Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Baked Pumpkin French Toast

A couple of days ago, my cousin Keri sent me a recipe link (via Pinterest) for Baked Pumpkin French Toast. I love pumpkin, and given the fact that my husbands birthday was coming up, I knew I wanted to make this for him. Who wouldn't want a fabulous breakfast before having to work on your birthday?
Any who, I liked the idea of the recipe, but decided to put my own spin on it. Instead of using bread cubes, I used a french baguette. Also, I should have cut down the amount of egg and milk so mine came out really eggy (which was fine with me), but I'll give you a scaled down recipe that should work better. I also changed some of the ingredients. So this ended up being different from the original, but I'll include a link at the bottem to it.
French Toast Ingredients

You want to start out by greasing a 9x13 baking dish. I just buttered mine. You then cut up your baguette and place them in the dish.
Set aside and then you can start on the egg mixture.  You want to whisk your eggs, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla together until well combined. It should resemble the picture below.
Then pour the egg mixture over your bread in the baking dish. Take a fork and flip each piece so that it is completely covered in egg. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Ready for the fridge!

 In the morning you can start on the topping for the french toast. The original recipe called for just topping the french toast with brown sugar. I thought it would be better with a French Crumb topping. 
Topping Ingredients

Now, you do not want to over soften your butter (like I did). It makes more of a doughy batter than a crumbly topping if it's too soft. Start with slightly softened butter and add your brown sugar. Once the butter and sugar is combined, add in your flour. Combine and it should be crumbly.
See, a bit too soft.
Once your topping is prepared, take your french toast out of the fridge. Top your french toast with the crumb topping. It should resemble the below picture.
Ready for baking!
Bake in a 350 degree oven until toast is golden brown and the crumb topping is slightly browned and crispy. We served ours with a little maple syrup.
Now, this came out really well. The pumpkin flavor was spot on and we all loved the crumb topping. However, I would add cinnamon to the crumb topping for an extra kick of flavor. That would have really made the flavor even better.  I will include how much I think you should add in the below recipe.

Recipe: (adapted from
1 baguette (I used french, but wheat would work)
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
butter for greasing
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
*1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon (optional)
Butter 9x13 baking dish
Slice baguette into 1 inch slices; place in buttered dish
Whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree in large bowl.
Pour over bread and flip each one over so it is completely covered in the egg mixture. Wrap dish in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 
In the morning preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in flour until mixture is crumbly.
Remove Pumpkin French Toast from fridge, top with crumb topping. 
Bake for about 40minutes or until toast is golden brown and crumb topping is crispy.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Well, this may be my last blog for a couple weeks. I am heading to a wedding and then spending a nice long time with family! Happy Halloween Season!! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Peppermint Pattie Cookies

I cannot believe that the football season is already half over. With my trip coming up, we will only be going to one more home game. It just seems crazy to me! Though I'm sure my husband will be glad I won't be whipping up tons of cookies for him to take to work =0) Speaking of cookies, I loved the cookie we made this week.  I'm sure if you have bought a bag of Hershey's Peppermint Patties (who hasn't?) you've seen this recipe on the back. My husband saw it after buying a bag for Kae and expressed interest so I knew I had to try them.


As usual, your first step is softening your butter. Once it is softened, beat your butter and sugar together until creamy.
Creamy butter and sugar!

 Then add your egg, milk and vanilla blending completely.  Add your flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and blend well.  It should look like the below picture.
I used WAY to big a bowl
Once everything is mixed, refrigerate your dough for about an hour until it is firm enough to handle. I also chose to freeze the peppermint patties for a half an hour. I totally recommend doing this as the patties are soft and you will be smooshing them into the dough. After the dough and patties have been chilled, take them both out of the fridge/freezer. Remove wrapping from peppermint patties and place on a plate. I then put the plate back in the freezer and grabbed each pattie from there as I needed them.

Yes, I used the pumpkin shaped ones
 Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Roll bits of dough into 1 1/4 inch balls (I guesstimated). Flatten dough a bit and then press a peppermint pattie into the center, like so: 
Then mold the dough over the pattie, covering it completely. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat for remaining dough and candy.  Sprinkle with sugar. The recipe said to use decorators sugar, I just used white sugar.
Ready for the oven!
Bake for 12minutes. Sprinkle with additional sugar (I did). Allow to cool completely.
All done
These cookies came out pretty good. Only one cookie had peppermint pattie leaking out of it. I did spill the sugar a bit on a couple of the cookies, but it didn't really affect them negatively. They tasted really good. I love mint so these were perfect for me.

Recipe (from Hershey's)

2/3 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1TB milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt 
20-24 Hershey's Peppermint Patties (standard bag)
*optional decorative sugar

Beat butter and sugar until creamy.
Add egg, milk and vanilla, beat until combined.
Slowly beat in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
Freeze patties for 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take small amounts of dough and form 1 1/4 inch balls.
Flatten slightly and press 1 peppermint pattie into each ball.
Mold dough around pattie to cover completely.
Place on baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake 12 minutes.
Allow cookies to cool completely. 
Makes about 20-24 cookies.
Cookie closeup

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

After the craziness of my daughters first birthday and being sick I am finally getting around to this cookie recipe. Like seriously, I made these almost 3 weeks ago. I honestly got so distracted, I forgot I hadn't posted about these. And don't you love the name? What a mouthful!
I love peanut butter cookies, and this was the first time I'd made a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie. Plus it has oats in it too! I bet you have no clue that the first step to these cookies is softening your butter. Never heard that before right? Once your butter is softened add your sugars, vanilla and peanut butter, then blend until creamy. It should look like the following picture.

Then add your eggs and mix well. Then add your flour, baking soda and salt and blend on low speed until well combined. Then add your oats and stir.

Lastly, add your chocolate chips. It should look like the below picture.
Then drop your dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets. I used a rounded tablespoon and a spoon  to get and keep the dough round. Place them all about 2 inches apart. It should look like this:
Ready for the oven!
You then pop them into a 350 degree oven for about 11 minutes. The should be starting to get a little brown on the top when you take them out. That way they will be a little crispy out and soft inside.
All Done
Allow cookies to cool completely before storing. Or eat one all warm and gooey. 

Recipe (adapted from browneyedbaker)
2 sticks butter (Softened)
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup oats
1 pkg semisweet chocolate chips (12 oz)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
Cream butter, sugars, peanut butter and vanilla using mixer on medium speed.
Add eggs and beat to combine.
On low speed, add flour, baking soda and salt. Blend until mixed.
Stir in the oats and then the chocolate chips.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for about 11 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
Cool completely. 
Hope you enjoy this recipe! I plan on making 2 new cookies this week and will hopefully have those blogged soon.