Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Baked Goods

I'm not going to post a recipe for each of these. Let me know if you need them.
Below are pictures of my first year of Christmas baking

Toast-looking snickerdoodles:

Redeeming Snickerdoodles:

Cranberry White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Creation:

Monster Cookies:

Christmas Crack...This stuff is addictive!

Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies:

How I gained a few "Christmas Pounds".... Stupid delicious batter/dough!

Christmas Breakfast

Paula Deen's Overnight Baked French Toast with Praline Topping...yum.

This year, I conquered family breakfast, and i turned to none other than Paula Deen for a little inspiration. I found this recipe here. And made a few swaps and switches thanks to the tips from those who have reviewed the recipe on line. This dish was a HUGE hit with the fam. Everyone went back for seconds, so I'm putting it in the "keep" file.

Here's the goods, as found on Food Network's site:

1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg Dash salt
Praline Topping, recipe follows
Maple syrup

Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.
Praline Topping: 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter 1 cup packed light brown sugar 1 cup chopped pecans 2 tablespoons light corn syrup 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Makes enough for Baked French Toast Casserole.

Kara's Variations...
I dipped each piece of bread in the egg mixture, rather than dumping all the egg goodness directly onto the slices. I also did not use all of the egg mixture. I poured about half of it over the bread after dipping, and discarded the rest.

I also cooked the casserole for a bit longer (say 15 minutes) and let it sit out for a bit after I removed it from the oven to avoid sogginess.

Here's what I got...

What do you think? Let me know if you tried the recipe and what you did to "make it your own." Next time I'm going to add raisins in with the topping. I have also seem a similar recipe with a caramel sauce that looks to die for.

Thanks for stopping by!