Eons ago when our children were young, I would make Christmas plates that we would use at Christmas time and always for Christmas morning breakfast. As the years went on the number of plates grew which worked out well because when they had families of their own, I gave them a number of the plates but kept several. Now when the family is here for the holidays, I put the plates out at breakfast time and their children enjoy choosing their favorite.
BREAD PUDDING FOR CHRISTMAS MORNING
Actually delicious any special morning.
14 CUPS SOFT BREAD (Challah works)
1 CUP MILK
3 CUPS LIGHT CREAM
8 LARGE EGGS – lightly beaten
1 ¼ CUPS SUGAR
4 TST VANILLA EXTRACT
1 ½ STICKS BUTTER -melted, cooled
2/3 CUP FLOUR
1 TB BAKING POWDER
1 CUP DRIED APRICOTS
1 TSP GROUND CINNAMON
1 TSP SALT
1 APPLE – large, peeled, cored, diced
¼ TSP NUTMEG – or to taste
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350º.
Break or cut the bread into bite-size chunks. Spray a 9X13-inch baking dish with cooking spray or grease lightly. Place the bread cubes into a large mixing bowl and add the cream and milk. Let sit for about 5 minutes giving it a stirring or two to make sure everything gets moistened.
Next stir in the beaten eggs, sugar, vanilla and melted butter which has cooled.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir the mixture into the bread cubes and then fold in the dried apricots and apple chunks. Pour into greased baking dish.
Bake covered with foil for 30 minutes and then uncover and bake for an additional 35-40 minutes until fluffy and golden brown.
Cool slightly before serving.
NOTE: You can add dried cranberries instead of apricots. You can also add raising along with the diced apples. For breakfast a good topping is a little maple syrup or just sprinkle with powdered sugar.
APRICOT FRENCH TOAST
A simple way to make Brunch special!
8 SLICES CHALLAH BREAD
3 EGGS – lightly beaten
PINCH OF SALT
1 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT
½ CUP BUTTER – melted – or more as needed
2/3 CUP APRICOT PRESERVES –
not jam or jelly
¼ CUP MAPLE SYRUP –more as needed
1 CUP MILK
2 TSP SUGAR
POWDERED SUGAR – for dusting
1 TSP CINNAMON
Whisk together melted butter, apricot preserves, maple syrup and stir until they are well blended and of a thick pouring consistency. Taste and adjust for flavorings. Pour into serving pitcher and keep warm.
In the meantime, have your griddle reaching cooking temperature on the stove top.
In a shallow bowl mix together, eggs, vanilla extract, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and milk. Whisk until totally combined. Heat about a tablespoon of butter on the griddle or more if your griddle is large. Dip the bread slices in the milk mixture until fairly saturated, flipping both sides in the mixture to coat well.
Add the bread to the griddle without crowding. Cook until golden brown on both sides and place on a warm serving dish.
Dust slices with powdered sugar and pour some syrup over each slice. Pass extra syrup for topping.
NOTE: serve with crisp bacon or your favorite breakfast sausage. I’ve made this recipe also using peach preserves and orange marmalade.
(Crespelle are thinner, lighter crepes)
A wonderful Holiday or Sunday morning breakfast.
¾ CUP FLOUR
2 EGGS – large, almost room temperature
¼ CUP SUGAR
1 TSP VANILLA or ALMOND EXTRACT
PINCH OF SALT
1 ½ CUPS MILK – not low fat or skim
1/3 TSP BAKING POWDER
2 TBS BUTTER – unsalted
Place a 12-inch iron skillet (or other heavy-duty skillet) in the oven and set oven to 450º.
In a medium bowl (I use a very large measuring cup for ease in pouring) add all ingredients except the 2 tablespoons of butter. Whisk for several minutes until the mixture is very smooth and lump free. You can do this in the blender making sure to scrape down the sides a few times and let sit for a minute or two before pouring.
Add the 2 tablespoons of butter to the hot skillet in the oven and let it melt to a golden brown – about 1 minute but do not let it burn.
Carefully pour the batter into the hot skillet, swirl to spread it out (swirling is very important in order to distribute evenly) and then bake until it is puffed and set and a nice golden brown – 5-6 minutes and maybe a little longer depending on pan.
Remove skillet from oven and place on stove grates and let it set for about 3 – 4 minutes. It will deflate.
Now you can cut the crespelle into 4 piece and serve from the skillet or slide onto a large round plate and cut. Each piece can be individually spread with jam, jelly, honey, or syrup, as desired. Additionally, you can slide the crespelleonto a large round plate, and fill with your choice of thinned out Nutella, roll like a jelly roll, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and cut into 4 large slices. Very filling served with bacon or sausage.