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Entries in breakfast (43)

Tuesday
Feb012011

Sweet Start: Custom Cereal by me & goji

A while back, I was contacted by a custom artisanal cereal company called me&goji with a sweet offer to try out their build-your-own-cereal tool for free. 

Very cool, but unless it's being used in cereal treats of some sort, I have to be honest: I am not much of a cereal eater.

But then it hit me: could I use this as an opportunity to create the least healthy--and therefore most delicious-- cereal on earth?

Well, I was certainly going to try.

So, when you start the "build your own cereal" adventure, you are greeted with an array of base cereals with which to start your mix, including flax flakes, oats, and something called "healthy hoops". I scrolled right on past these choices and settled on what was clearly the best: "Choco Granola".

After that, you get to add various mix-ins to customize your cereal. Choices include things like healthy, fiber-rich fruit, oat, and nut mixtures.

Of course, they also include things like the melange I chose, which included Cacao nibs, coconut, macadamias, cocoa almonds, choco-peanuts, chocolate chips...and, for health, banana chips.  And I called it...

Now, I'm not going to say that this is the least healthy cereal ever, but it certainly does sound more like the ingredient list for a rich cookie bar than for cereal, doesn't it?

But proof is in the pudding, so how did it taste?

In a word: rich. This was like taking trail mix and removing all of the pesky raisins that get in your way and adding a whole lot more delicious stuff. When covered in milk it became a decadent treat of a breakfast, one that left the remaining milk tasting like some sort of Momofuku dream.

You could use me & goji to create a delicious, healthful cereal--but if you ask me, it's far tastier to create a dessert-of-a-breakfast for a sin-cereal-y delicious treat.

Create your own cereal confection--I mean, creation-- at meandgoji.com. Oh, and they have some Valentine's Day Specials, too!

Sunday
Jan302011

Toast of the Town: French Toast from Table 219, Seattle

CakeSpy Note: When it comes to starting the day sweetly, Mr. CakeSpy's favored flavor of delicious is French Toast. He's known and loved many varieties and has even perfected the art of eating it. Every now and again, we feature a particularly toothsome one he's tried here.

And now, there's a new variety that he suggests to keep you toasty during the cold Seattle winter: French Toast from Table 219.

Now, the restaurant's menu description for this item is...well, sort of nondescript:

"rustic bread dipped in egg batter and topped with today’s fruit selection. served with real maple syrup"

And even when it came to the table, it looked like fairly standard French Toast fare--a modest portion at that. But from the first bite, it was clear that pains had been taken to ensure that this was no ordinary pain perdu. The texture was absolutely perfect, with a lightly sweet, crunchy, evenly browned exterior giving way to a soft, yielding interior, which was almost custardy from what one can only imagine was an extremely luxuriant bath in egg mixture before its pan-frying. On the day of our visit, the fruit of the day was a homemade peach compote, which was a mellow, smooth, sweet complement to the sweet slices of carbohydrate bliss.

Only reservation? If you're an extremely hearty breakfast eater, you might want to order some eggs or bacon (or both) on the side. But moreover, the flavor of this French toast is well worth a try.

Table 219, 219 Broadway Ave. E, Seattle. For more information, visit the Table 219 website.

Table 219 on Urbanspoon

Monday
Jan242011

Have Some Funfetti: Funfetti Pancakes for Serious Eats

Fact: half of the word "pancake" is comprised of the word "cake". Actually, if you want to get really technical, it's slightly more than half.

And in celebration of bringing more cake to the pan, I'd like to present my newest invention: Funfetti Pancakes.

By lightly modifying a typical cake mix, you can make your own DIY pancake mix; the resulting pancakes are light and fluffy, but sweeter (and in this case, more colorful) than the typical griddle fare. Top them with jam, syrup, or even cake frosting for a morning treat that tastes like sweet fun.

For the full entry (and recipe!) visit Serious Eats!

Saturday
Jan222011

Toast of the Town: French Toast from Ants Pants Cafe, Philadelphia

Guess what? We recently visited Philadelphia, and when it came time for AM sweetness, we hit up the place with the coolest name we came across: Ants Pants Cafe.

And as it turns out, this establishment has an interesting story too:

After many years working in cafe’s around Philadelphia, it took a few years immersed in Sydney’s cafe culture to cement the desire to offer a similar experience in a seemingly untapped market in Philly. Childhood friends Liz Fleming and Nancy Silverman both with experience working at some of Philadelphia’s finest, were determined to set out on their own to offer locals in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood an experience that was long overdue.

And Danny's order? French Toast, naturellement.

Ants Pants Cafe's specimen was especially lovely: Creme Brulee Battered French Toast, served with sour cream sauce and syrup ($1 extra to upgrade to maple syrup, which was strongly recommended...but it makes one wonder, why offer the other stuff?).

But. About that toast. Served in fat triangles, it was gorgeously crispy on the outside, caramelized with a sugary coating, and the sour cream sauce was an unusual but welcome tangy accompaniment, rounding out the richness of the eggy bread with...well, more richness. Add maple syrup to the mix, and you have sweet and rich awesome overload--but, you know, in a lick-the-plate-clean kind of way.

A delicious adventure on South Street, indeed.

Ants Pants Cafe, 2212 South Street, Philadelphia; online at antspantscafe.com.

Ants Pants Cafe on Urbanspoon

Friday
Jan072011

Toast of the Town: French Toast from Who's On Third, Spring Lake, NJ

Submitted for your approval: French Toast, made using French Bread, from Who's On Third in Spring Lake, New Jersey.

Who's On Third is one of those establishments that straddles the middle ground between diner and casual restaurant (people from NJ will know what I mean). It's not fancy, but they have a pretty big menu, and offer pretty big portions. That's not for nothing.

But when it comes to French Toast, they have an intriguing entry on their menu. There is a particularly flowery description of their French Toast made using crusty French bread, dipped in egg batter, and served with syrup, butter, and confectioners' sugar.

And then, below that description, it notes that, if desired, the dish is also available with non-French bread. But really, it is written as sort of verbal sneer, like why would you ever do that?

Well, this spy crew will never know, because Danny ordered it the right way: made using French Bread. Served up in several buttery, battered-up, crispy-on-the-outside, custardy-on-the-inside coins of carbohydrate, this dish was a gorgeous gut-bumb and the perfect way to start a snowy New Jersey day.

Overall thoughts: worth trying if you're in Spring Lake, and a good warm-up to the delicious offerings down the street at Scone Pony.

Who's on Third, 1300 3rd Ave., Spring Lake, NJ.

Who's On Third on Urbanspoon

Monday
Nov292010

On a Roll: Cinnamon Rolls Stuffed with Thanksgiving Pie Leftovers for Serious Eats

You've had a few days to digest your Thanksgiving feast, but might still have some pie leftovers lingering in the fridge. And what better time to start carb-o-loading for the holiday season ahead than now.

My suggestion? Get double duty out of your leftovers while also building up some endurance for the epic eating season ahead by preparing cinnamon rolls stuffed with Thanksgiving pie leftovers.

Dice up the pie filling and stuff it in your cinnamon rolls before baking; reserve the crust and cut or crumble it on top for a satisfying crunch. A most delicious post-Thanksgiving breakfast indeed.

Note: I used jumbo pop-and-bake style cinnamon rolls (don't judge me), but you could use the homemade version of your choice. As for the pie, I filled my cinnamon rolls with leftover apple-cranberry pie; just about any baked pie would work, but I would not suggest using no-bake pies.

For the full entry, as well as how to concoct these carb-monsters, visit Serious Eats! And if you love stuffing your cinnamon rolls, you might also enjoy this chocolate chip cookie dough-stuffed variety.

Saturday
Oct092010

Well-Bread: Hot Raisin Bread Recipe from Big Girls, Small Kitchen

CakeSpy Note: This is a guest entry from Cara, a co-author of Big Girls, Small Kitchen, a blog devoted to "quarter-life" cooking (and the home of the Watermelon Ice Cream Cake). Per the writer, "this article is about the fantastic, nostalgic Hot Raisin Bread that my mom always made me for breakfast when I was growing up. And is it sweet? you may ask. Not only is it sweet, but it's topped with the most delicious crust of butter, sugar, and cinnamon."

My Breakfast of Champions

My mom made us breakfast every single day while we were growing up, before we piled into the car and she dropped us off at school on her way to work. When I say I don't understand people who don't eat breakfast, I say this with the perspective of someone who ate scrambled eggs, pancakes, French toast, corn muffins, and hot raisin bread every morning, not just someone who ate, you know, a bowl of cereal. Later, in middle and high school, we did sometimes eat just cereal or yogurt and fruit, but even then there were occasions when we'd get the full breakfast treatment.

On one of these days late in high school, my mom made hot raisin bread. She took it out of the oven, I cut myself a wedge, and when I drove my fork down through the cinnamon-sugar crust on top into the biscuit-like interior, I remembered why this was always one of my favorites. It's decadent in the way that Frosted Mini Wheats are decadent--a layer of sugar, in this case cinnamon-sugar and butter, bursts in your mouth, distinguishing the relative plainness of the inside. I was a junior or senior, and we had a field hockey game that afternoon against one of our rivals. The tradition was to dress up in funny outfits on game days, and I can only imagine what Phoebe and I and the rest of our teammates were wearing. Whether it was my breakfast or my outfit, I played one of my best games ever as forward, scoring a hat trick. Three goals. These days, that kind of athleticism feels like it belonged to another person completely.

Anyway, some other parent came up to my mom and was like, "What do you feed her for breakfast?!"

And my mom, I think, answered truthfully, "Well, it's this dish called Hot Raisin Bread..."

I wasn't eating my Wheaties. I was eating my mom's home-cooked food and apparently it did me better than any cereal.

When I baked this recently, I ate it as an afternoon snack. The cinnamon-y scent filled my apartment. I cut a wedge, poured some some tea, and waited for something to happen. Sure I wasn't playing hockey, but wouldn't mom's magic breakfast work in my Brooklyn apartment too? I did some work on the book, researched my summer vacation, and kept on waiting. And waiting. I haven't found out yet if the Hat Trick Raisin Bread does anything for no-longer athletic adults, but it definitely still tastes really good.

Hot Raisin Bread
Makes 1 bread, serves 6-8
from Quick Breads by Beatrice Ojakangas

Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted or soft
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon sugar (1/4 cup sugar plus 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon)
Procedure
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Combine the flour, powder, salt, raisins, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the oil and milk and mix into a soft dough.
  3. Spread with the butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until just golden. Cut into squares and serve hot--this doesn't really weather well, so make it when you plan to eat.
  5. Transfer it to the baking sheet and pat the dough into a rough 8-inch square, about 1/2-inch thick.

Keep up with Cara's baking adventures on Big Girls, Small Kitchen!

Tuesday
Sep142010

Totally Sweet: Roly Poly Recipe from Macrina Bakery

Image Credit: Macrina BakeryLet's see. Things that are delicious: Croissants. Cinnamon Rolls. Things that are even more delicious: the Roly Poly, a beautiful marriage of carbohydratey treat which brings together the best parts of both and also adds coconut and raisins. This is the version from the lovely and amazing Macrina Bakery, featured as their Recipe of the Month. Yes!

Their intro to the recipe:

My Grandmother Bakke made the most incredible cinnamon rolls I've ever tasted. One day, always open to improving on a good thing, she decided to add two of her favorite ingredients - coconut and walnuts. The results were spectacular. I recommend forming these pastries the night before you want to serve them.

Roly Poly

Ingredients 

  • 1 recipe Croissant Dough (see recipe)
  • 1/2 cup seedless raisins
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • Spray bottle of water

Procedure 

  1. Complete the Croissant Dough recipe as instructed and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. Place raisins in a small bowl and cover with hot tap water. Let soak for 10 minutes, then drain and squeeze with your hands to remove excess liquid. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes. Chop coarsely and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine sugars, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Mix well with a wooden spoon and set aside.
  5. Take Croissant Dough from refrigerator and remove plastic. Cut dough in half and place 1 piece on a lightly floured work surface. (Cover remaining dough with plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator.) Roll dough into 12" x 20" rectangle and lightly mist dough with spray bottle of water. Spread half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over entire surface. Sprinkle half of the raisins, half of the walnuts and half of the shredded coconut on top. Starting with one of the long sides, roll dough away from you into a log. The finished log should be about 3 inches in diameter. Repeat process with second piece of dough.
  6. Using a sharp chef's knife cut each log into 6 equal rolls. Tuck the loose end of each roll underneath. Place the rolls tuck side down into oiled muffin tins and cover with plastic wrap. Let proof in warm room (about 70 degrees F) for 1-1/2 hours. Rolls will rise slightly. Transfer to refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight. The dough will continue to ferment while it's in the refrigerator, developing a slightly sour flavor that contrasts perfectly with the sweetness of the filling.
  7. The next morning, remove the cinnamon rolls from the refrigerator and let sit, still covered, at room temperature for 1 hour.
  8. Preheat oven to 385 degrees F.
  9. Remove plastic and bake for 40-45 minutes. Finished rolls will be a deep golden brown. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then turn pan over and gently remove the rolls. Don't let them cool for too long in the pan or the sugars will harden and the rolls will stick.

 

Saturday
Jul312010

Morning Mix: Peanut Butter Streusel Morning Bread Recipe

Confession: I sometimes, ah, mix it up.

It's true: I'm not adverse to using a mix every now and again. And I kind of have a guilty little spot of love in my heart for Cinnamon Streusel Quick Bread, a recipe made with Betty Crocker's Streusel Muffin Mix. 

It's not that streusel bread would be so hard to make without a mix...but there's something special about this one. What is it that you've hidden in the mix, Betty Crocker?

And as I discovered recently, when you add a generous helping of Mighty Maple peanut butter to the streusel topping, its deliciousness factor is increased, like, tenfold.

So here it is: my dirty little secret, my favorite mix for making a sweet breakfast bread.

Peanut Butter Streusel Morning Bread

-makes about 4 servings, in my house-

Adapted from Betty Crocker

Ingredients

  • 1 Box Betty Crocker cinnamon streusel muffin mix
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 4-6 tablespoons fairly smooth-textured, full fat peanut butter (I love it with Mighty Maple by Peanut Butter and Co.)

 Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease bottom of 9x5-inch loaf pan with shortening, or spray bottom with cooking spray.
  2. In medium bowl, stir Muffin Mix, flour, water, oil and eggs just until blended (batter may be lumpy). Spread batter in pan. 
  3. Melt the peanut butter in the microwave until it is thick but pourable. Mix the streusel topping in, give it a quick stir (it doesn't have to be completely incorporated) and pour it on top of the batter. Don't worry about making your coverage super-even: it's nice to find big chunks of peanut butter here and there.
  4. Bake 38 to 43 minutes or until top is golden brown and springs back when lightly touched. Cool 15 minutes. Run knife around edges of pan before removing; remove from pan. Cool completely before slicing, about 45 minutes.
Tuesday
Jun082010

Sweet Loafing: Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips Recipe from Cake Gumshoes Denise and Steve

When readers Denise and Steve came into my store, they told me that they had been on a 30 mile bike ride that morning. My response was something along the lines of an aghast "on purpose?". But I quickly forgave them for their inherent sportiness, because guess what: they brought me banana bread. With big ol' chunks of chocolate. Even the vaguely healthy applesauce in its construction couldn't cancel out that decadence.

Well, Mr. Spy and I deemed this an ideal breakfast bread, and I eagerly set to recreating the magic in my own kitchen, this time made with butter, chunks of milk chocolate, and a mix of walnuts and pecans. I really don't have to tell you it was delicious, do I?

It's a very easy recipe to personalize and make your own; here's Denise's base recipe so you can choose your own adventure with it.

Oh, and by the way, here's the cute custom painting I did for Denise and Steve while we talked about our favorite pastries!

Dense, Delicious Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

With serious thanks to Denise and Steve

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour, or you can do a mix of 3/4 c white flour and 3/4 c wheat flour)
  • 1 tsp sea salt (kosher salt is okay too)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 c mashed banana (3-4 very ripe, Denise usually uses 4 for extra moist
  • bread!)
  • 1 c sugar (can reduce to 3/4 c, or 1/2 c)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c melted, cooled butter (I use canola oil, or a heaping 1/3 c apple sauce to be really healthy! and do use a little extra apple sauce to keep bread moist)
  • (optional) 2/3 c chopped nuts (I used a mix of pecans or walnuts)
  • 2/3 c chocolate chips for banana chocolate chip bread (Denise lists this as optional--I vote necessary)

Procedure

  1. Mix all of the above together in a big bowl. Don't overmix--just mix until incorporated.
  2. Bake at 325 degrees F for around an hour, check center with toothpick; if toothpick comes out clean, it's done.
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