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Last Minute Brunch Recipes

french toast

Last week we discussed Greg Utsinger’s Weekend Brunch Tips. We’re capping off this week with some last minute brunch recipes for anyone looking to make a last minute ‘wow’ with their guests.

Candied Bacon – Makes 10 Slices (via Epicurious)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound bacon slices (10 slices)
  • 1/2 cup Demerara sugar
  • Special equipment: brown paper such as a grocery bag or butcher paper

Preparation Instructions:

Cook bacon in 2 batches in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning over once, until bacon is lightly browned on edges but still flexible, 5 to 6 minutes total per batch. Transfer bacon as cooked to paper towels to drain.

Pour off fat from skillet and arrange bacon in skillet in 1 layer. Sprinkle Demerara sugar over bacon and cook over low heat, turning occasionally with tongs, until sugar is dissolved, caramelized (sugar melts very slowly and burns easily; reduce heat if necessary after sugar begins to caramelize), and coats bacon, 8 to 10 minutes. (Bacon will be dark and look lacquered.) Transfer bacon with tongs to brown paper to cool.

Créme Brulée French Toast (via NYT Cooking)

  • 5 large eggs plus 2 yolks (or 6 whole eggs)
  • 2 ¼ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream (or use more milk)
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum or orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 loaf challah bread, sliced 1 inch thick, preferably stale (about 1 pound)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preparation Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, rum, vanilla, nutmeg and salt. Spread bread out in 1 layer on a large rimmed baking sheet (about 11 by 17 inches). Pour custard over bread, cover with plastic wrap, and let soak in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. Flip bread slices over once while they soak. This can be halfway through the soaking, or about an hour before baking, whichever is more convenient.
  2. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar and butter. Pour mixture onto another large rimmed baking sheet, using a spatula if necessary to spread into an even layer.
  3. Transfer soaked bread to sugared baking sheet, placing slices on top of the brown sugar mixture. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until tops are golden brown and sugar is bubbling.
  4. Serve immediately while still hot, with the crunchy brown sugar side up, spooning more of pan syrup over the top.

Homemade Granola – Makes about 5 cups (via Joy Of Baking)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
  • 3/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon wheat germ (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil or 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (preferably Grade A Dark Amber)
  • 1 cup dried fruits (cranberries, cherries, apricots, dates, figs, and/or raisins) (optional)

Preparation Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Either butter or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the rolled oats, nuts, seeds, wheat germ, ground cinnamon, and salt.

In a small bowl, stir together the oil (or melted butter), and maple syrup. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and toss together, making sure all the dry ingredients are coated with the liquid. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 30 -45 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally so the mixture browns evenly. (The browner the granola gets (without burning) the crunchier the granola will be.) Place on a wire rack to cool. You will notice that the granola may still be sticky when it is removed from the oven but it will become crisp and dry as it cools. Make sure to break up any large clumps of granola while the mixture is still warm. Once the granola has completely cooled, store in an airtight container or plastic bag in the refrigerator. It will keep for several weeks.

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