There are a ton of variations on baked french toast out there, but I was inspired by Sam's version because of its decorative design, and the addition of fruit. I love fruit with my french toast, and normally just throw some on the plate before serving. So, I was excited to see how the fruit and french toast would bake up together.
I love how this dish can be made the night before. I felt so accomplished when I woke up the next morning. It was like I checked something off my to-do list before i even got out of bed.
I made some adjustments...my challah was BIG, so I doubled the eggs to six, and used heavy cream. whenever I make panfried french toast, I normally use half & half or heavy cream, so I figured it should be ok. decadent, but ok. :-)
I used a 10" round baking dish with 1.5" sides. You can use whatever shape dish or pan you have on hand, but the key is that the sides are at least 1.5" high to contain the liquid. 2" would be even better. But to be safe, you could place the baking dish on a baking sheet to catch any overflow. i didn't have any overflow, but it's better to be safe than sorry... no fun cleaning the oven... so use the pan. :-)
If you use another shape dish/pan, simply adjust the arrangement accordingly. Any extra slices can be baked in a separate dish, or panfried. Maybe you'll come up with an even cooler design! I had so much fun creating and constructing this. I felt like a sculptor, because the challah is very malleable once it’s coated in the egg mixture.
People, I couldn't wait to snap the final pic so I could dig in. The fresh-baked aroma was driving me absolutely wild.
a drizzle of maple syrup, a dusting of powdered sugar and wowwww. This is like a pillowy heaven of lusciousness.
cookie stamps are all the rage right now, but you don't need to spend any money! look through your kitchen drawers and you'll find creative ways to add texture to these cookies. and maybe in the process you can get a head start on spring cleaning...? um, ok maybe not. bake these cookies instead—WAAAY more fun. BTW if you want any of the cookies stamps pictured at the bottom of this post, they're in my amazon shop.
Spices courtesy of Burlap & Barrel.
Yield: About 3 dozen 2.5" cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp spice mix (recipe below)
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
This is an update to my 9/7/17 post on candied nasturtiums, which was my first time ever trying out this technique. Since then i've learned a few things, reflected here:
Make sure you use plants that are organic/pesticide free. Also, not all flowers and leaves are edible. Please do your research before feeding plants to anyone. :-)
Nasturtium is an entirely edible plant, flowers and leave. This year I planted a bunch of new edible flowers in my garden: bachelor buttons, gem marigolds, bright lights cosmos, lavender hyssop and chamomile. I always save the seed packets so I can identify new plants once (if!) they pop up. :-)
Seeds are mainly from Botanical Interests.
it's fun to test this candying technique on herbs like mint and basil. i recently candied spearmint from my garden and it came out awesome! i used them on chocolate cookies. see photo below.
I've partnered with Five Acre Farms and Our Name Is Farm to spread the word that June is National Dairy Month! Local dairy farmers across the US are having a super hard time because of the low prices of conventionally-produced dairy products. We can help by buying local dairy products, which are almost always higher quality, transparently-sourced, ethically-produced and better tasting!! I feel so lucky that here in NY we have family-run farms and cooperatives like Five Acre Farms supplying us with awesome local dairy items.
I made these cookie cows with super fresh Five Acre Farms eggs. I just love how the farmer's story is inside each egg carton. The "pasture" is made from chives and lantana from my garden. You can get the cookie & icing recipe below.
My love for buying local food whenever possible started about 20 years ago, back when i was living in San Francisco and frequenting the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. It soon became my Saturday am ritual. I'd stay for hours, getting to know the farmers, and eventually i started working there. My meals seemed even more delicious with that added dimension of knowing where my food comes from, and that sense of community that forms when you are connected to the source.
are you sitting, people?? my first ever blog post.
please be kind.
first, i want to make you a promise: i can't stand having to scroll to the bottom of a post—past a zillion pix—for the recipe. so, i will always put it higher up in the post, wherever makes the most sense.
second, i'd like to apologize in advance: my recipes can be somewhat detailed (read: verbose).
SO, here we go!
combined here are two of my favorite things: sweets and gardening. i've always been curious about candied edible flowers and how they're made. i can't say i've done extensive research, but i'll share what i know so far.
nasturtiums are absolutely one of my fave flowers. in order for a flower to qualify as a favorite, i must love the look of the leaf as much as the flower, since the blooms aren't always around, but the leaves are. and the nasturtium has the prettiest lilypad-like leaves. LOVE.
cocktail party trivia: did you know that they are often planted in vegetable gardens because they attract aphids and other pests away from the vegetables?
AND they are edible! the leaves are also edible and great added to salads. they have a peppery, mustard-y taste.
how can the nasturtium not be a favorite with all these plusses??
I'm now part of the Amazon Influencer Program, which basically means you can now find a collection of my favorite baking tools all in one place! When you go to my shop, you'll see what I recommend, complete with helpful tips in the comments. I do get a small fee for any items purchased through my storefront. click the button below to access my shop, and feel free to email me with any questions!