It’s been a long while since I’ve been able to do an impulse breakfast like this. But this Sunday morning, we were sleeping in late after a party at a friend’s the night before, I had the ingredients for this on hand, and I was in a headspace to be able to cook, and I decided to go for it. (Again, major sign that the meds are working – I have not been able to do this as much as I would liked to in the last few years. Fuck depression, yay meds.)

Dutch babies are always fantastic, especially on a cold winter morning. And with all the holidays, odds are you’re going to have all these ingredients in your kitchen already. (Tieghan also recommends maple syrup and whipped cream, but tbh the cranberry butter is more than enough.)

Do the thing. It’s wonderful.

Cinnamon Spiced Dutch Baby with Cranberry Butter
Makes one big ass dutch baby, enough for two people minimum

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • .66 c whole milk
  • .66 c flour
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • (1 T hazlenut liquer – didn’t have this on hand, maybe try Grand Marnier)
  • 1.5 t ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • dash salt
  • 4 T butter (2 T of this melted)

For the cranberry butter

  • 4 T butter, softened to room temp
  • .25 c leftover cranberry sauce (I picked some up from Trader Joe’s)

Preheat your oven to 450, and put out the 4 T butter for the cranberry butter to start softening. In a blender, blend together the eggs, milk, flour, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, the 2 T melted butter, and salt, until smooth (pics 1 and 2), and no flour clumps remain.

In the last five minutes of the oven preheating, take a cast iron skillet and the 2 T butter, and add to the oven, letting the oven melt the butter all over the skillet (pic 3).  Once the oven is preheated, pour the batter into the skillet (pic 4), and bake for 25 minutes, until the dutch baby is puffed and browned on top (see pic 6). (Don’t open the oven in the first 15 minutes of baking, or it will deflate!)

In the last ten minutes of the dutch baby baking, mix together the butter and cranberry sauce until combined (pics 5 and 7).

Then, transfer the dutch baby to a plate, and spread the cranberry butter over it, letting the heat of the dutch baby melt the butter. (I could probably have used more of the cranberry butter here, however, I do now have leftovers for future dutch baby making.)

And then, enjoy your wonderful breakfast, ideally while playing some Destiny 2 and cuddling.

Happily, kind of, I am currently so far behind on this blog that this has now completed the loop to this being back in season! Go me!

Egg nog. Dutch babies. This is pretty much an A+ combination on all fronts, especially as the cold finally starts to settle in over Chicago. So make this this weekend, and treat yourself. You’ve earned it.

Egg Nog Dutch Baby
Makes one dutch baby

Ingredients

  • 2 T butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c egg nog
  • 1 c flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 t vanilla
  • .5 t nutmeg
  • 1 T sugar

Preheat your oven to 400, place the butter in the cast iron skillet, and place the skillet in the oven to melt the butter (see what pic 3 looks like for what this will look like after the oven has preheated).

Combine all other ingredients in the blender (pic 1), and blend until combined (pic 2). Once the oven has preheated, swirl the skillet to coat it in butter, and then pour the batter into the hot skillet (pic 4).

Place back into the oven, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and puffed (pic 5), and then om nom it!

So, I’ve been saying I would finally catch the hell up on this blog. This is me finally committing, entirely too late in the year for my liking. I’ve mostly been sticking to stuff I know this year, with the occasional new recipe here and there, and getting back into the swing of cooking in general, and finally getting my depression and anxiety under control (meds are great, kids, as is therapy). This is me catching up on my recipe backlog.

I’ve only made these once, and that’s a damn shame, because come on – browned butter AND chai spices AND pumpkin? This is the perfect fucking fall waffle.

Browned Butter Pumpkin Chai Waffles
Makes: waffles. I honestly don’t remember how many.

Ingredients

  • 6 T unsalted butter
  • 2.5 c flour
  • .33 c dark brown sugar
  • 2.25 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • .5 t salt
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t cardamom
  • .5 t ginger
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 c milk
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 c canned pumpkin

In a small pot/pan, melt the butter over low heat (pic 1). Continue cooking the butter until it turns amber and starts to smell nutty and get little brown flakes at the bottom (pic 2 is the end result of this). Pour into a separate small bowl to stop cooking, and let cool.

While the browned butter cools, whisk together your dry ingredients (everything from flour down to ginger). In a separate small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (the browned butter, and everything from the eggs down to the canned pumpkin). Then, pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold together until the batter just barely comes together (pics 3-4).

Heat up your waffle iron, and make the waffles according to the waffle iron’s instructions, and enjoy!

Tried this on a whim last weekend, as I’ve been on a creme brulee kick lately, or at least the idea of it, and the idea of that plus french toast sounded grade A amazing. I think this needs another go around to get it perfect, especially with the topping. Maybe caramelizing the sugar will work better under a broiler, or with a blowtorch? Any suggestions would be appreciated. 

Seriously, though, be sure to flip the toasts to get the perfect goldenness to it, and and have some fresh berries to make it even more amazing (these are Tay barries, a cross between raspberries and blackberries). I also used a loaf of shokupan (a type of Japanese milk bread) instead of brioche, and I still think it tastes amazing. Plus, odds are you’ll have some left over, for some lovely breakfasts during the week. 

Creme Brulee French Toast

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf rich bread of choice (again, Deb recommends brioche, I used shokupan, sliced to about an inch or so thick)
  • 1 1/3 c whole milk
  • 2/3 c heavy whipping cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 c white sugar
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 T alcohol of choice (original recommended Grand Marnier, I went Kahlua)
  • 1 T vanilla extract

Topping

  • 2/3 c white sugar

If your bread isn’t already sliced, slice it into generous, thick slices – Deb recommends 1.5 in thick slices, my loaf was cut into 1 in slices, about 9 slices total. Whisk together the milk, heavy whipping cream, eggs, white sugar, sea salt, booze, and vanilla extract. If you want to use a vanilla bean, you can do so – just follow Deb’s recommended steps for whisking in the vanilla bean scraping in the linked recipe. 

Preheat your oven to 325. Take a rimmed tray or pan that will fit as much of your bread as possible (I ended up going with two separate glass pans, and even those weren’t the greatest fits, as you can see), lay out the bread, and pour the custard over it. Let the slices absorb the custard for a half hour, flipping over about halfway through to ensure every side is soaking up the custard evenly. (You can also toss this in the fridge overnight to soak if you’re so inclined, and you won’t need to flip them if that’s the case.)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper if you have it (I do because the people before me in this apartment left a lot of stuff, hallelujah), and space out the french toasts so that there’s juuust enough space that they can breathe a bit. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, flipping halfway through so that each side gets a lovely golden sear to it (I didn’t flip them, and I think they look better with both sides seared). You’ll know they’re ready when you lightly slice into the center of the bread and twist, and no wet custard comes out. 

About five minutes out from the toast being done, take a small, heavy, completely dry pot and melt 2/3 c white sugar over medium heat, stirring with a fork, and until it’s fully melted and the color of honey (see pic five). Time this so that this happens as soon as the toasts are done. Remove the bread from the oven, and then drizzle about 1 T of the caramel over the toasts, attempting to do so evenly (I just ended up doing a fancy drizzle). 

Add berries, and voila – a lovely, decadent weekend breakfast. 

(If anyone’s tried the broiler method for caramelization that Deb mentions, please let me know if it worked for you – I want to try that next time. Or maybe the hot spoon method would also work.)

Candied bacon plus brown sugar based waffles? Uhm, yes please. 

I halved this recipe, as the boy doesn’t really do meat, but this still gave me five waffles, so the recipe as I’ll write it below will likely give you something around 10 waffles as output. 

Brown Sugar Bacon Waffles

Ingredients

Candied Bacon

  • 10 slices of bacon
  • .25 c dark brown sugar

Waffle Batter

  • 3 c flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • .25 c dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 c cup canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2.5 c buttermilk

Preheat your oven to 375, line a baking sheet with foil, and place your bacon slices on the foil, sprinkling with the brown sugar. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the sugar caramelizes, and it’s beginning to brown and get crispy (see pic 2). Take the bacon off the baking sheet as soon as it’s out of the oven with tongs, and let it cool on a cutting board. 

While the bacon cools, whisk together all your dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients, and once well blended, fold into the dry ingredients. Once the batter’s almost fully mixed, heat your waffle iron, and take your cooled candied bacon, and chop (or, frankly, you’ll be able to break it apart with your fingers) into small pieces, and add straight into the batter. Don’t overmix the batter, or the waffles will become too tough; lumps in the batter are completely fine. 

Cook your waffles according to your waffle iron’s instructions, and enjoy the bacony brown sugar goodness!

This is definitely a weekend recipe. Why? Because it takes a minimum of overnight prep, and a lot of watching of the waffle iron (because these waffles are LOADED with sugar, and a special type you might have to pick up from Amazon at that). 

Are they worth it? They were pretty sweet, and I’m not entirely sure they turned out properly, but the result was pretty damn neat. (I am sure there is someone here who has more experience with these waffles who can tell me if I fucked up.)

Liege Waffles

Ingredients

  • .5 c whole milk
  • .25 c water
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 3 2/3 c flour
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 14 T butter, softened to room temperature, and separated into quarters
  • 1 1/3 c pearl sugar (you can find this on Amazon easy)

Take your milk and water, heat until lukewarm, and then add your brown sugar and active dry yeast, letting sit about five minutes, until foamy. Whisk together your eggs and vanilla, add the milk in, and then slowly add all but one cup of flour, and mix until well combined. Add the salt in, and mix until combined again

If you have a stand mixer, this is the part where I hate you, as you have things significantly easier – all you have to do is use a dough hook here. The rest of us, in adding in the 14 T of butter, will have to knead it in by hand. It’s going to take a long ass time, but the stretchy dough that results is worth it. Then, work in your last cup of flour. 

I used the fridge first method for making the dough rise – check the linked recipe for the other method. Take your dough, cover it with plastic wrap, and then put in the fridge for a minimum of overnight. The day you want to make the waffles, bring to room temperature for an hour, stir the dough to deflate it, and then let it rise for another two hours (see the difference between pics five and six). 

Once you’re ready to cook the waffles, knead in the pearl sugar. It’s gonna seem like a fuck of a lot, and it is. Trust me. You can do it, and it’ll be worth it. Heat your waffle iron while you’re doing this. Once the iron’s ready, break off a small piece of dough, stretch it out a bit, and cook until golden brown (usually about the same time as instructed by your waffle iron instructions). 

Keep any waffles you make warm (ideally in a 200 degree oven), and then enjoy the molten sugar caramelized amazingnes.

Looking for a springy, citrusy waffle that you can have ready to go pretty quick (and still have leftovers for breakfast for the week)? If so, I’d suggest these lovely key lime waffles. The most you’ll have to do is grate a lime to get the necessary zest (I have a separate thing of fresh lime juice, so); the rest should be lying around and ready to go in your pantry. Might mellow this out with a bit of vanilla next time, but otherwise, these are perfect and lovely.

Key Lime Waffles
Makes ~7 waffles

Ingredients

  • 2 c flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • .75 c sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.75 c milk
  • .25 c fresh key lime juice
  • 1 T key lime zest
  • 1 stick butter (.5 c), melted

Take your dry ingredients, and whisk them together in a large bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together your eggs and milk, followed by the key lime juice and zest, and finally your melted butter. Then, slowly add your wet ingredients to your dry ones, until just barely combined. 

Then, make according to your waffle iron’s instructions, and enjoy!