Candied Almonds

Candied Almonds via elisebakes  I’ve mentioned that I very recently graduation college and have just begun the job hunt.  That said, money is tight this Christmas, so most of my gifts are handmade.  For my dad and grandma: candied nuts (among other homemade goodies).  I made several different types of candied nuts last year and it was actually much simpler than I had anticipated.  This recipe is really easy to follow and the final product is great!  Actually, it’s amazing – better than any of the types I made last year!  We’ve already eaten a few handfuls – might have to make another batch before Christmas!
Candied Almonds (from mybakingaddiction.com) Candied Almonds via elisebakes

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 pound almonds or pecans
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp of  sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 250 and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil
  2. In a large bowl, combine egg white, vanilla extract and water. Beat mixture until frothy.
  3. Stir in almonds and mix to coat.
  4. Gently combine sugar, cinnamon, and sea salt and stir into almond mixture, thoroughly coating all nuts.
  5. Evenly spread nuts onto prepared baking sheet and place into oven.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  7. When cool, pack in an airtight jar. They will keep at room temperature for about 2 weeks.Candied Almonds via elisebakes

Eggnog French Toast

Egg Nog French Toast via elisebakesBreakfast is my favorite meal of the day…well, I should say breakfast food is my favorite type of food because I have no shame in eating breakfast at any hour.  Honestly, I’m usually in such a zombie-like state in the morning that I just have a piece of fruit…it’s not until after a cup of coffee that I can actually get myself to cook something.  But, a midday egg burrito?  You betcha!  Pancakes for dinner? Yes, please!  Late Night Waffles? Say no more.

This eggnog French toast is festive and delicious!  I made is using homemade bread and it had a wonderful, rich flavor.  This serves one or two but you can double or triple the recipe as needed!

Egg Nog French Toast via elisebakesEggnog French ToastEgg Nog French Toast via elisebakes

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup  eggnog
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 2-3 pieces of bread
  1. With a fork, whisk the egg, eggnog, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl big enough for dipping.
  2. Dip the bread in the egg mixture and allow it to soak for a couple minutes.
  3. Butter a hot pan or griddle and place bread on it.
  4. Cook for a few minutes on each side until golden brown.

Egg Nog French Toast via elisebakes

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Spiced Sugar Cookies

Spiced Sugar Cookie via elisebakes

Christmas is closing in on us; time to start getting cookie recipes organized and stock up on butter and sugar!  These spiced sugar cookies are a great twist on the traditional rolled sugar cookie.  The spice was mild but added something interesting to the cookie.  Before they were iced, these cookies were a little dry – but once they were iced they softened up a little and were much better!

Spiced Sugar Cookies via elisebakes

Spiced Sugar CookiesSpiced Sugar Cookies via elisebakes (adapted from Bake at 350)

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and spices together.
  3. Cream the sugar and butter until incorporated.   Add the egg and vanilla and mix until blended together
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined.  If the dough becomes too thick, you can use your hands to knead in bits of flour from the sides or bottom of the bowl.
  5. Roll the dough out and cut with a cookie cutter.
  6. Place cut dough on a greased baking pan and bake at 350 for 10-13 minutes.Spiced Sugar Cookies via elisebakes

IcingSpiced Sugar Cookies via elisebakes

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp light corn syrup (or honey)
  • 1-3 Tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. In a bowl, whisk powdered sugar, corn syrup,  vanilla and 1 Tbsp of milk together.
  2. Add food coloring until you reach your desired color.
  3. Add milk until you have a consistency that is thick enough for outlining your cookie (see picture below).  Then transfer to a piping bag or sandwich bag and pipe around outline of the cookie shape.
  4. When all cookies are outlined, add a Tbsp or so of milk to the icing to thin it out enough to flood cookie.
  5. Spread with a toothpick to flood the icing outward toward the outline.
  6. Decorate with sprinkles right away if you plan on doing so and then let them harden.Spiced Sugar Cookies via elisebakesLinking up to Show me What Ya Got!

Baked Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal

oatmeal2The perfect breakfast for a chilly morning!  This cinnamon oatmeal was delicious, but the cream cheese icing is what really added that cinnamon roll flavor. Perfection!  This was the first time I have baked oatmeal, and I really liked the texture it had.  I’ll definitely be doing this again, but next time I think I’ll add fresh apples.

Cinnamon Oatmealoatmeal

  • 1 cup dry oats
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • additional brown sugar for sprinkling
  1. Mix everything together in a small-medium sized bowl.
  2. Pour half into a each of two 1 cup oven-safe dishes, I used Pyrex glass   bowls.
  3. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes in the middle rack, move it to the top rack and broil for couple minutes to get the top nice and crispy if you want.  You could also microwave it if you’re short on time; I’d say about two minutes.
  4. Sprinkle with brown sugar and top with cream cheese icing (recipe below).

Cream Cheese Icingoatmeal3

  • 1 Tbsp cream cheese
  • 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Microwave cream cheese for about ten seconds to soften it up.
  2. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix with a fork or whisk (a fork works just fine since it is such a small amount).
  3. Drizzle over oatmeal.

Baked French Toast

If I open a menu and read “Breakfast served all day,” I don’t need to keep looking; I already know I will be having French toast.  I think I can safely say that it is my favorite food.  This baked French toast was very cinnamon-y and delicious, crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.  It was so easy to throw it together the night before – I’ll definitely be making this again!

Baked French Toast (serves 4-5)

  • 8 slices of bread, torn or cut into cubes
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cup milk at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  1. Butter or grease a 9×9 baking dish.  Place bread pieces in the pan.
  2. Combine eggs, milk, and melted butter with a whisk.  Add vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, making sure most of the bread pieces got covered.
  4. Refrigerate overnight.
  5. In the morning, cover with streusel topping and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.  You can adjust the baking time depending on how mushy you want it.  I baked mine for 40 minutes and the top was crispy but the inside had a texture similar to bread pudding.

Streusel Topping:

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 stick butter, cut into pieces
  1. Combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt with a whisk.
  2. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut in the butter until most of the flour mixture has been incorporated and it looks like crumbles.

Note: You can make the streusel topping the morning of or the night before, just keep it in the refrigerator overnight.
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Zucchini Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Buttercream

Zucchini Cupcakes

My parents’ garden usually gives them more zucchini than they know what to do with, which is very fortunate for me because they love to give it away!  And I love zucchini!  It’s so versatile; you can eat it a million ways: Continue reading