Tag Archives: brunch recipe

Milk Bar’s French Toast Muffins

All the wonderfulness of French toast -- in a convenient muffin form.
All the wonderfulness of French toast — in a convenient muffin form.

I love this delectable Christina Tosi recipe for “French Toast Muffins” for so many reasons:

  1. It lets you make a load of “French toast” in one fell swoop.
  2. It is a genius use of all those odds and ends of various bread loaves on the verge of freezer-burn at home.
  3. It’s easy enough for kiddos to do, making it an ideal way to spoil mom with breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day. In fact, it’s featured in the “Milk Bar: Kids Only” cookbook (Clarkson Potter, 2020), of which I received a review copy.

You probably know Pastry Chef Tosi as the founder and owner of the phenomenon known as Milk Bar bakery, as well as for her judging prowess on TV’s “MasterChef.”

Her creations at Milk Bar are beloved for their nostalgic effervescence and joyous kid-like appeal. So, a cookbook like this is a natural. It’s sure to entice kids into the kitchen with recipes such as “Coco Cabana Cereal Squares,” “Compost Pancakes,” “Donut Shakes,” and “Corn Dog Waffles.”

She even instructs how to judge if baked goods are done, by employing cocktail umbrella toothpicks to demonstrate, as well as trouble-shoots problems such as cupcakes or muffins sinking in the middle (You’re opening and closing the oven too much.).

For “French Toast Muffins,” you rip up bread slices into small pieces “as if you were feeding ducks in the park.” (One of the best recipe directions I’ve ever read, by the way.)

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Chocolate-Chip Hot Cross Buns

My favored hot cross buns for Easter.
My favored hot cross buns for Easter.

I have a confession to make: I love hot cross buns.

But the neon red, green and yellow dried fruit inside?

Not so much.

As an avowed carb lover, I always felt painfully left out at Easter, simply because I couldn’t bring myself to buy these holiday buns only to pick out and discard the bits of dried fruit so wastefully.

Now, however, I’ve found a delicious solution to my dilemma: “Chocolate-Chip Hot Cross Buns.”

Because if there’s one thing I love even more than bread, it’s chocolate.

This fabulous recipe is from “Just Desserts: Good Things Come to Those Who Bake” (Running Press), of which I received a review copy. This compact tome of 30 recipes is the first cookbook by Charlotte Ree, an Australia-based recipe developer and avid home baker.

This fun little book full of cheeky quotes will have you running to your kitchen to try your hand at such delights as “Nutella Thumbprint Cookies,” “Tiramisu Swiss Roll,” and “Vanilla Cake with Ricotta Frosting and Roasted Peaches.”

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Sheet-Pan Pancakes

Is it breakfast? Or dessert? It's kind of both.
Is it breakfast? Or dessert? It’s kind of both.

I’m sure I’m not alone these days when it comes to inventorying my kitchen.

Lately, it goes something like this:

All-purpose flour. Oh, thank gawd there’s still some!

A half-pint of blueberries grabbed at the last minute at the grocery store a week ago. Half a pint? That’s it??? Why didn’t I think to get more?!?! What a moron.

Half a gallon of heavy cream that expires in five days. Wait. What??

A bag of walnuts. Woo-hoo, precious protein, baby.

A nearly empty bag of almond flour in the far reaches of the freezer. When did I even open this? (Dips finger in to try some.) OK, I think it still tastes OK. I haven’t keeled over yet.

And so it goes.

That, my friends, is what led me to try making Martha Stewart Living’s “Sheet-Pan Pancakes.”

Because let’s face it, we all need a respite from CNN, daily press conferences, and ever-growing statistics on this pandemic that’s remade the world as we knew it.

What we need is pancakes. Because pancakes have had the uncanny power to put a smile on our faces as far back as, well, the invention of pancakes. When you start the day with pancakes, you know it’s going to be a good day. And we can all surely use more of those kind of days right now.

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Take A Whiff — And Taste — Of Gingerbread Pancakes

This time of year cries out for gingerbread pancakes.

This time of year cries out for gingerbread pancakes.

 

When it comes to Austin, I can’t help but think barbecue, Tex-Mex and food trucks galore.

Now, it’s become synonymous with gingerbread pancakes, too.

That’s because in “The Austin Cookbook” (Abrams), of which I received a review copy, there is a wonderful recipe for just that from Magnolia Cafe, a beloved institution that’s not only open 24/7, but serves breakfast anytime.

The book, by food writer Paula Forbes, features more than 80 recipes that give a delicious overview of the city’s culinary traditions, from “Green Chile Queso” to “Mustard and Brown Sugar-Crusted Ribeye” to Bootsie’s Buttermilk Pie.”

Austin Cookbook. jpg

Being the ginger fanatic that I am, it’s no wonder that “Gingerbread Pancakes” called out to me.

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Meyer Lemons II: Sweet and Decadent

Zest, juice and slices of Meyer lemon flavor this irresistible Meyer lemon coffee cake.

Zest, juice and slices of Meyer lemon flavor this irresistible Meyer lemon coffee cake.

 

April showers bring May flowers. But last winter’s deluge of rain nearly drowned my poor little Meyer lemon tree.

Usually flush with deep green leaves and bountiful with sunny yellow lemons, it looks more like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree right now. In fact, I managed to pick all of about four decent-sized ripe lemons this year — not nearly enough to make this spectacular “Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake” by Martha Stewart.

But lo and behold, my friend Kiki to the rescue. With her tree overflowing with lemons, she gifted me a big bag of them — plenty to make this cake that requires a load of Meyers.

Thin slices of lemon are layered and baked right into the cake, which has a batter laden with lemon zest, too. Then, a mountain of crunchy streusel goes on top — an amount nearly as deep as the cake, itself. Finally, a Meyer lemon citrus glaze is drizzled over the top.

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