It was the bright and sunny brunching hour at the special cabin in the woods, but more importantly, it was the last brunching hour of the long weekend, so we treated ourselves to a decadent baked French toast!
This decadence stemmed from the substitution of croissants for bread and a layer of Justin’s chocolate hazelnut nutbutter (more wholesome than nutella!), making for a very French, French toast! One rather rich thought entered my mind as I was making this… can you even fathom a bite of baked French toast made with almond croissants?!?! One bite would surely be heaven, and one bite would surely be enough! Perhaps I’ll try that one day!
Baked Croissant French Toast
Inspired by Bon Appétit
5 all butter croissants, cut lengthwise
2 Tablespoons Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter
*1 cup homemade bourbon whipped cream (recipe below)
5 large eggs (local/free-range)
3/4 cup organic buttermilk
1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 Tablespoon organic brown sugar
extra maple syrup
For the Baked French Toast
Grease an 11×7 glass baking dish with butter.
Create one layer of croissants using four bottom halves.
In a bowl, whip the bourbon whipped cream and chocolate hazelnut butter together until creamy.
Add the 4 croissants tops. Use the remaining croissant to fill in any gaps.
In a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk and maple syrup.
Pour the egg mixture over the croissants, making sure to fully saturate the top layer.
Sprinkle with the cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar.
Let sit for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Bake until golden brown and set in the middle, about 40 minutes. Serve with maple syrup.
*Bourbon Whipped Cream
1 cup organic heavy cream
3 Tablespoons Bourbon (Buffalo Trace)
3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 Tablespoon organic brown sugar
For the Whipped Cream
In a chilled bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Use an electric mixer to beat until peaks form. Keep chilled until ready to serve. Add a dollop to your brunch cup of coffee while you’re at it!
Roasted Pineapple with Pistachios
Adapted from Bon Appétit
1/2 cup (packed) organic brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 medium ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, cut into wedges or chunks
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup natural unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons torn fresh mint leaves
Preheat oven to 450°.
Stir first 3 ingredients in a large bowl until sugar dissolves.
Add pineapple; toss to coat.
Let marinate, tossing occasionally, for 10 minutes.
Place pineapple, one flat side down, on a nonstick skillet; reserve marinade.
Roast pineapple for 15 minutes.
Stir/flip, brush with marinade, and roast until tender and caramelized, 10–15 minutes.
Drizzle with remaining marinade; let cool slightly.
Arrange pineapple on a plate.
Spoon Greek yogurt on top of the pineapple. Garnish with pistachios and fresh mint.
The sun was as warm and golden as that roasted pineapple. When March hands you a warm, sunny day, there is no choice but to spend as much of the afternoon outside as possible, especially when that afternoon takes place at a cabin in the woods.
Oh that big hunk o’ man?!? He’s my lumberjack boyfriend. No big deal.
The grasses, trees and mountains began to yawn and stretch, as they gradually awoke from their winter slumbers. For though the sun was quick to warm us that weekend, the grasses, trees and mountains had been dormant for many a cold, wintry month. Their warmth was yet to come!
As a newcomer to that special cabin in the woods, part of my privilege is discovering the changes the seasons bring over the mountains, valleys and wooden beams. I can’t wait to see how the cabin gussies himself with spring flowers and bright green grasses!
(…until the next, greener, sunnier times that is)