sorry, but if I have to wait an hour for food then I better have my mind blown not be served soggy undercooked potatoes, I am looking at you, Jelly. In the hour I am waiting in line, I could cook something equally if not better than these overrated brunch places and I don’t have to interact with strangers.

I offered to cook brunch for two of my friends’ birthdays and this recipe made an appearance at both. I have a firm belief that I can make any “guilty pleasure”dish more decadent, a gift from growing up in a Cajun French home. Elevate your French Toast by using croissants, it will be amazing! For a fall twist, I added some chai spices and topped it with  cranberry apple sauce.

 

 

 

French Toast Croissants:

Ingredients:

  • 6 whole croissants, I used almond croissants
  • 4 whole Eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2-4 Tablespoons butter, for frying

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients besides the butter.
  2. Place croissants in bowl,and coat each croissants with egg mixture. Let croissants sit in bowl for at 15 minutes.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, then melt a small amount of butter.
  4. Cook the croissants on each side for about 4-5 minutes, until they are golden brown.
  5. Remove from skillet and top with cranberry sauce or maple syrup.

Cranberry Apple Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cranberries (frozen/fresh)
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Heat a sauce on medium  heat.
  2. Add all ingredients, and stir to combine.
  3. Cook for about 30 minutes, add more water if the sauce dries out too quickly.

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Spring Fling Cake

Spring is finally here in Colorado, at least until today! But, what better way to celebrate the first few days of spring than cake? I first tried this cake at the Market in Larimer Square and I just love it! I adapted a recipe from Paddle Attachment,. Check out her photos step by step guide; it’s really helpful.

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For the cake:

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups finely shredded zucchini
5 eggs
1 1/4 cups raw sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt

Apricot jam and water to coat the fruit

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans. I use baking spray with great results.

2.  Grate the zucchini with the “fine side” of your grater. In a large mixing bowl, add the shredded zucchini, eggs, sugar, oil, sour cream and vanilla and mix on medium to combine.

3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt) and gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet with the mixer set on low. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the ingredients are well combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed.

4.  Pour the batter evenly into the baking pans and bake for 35 to 50 minutes, testing with a toothpick in the center. Cake is done when the toothpick comes out clean.

5.  Cool the finished cake on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cake from the pans and allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 cups cream cheese, softened
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
5 cups powdered sugar
1  cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla

Pinch of salt

1.  Using a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium high until creamy and smooth (3 minutes or so). Add the vanilla and heavy cream and mix until combined.

2.  With the mixer set to low, gradually add the powdered sugar, about a 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until well combined.

Assemble the Cake:

I used strawberries, blackberries, mangoes, kiwis, and mandarin oranges, but you can us whatever fruit you want.

Directions:

1.  Cut the cooled cake layers in half lengthwise, making four layers.

2.  Spread even amounts of frosting between the layers and place fruit on top frosting with fruit.

3.  Frost the top and sides of the cake.

4.  Arrange the fruit in circles over the top of the cake, starting near the center.

5. I placed sliced strawberries around the sides of the cake, so I didn’t have spend a lot time frosting the cake.

6.  Melt some apricot jam and tablespoon of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Using a pastry  brush, lightly brush the melted jam over the fruit on the top of the cake.

 

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Yellow Watermelon

 

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No, this photograph is not photoshopped.. I found a yellow watermelon; I had never tasted one before. It was definitely sweeter than the pink watermelons and tasted thicker like honey, maybe the color is playing tricks on me like when eating mint ice cream it taste more minty when it is colored green!

Easy Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

I posted this photo on one of my Project 365 posts, but did not have time to post the recipe. I am new to gluten free baking and I feel like I am relearning how to bake again! This recipe is very easy and is easily adaptable. I saw a version of this recipe on Facebook, unfortunately, I did not save the recipe, so I had to work off of my memory.

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Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 cup of nut butter ( I used peanut butter)

  • ¼ cup honey/maple syrup (you can use more or less)

  • 1 egg

  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

  • ½ cup chocolate chips

 

Directions:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with silicone pads or parchment paper.

  2. Combine nut butter and honey.

  3. Add egg and stir until everything is smooth.

  4. Stir in baking soda, salt, nutmeg and vanilla bean paste

  5. Fold in chocolate chips

  6. Using an ice cream scoop, drop cookies dough on lined baking sheets.

  7. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes

  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes

  9. Let stand on baking sheet for five minutes, then move to cooling rack.

Day 260-262-The Present Cake

I made this cake for a wedding shower. Even though I love the way fondant looks on a cake, I absolutely hate the taste and there really is no easy way to peel it off. So, I tried to make a combination of the fondant and buttercream. I wish I could have the gotten the edges straighter, but I did not have time.

 

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Day 243-Kale and Blueberry Smoothie

Yes, I am still drinking green smoothies for breakfast. What is most surprising is I am actually enjoying trying new ingredients and getting excited to drink the smoothie! I am genuinely shocked! Yesterday, I tried the combo of kale and blueberries.  Recipe below:

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Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and combine. If the smoothie is too thick to drink through a straw, add more water.

Day 242-Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I am still on my Caprese salad kick, but yesterday, I needed some comfort food. What’s more comforting than a grilled cheese sandwich?  Recipe below:

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Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich:

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Pour olive oil in skillet and turn burner to medium heat. (Note: someone gave me a cast iron skillet for Christmas and I cannot use any of my other skillets. Cast iron skillets are the bee’s knees).
  2. Toast one side of each slice of bread. Once one side is toasted, spread pesto on toasted side of each slice (This keeps the inside of the bread from getting too soggy).
  3. Layer mozzarella and tomatoes. Then put sandwich together.
  4. Cook until both sides are toasted and cheese is melted.

Enjoy!

Day 241-Cool Down Lemonade

Yesterday, we hit 98 degrees! With no A/C, I definitely needed something refreshing and cooling. I made a Mint Blueberry Lemonade and it really did help me beat the heat! Recipe below:

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Mint Blueberry Lemonade

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. In a pitcher, add mint, juice of the two lemons, and honey. Pour about a cup of hot water (not boiling) and stir ingredients together.
  2. Fill pitcher with cold water. Then add blueberries, slices of juiced lemon and ice.

Enjoy!