Browsing Tag

Christmas

Breakfast

Panettone French Toast

December 11, 2014

Each year growing up I looked forward to my favourite Italian Christmas treat – Panettone. A festive Italian sweet bread / cake studded with dried fruit and a hint of citrus. It’s one of my favourite memories of Christmas with my dads family. It signified the beginning of the holidays. We would only get to taste the sweet fluffy bread during the holidays – which meant that when I could get my hands on it I would easily devour 4 or 5 pieces. Unlike traditional Christmas fruit cakes, panettone is light and fluffy, with a hint of citrus and a sweet taste much like brioche. I’m not fond of fruitcake, unless it’s panettone.

As soon as I see the beautiful imported boxes of Panettone I get way too excited. I’ve even brought a panettone on an airplane to gift to someone  – yeah, I’m that person who brings a cake on a plane. 

We always did the big Italian Christmas Eve at my Nonnas – and you would always see the famous boxed panettone sitting on the counter waiting to be sliced for dessert. If we were lucky we might get some before dinner – but you wouldn’t want to spoil your appetite before the feast of seven fishes.

As a special treat we would add the faintest dust of icing sugar on top (though you really don’t need it). On Christmas morning my dad would slice the panettone at our house, and present it in star cut slices.

Now, as an adult I buy myself at least two panettone’ during the holidays. I may even buy another one to freeze for the future. While I love panettone on it’s own, I’ve also grown to love it as French toast for breakfast. It’s simply delicious – and easy to prep. I find it’s better than brioche because the bread is so airy light that the pieces of French toast are fluffy like a cloud even when cooked. It’s definitely a Christmas treat and would be an absolute favourite Christmas morning breakfast. Serve with a mimosa, maple syrup and fresh fruit.

T’is the season – so go ahead, eat panettone for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert!

Panettone French Toast
A christmas twist on the traditional favourite - thick slices of sweet panettone dunked in a vanilla-egg mixture and cooked until crisp.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 thick slices Panettone per person
  2. 2 eggs per slice (4 eggs for two people)
  3. dash of vanilla
  4. dash of cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Heat pan on medium heat with cooking spray/coconut oil/butter.
  2. In shallow baking dish whisk together eggs, vanilla and cinnamon.
  3. Add thick slices of panettone, allowing it to soak on each side for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Carefully lift slices out of baking dish and into pre-heated pan. The panettone can be quite 'mushy' at this stage, so I suggest lifting it with a spatula/egg flipper.
  5. Cook each side of the panettone for 3-4 minutes on medium-low. You want the outside to be crisp, and the inside to be cooked but not soggy.
  6. Serve with real maple syrup and fresh fruit.
Notes
  1. Best if eaten the same day.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
Christmas

Holiday Baking Roundup 2014

November 30, 2014

There is something so magical about the first snowfall of the season. 

Friday night while watching a movie with one of my friends, and snacking on our charcuterie board (the best), the soft white flakes began falling down. We took a peak outside and were happily surprised to see how much had accumulated over the past couple hours. 

As a kid it was always so exciting when the first snow fell – waking up to a winter wonderland was everything.  And, if you knew it was supposed to snow, you would leap out of bed and tear open the blinds to see if it really had snowed. You’d race to get your snow gear on and bound out to the fresh mounds of snow to make snowmen and snow angels.

Now, as an adult, I get equally as excited about the first snowfall. However, for much different reasons. First, I’m happy it was on a Friday night so I didn’t have to get up and drive to work the next day because, lets face it, people freak out at the tiniest bit of snow. And second, instead of running out to enjoy the snow, I am happier to stay indoors, cozy up with a warm cup of tea, a good book or show and watch the snow fall around outside. 

What better way to spend a snowy day inside than by baking. I’ve rounded up a few of this past years favourite holiday recipes. Some new, some old and some gluten free and/or vegan! Something to please everyones taste buds :)

1. Italian Pizzelle Cookies – crisp, light and delicately sweet.

2. Vegan Brownies - bake them in a larger pan, cut into smaller squares to please a crowd. 

3. Personalized Gingerbread Cookies - monogrammed cookies means everyone gets one :)

4. Flourless Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars – fluffy and light, gluten free. 

5. Fudgey Raspberry Brownies – dense, and deliciously decadent. 

6. Christmas Toffee Crack(le) – addictive, salty and sweet – amazing 

7. Flourless Almond Brownies – made with almond meal, dense and fudge-like

8.  Almond Butter Blossom Cookies – an almond-butter take on the traditional thumbprint classic

9. Nanaimo Bar Bites – one of my favourite holiday treats, just dressed up a little different

10. Salted Almond Butter & Pretzel Cups – just like their peanut-y partner, these almond butter cups are a bite of heaven.

11. Pumpkin Biscotti – a seasonal twist on another italian classic – drizzle in chocolate for an extra treat.

Christmas, Cookies, Holidays

Personalized Gingerbread Men

December 20, 2013

breadginger

 It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… (which is only 5 days away!!!!)

Today is a wonderfully white snow day in Metro Vancouver. 

The fluffy white snowflakes began falling late last night and we woke up to roads blanketed in snow. Snow makes everything look beautiful. 

I hope it sticks around for Christmas. We haven’t had a white Christmas in Vancouver for a few years.. oh how lovely it would be. 

However, snow in Vancouver creates chaos. Unlike most people, I actually put on brand new all weather tires a couple months ago so I was pretty prepared for the cold weather and ice. Whereas a lot of people in Vancouver don’t have all weather/snow tires, and if they do they wait until after it is already snowing to put them on….

I’ve been watching Twitter all morning and the list of accidents/cars in the ditch keeps growing.. Stay safe out there people. 

What better way to celebrate a snow day (if you’re lucky enough to be home today and enjoy it!) than to bake. A warm house filled with baked goods while snow falls outside is a perfect winter afternoon to me.

I have a certain love for ginger baked goods (such as these GingerStamp cookies) – the aroma is delicious. These are soft and chewy gingerbread people with a spicy ginger bite. To make them a little more personalized, without using royal icing, I used a small letter cookie cutter to imprint our family members initials on them. They would be great for table setting cards – or on top of presents. 

Stay warm inside on this snow day and bake yourself a gingerbread army. 

ging

The dough itself is easy, and only requires about an hour to chill. Little kids can help with rolling out cutting out the cookies, and even decorating if you want to add frosting. 

Gingerbread Cookies
Yields 24
Soft and chewy personalized Gingerbread Men
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Prep Time
1 hr
Prep Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  2. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  5. 2teaspoons ground cinnamon
  6. 1 tsp. nutmeg
  7. 1/2 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  8. 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  9. 1 large egg
  10. 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
Instructions
  1. 1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. 2. Beat butter and brown sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Mix in eggs and molasses.
  3. 3. Add flour mixture, mixing on low until just combined. Divide dough in half and wrap each in plastic.
  4. 4. Refrigerate until cold and firm, about one hour or up to two days.
  5. 5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut into shapes of your choice, I used smaller gingerbread men cutters. If you want to personalized them, lightly press a small letter cookie cutter into center of the cookie. Place 1 inch apart on baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone baking mat.
  6. 6. Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
Notes
  1. Store in airtight container on counter for up to a week, or freeze.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Adapted from Martha Stewart
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/