Monday, November 7, 2011

Peaches-and-Cream French Toast Casserole

I recently stumbled upon this recipe in one of my magazine and my love for peaches (when you have Fredericksburg zip code it's completely natural) made me instantly yank the entire page from the binding. A few weeks later, I knew it would be the perfect tailgate breakfast for the Missouri game and as a make-the-night-before recipe that you pop into the oven the next morning, it would be a great bake-and-take breakfast. Every bite of this recipe is filled with the taste of summer and fond memories of a french toast breakfast.

Peaches-And-Cream French Toast Casserole

1 8 oz Loaf of French Bread, cubed
8 Large Eggs
2 Cups Milk
1/4 Cup Sugar + 1 tsp
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 15 oz Cans Sliced Peaches in Juice, Drained
1/2 Cup packed Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

Butter a 9"x13" baking dish and arrange bread cubes. Whisk eggs with milk, 1/4 sugar, and vanilla until well blended and pour over bread. Arrange peaches on top and sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1 tsp sugar. Cover and refrigerate overnight or 8 hours.

Remove from fridge 30 minutes prior to baking and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour cream into a small pan and bring to a boil over high heat; cook until reduced by half (10 - 12 minutes). Drizzle over the top of casserole and bake, uncovered 45 - 55 minutes until lightly brown on top. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

This went over extremely well at the tailgate and made me long for summer to be here even sooner so I can use Fredericksburg peaches instead of canned. I'm so giddy my knees tingle at the prospect! Too bad this recipe and a decent tan were the only thing I got from the Missouri game.

Two Perfect Fall Cookies

I believe with my whole heart, that cookies are a year around food. However, there are those certain cookies that just taste a bit more delicious around specific holidays. Below are two recipes for perfect fall cookies - Spicy Oatmeal Raisin and Pumpkin, Oatmeal, & White Chocolate Chip - that are extremely simple and one is almost healthy! They both use a spice cake mix (I told you they were simple!) yet, taste like you spent an entire morning in your apron. I generally use the Duncan Hines Spice Cake Mix as it is the only one I find on the store shelves, however, any dry spice cake mix or recipe will work!

Now to share these two amazing fall cookie recipes:

Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I first started making these cookies when I was in 5th grade. For some reason, we had a box of Spice Cake Mix in our pantry and this recipe was on the side of the box. These were the first cookies I ever made by myself and since then they have become a reliable cookie for any kind of gathering. I remember making these for my family Thanksgiving that year and now, every time I make these cookies, I am taken back my proud accomplishment of my first baked good and a new found love for cooking.

Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 box Spice Cake Mix
1/2 Cup Oil
2 eggs
1 Cup Oatmeal
1/2 Cupe Raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients and drop by rounded tablespoon onto a parchment paper lined pan. Bake at 375 for 7-9 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Pumpkin, Oatmeal, & White Chocolate Chip Cookies

These were kind of an accidental experiment . . . an accidentally almost healthy! The pumpkin replaces the oil and what part of eggs and oatmeal are unhealthy? Now the white chocolate makes up the "almost" part of the healthy . . . but could a cookie be a cookie without at least one sinful addition?

Pumpkin, Oatmeal, & White Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 Box Spice Cake Mix
1 15 oz Can of Pumpkin
2 eggs
1 Cup Oatmeal
1 Cup White Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine eggs and pumpkin, mix well. Add cake mix and oatmeal and stir until all ingredients are well blended. Stir in white chocolate chips and use a tablespoon to drop onto a parchment paper lined pan. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and move to a cooling rack.

Note: This is a very moist cookie and is best kept fresh in the refrigerator

Hope these cookies will bring Thanksgiving into your kitchen a few weeks early and delight your taste buds! Happy Fall!