Category Archives: Breakfast

Vegan Pumpkin French Toast

Vegan Pumpkin French Toast​

The first morning in Maine is always a production. As it’s the first day of the trip that hasn’t involved a pre-dawn wake-up call and several hours in the car, it’s something to celebrate, preferably with loads of coffee and a good breakfast, like this Vegan Pumpkin French Toast!

You read that right: vegan French toast. Like no eggs, no dairy, but all the crispy goodness. This Vegan Pumpkin French Toast will knock your coziest socks right off.

Vegan Pumpkin French Toast​

I’ve been intimidated by veganizing French toast in the past due to the classic recipe’s reliance on eggs for structure and flavor, but you know what? Pumpkin is an excellent egg replacer in baked goods, and does indeed provide some structure and flavor (with the help of some pumpkin pie spice). Plus, pumpkin season (or as you might know it, autumn) has officially begun and this is fulfilling all my cravings.

As for the process, it’s basically the same as traditional French toast. Mix up the eggless pumpkin custard, dip some day-old bread in it and fry it up in a mix of (vegan) butter and oil. Top it off with maple syrup, confectioner’s sugar, toasted pecans, or anything else your heart desires and dig into this pumpkin decadence!

Vegan Pumpkin French Toast​

As you can likely tell from the photos, I made the batch pictured at home in NYC, but our first-day-in-Maine batch worked just as well even with gluten-free sandwich bread. It was the perfect way to start our trip and the perfect way to start off a new season.

Vegan Pumpkin French Toast​
Vegan Pumpkin French Toast
makes 8-10 pieces, about 4-5 servings

1/2 cup pure pumpkin purée
1 tablespoon granulated or brown sugar (or maple syrup)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 1/4 cup unsweetened plant milk (or other milk of choice)
8-10 thick slices day-old vegan bread (I used 2/3 of a 1 lb. country loaf from Costco)

For cooking:
2 tablespoons (vegan or regular) butter
2 tablespoons canola oil

For serving:
maple syrup
confectioner’s sugar
toasted chopped nuts
seasonal fruit

In a small-medium mixing bowl, whisk together pumpkin purée, sugar, pumpkin pie spice or salt. Whisk in plant milk. Pour custard into a shallow dish.

Heat 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat.

Working with one or two slices of bread at a time, dip each in the custard, coating both sides. Transfer to the pan and cook 2-3 minutes, or until turning brown. Flip with a spatula and cook another 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate.

Repeat dipping and cooking processes until all slices of bread have been used. Add more butter and oil to the pan as necessary.

Divide French toast among plates. Top with maple syrup, confectioner’s sugar, toasted nuts, and/or seasonal fruit as desired. Serve immediately.

Sparkly Applesauce Muffins

Sparkly Applesauce Muffins​

These Sparkly Applesauce Muffins are so easy and so good! They’re a perfect treat for transitioning from summer to fall, before everything is truly all pumpkin spice all the time…which will be next week on this website and also everywhere.

The batter is made with ingredients you likely already have at your disposal and comes together in a flash. Divide it into a muffin tin, filling each well up to the top, and then sprinkle on a thick (thick!) layer of sugar and pie spices before sliding them into the oven.

While baking, the muffins will dome dramatically. This is because of the baking powder and baking soda, of course, but also because the oven time begins with a blast of 425F heat that jumpstarts the rise. After five minutes, the temperature is reduced to 375F for the remaining time, yielding tender muffins with the most glorious sparkly, crackled tops!

Sparkly Applesauce Muffins​

Once the muffins are cool enough to handle, dig in! You’ll love the simple balance of pie spices and buttery apple flavor, and that’s to say nothing of the textures! The tops are crisp and crunchy, and the insides are sooo soft. Be forewarned that this perfect combination is fleeting, however, as the topping will start to melt in about a day. If you want to keep your applesauce muffins around for longer, bake them without the sugary flourish. There’s no need to miss out entirely though—you can still have the sparkling effect by painting the tops of the cooled muffins with butter and dipping them into the spiced sugar before serving.

Sparkly Applesauce Muffins​

I’m all about living in the solution, y’all! Especially when it means there’s a sparkling batch of applesauce muffins on my counter and yours.

Sparkly Applesauce Muffins​
Sparkly Applesauce Muffins
makes 12 muffins

Topping:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Muffin Batter:
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
~2/3 cup milk of choice, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly
1 cup (8 ounces) unsweetened applesauce

Preheat oven to 425F. Use muffin liners to line 12 cups in a standard muffin pan (or grease them well). Set aside.

Make the topping. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a liquid measuring cup or small mixing bowl, use a fork to whisk together vinegar and milk. Set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes, until curdled.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.

Whisk eggs into milk mixture one at a time, followed by melted butter and applesauce. Add half the liquid to the dry ingredients. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to stir ingredients together (15 strokes maximum). Add remaining liquid and stir to combine (15 strokes maximum). Batter will be thick.

Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, filling to the tops. Sprinkle a heaping teaspoon of the topping mixture onto each well of muffin batter. Tap full pan five times on the counter to release any air bubbles.

Bake muffins 5 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375F and bake another 15-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let muffins cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Serve immediately. Leftovers will keep covered at room temperature for up to a day. Sugar topping will degrade over time.

Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles {Gluten-Free}

Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles {Gluten-Free}​

Since first messing with waffle iron a couple of summers ago, I’ve become a bit obsessed with making a perfect waffle. I logically know there’s no such thing—in art and food and the art of food, everything is subjective—but I keep trying.

My cornmeal waffles are pretty good and so are my mix-and-go vegan oatmeal waffles, but my Sour Cream Waffles are outstanding. They’re my favorites of the bunch—super easy, with no whipping of egg whites and perfect ratios of crispness and fluff every time. I am really proud of that recipe and honestly didn’t think I could do better, until I started fiddling with these Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles a year ago. I began with Marion Cunningham’s Yeast-Raised Waffles one day, and then somehow a bag of oats got involved, and many Saturday morning breakfasts later, here we are. These are my new gold standard.

Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles {Gluten-Free}​

Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles are fluffy inside, crispy outside, and have a surprisingly complex, borderline-savory flavor profile on their own (but pair incredibly well with maple syrup). They don’t really taste whole grain, which is shocking as oats are the primary ingredient. Oh, and if you use gluten-free rolled oats, they’re naturally gluten-free, too. No unusual flours required—just a blender and some time.

If you’re scratching your head at the “yeasted” part of this recipe, wondering why you’d ever put yeast in waffles when baking powder and baking soda seem to do just fine…well, that’s fair. But the thing is, the yeast doesn’t just do lifting here; it adds flavor, too. By blending the batter up the night before and then letting it rise in the refrigerator, you’re allowing that yeast to start fermenting, and that results in deep, rich, slightly sour, nearly-savory flavor that simply can’t happen with a regular mix-and-go waffle recipe. It’s divine.

After a chilly night’s rest, the batter will have puffed and firmed up a bit in the fridge, just like any other yeast-based overnight recipe. You should know that it won’t look particularly nice, but that’s okay because we’re not after beautiful batter—we’re here for gorgeous waffles! When your iron is hot, whisk some eggs, water and baking soda into the chilled batter, and then get waffling.

Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles {Gluten-Free}​

This part, you know how to do. Pour the batter in, close the iron, and let it do its thing until the steam dissipates. Don’t let any built-in green lights tell you what to do; the lack of steam will be your signal that your waffles are perfectly crisp outside and light inside!

Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles {Gluten-Free}​

The recipe is written to make enough waffles for 4-6 people, but…like…good luck sharing them. This is a recipe to double and freeze for a rainy day, when you just need a good waffle. Because these, y’all? They’re good waffles. Easy, whole grain, gluten-free, crispy, fluffy and oh-so-delicious—I’m going to go ahead and say it: they’re my new gold standard. And they just might be yours, too.

Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles {Gluten-Free}​
Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles
about 24 4-inch waffles

The night before:
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
2 2/3 cups old-fashioned oats (certified gluten-free for gluten-free)
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 cups milk of choice (I used whole)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

The next morning:
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup lukewarm water
melted butter or cooking spray, for waffle iron

For serving:
pure maple syrup
butter
fresh seasonal fruit

Special Equipment:
high-powered blender
waffle iron

The night before, proof the yeast. In a small bowl, stir together warm water and sugar until sugar has dissolved. Sprinkle yeast over the top and let sit until bubbly, 5-10 minutes. If your yeast doesn’t foam or bubble, it’s dead. Get new yeast and start again.

Add yeast mixture to a blender, followed by oats, salt, milk and melted butter. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. This takes my blender about 2 minutes.

Pour mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, a minimum of 8 and up to 24 hours. The batter should double in volume, but may collapse slightly when you move the bowl.

The next morning, preheat the waffle iron. Preheat oven to 200F. Place a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet.

Uncover refrigerated batter. Whisk in baking soda and eggs, followed by water. Batter may have some visible oat bits—this is normal and will not affect texture.

Grease waffle iron with melted butter or cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cup of the waffle batter into each well of the iron and close the top. Let cook until steam dissipates and the waffles are turning golden, about 6-7 minutes.

Transfer cooked waffles to the prepared rack-over-pan and place in the oven to keep warm. Re-grease the waffle iron and cook remaining batter.

Serve waffles with butter, warmed maple syrup, and seasonal fruit, if desired. Enjoy immediately.

Leftovers may be layered with parchment, placed in a freezer bag, and frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat in the toaster.

Blueberry Corn Muffins

Blueberry Corn Muffins

I don’t really like to tell people how to live their lives or what they should eat, but I have to make an exception. It’s important, I promise.

Y’all, you need to start putting blueberries in your corn muffins. Yes, the dinner-appropriate muffins I posted in the dead of winter. Those. Put blueberries in them and then eat them for breakfast or lunch, or even dinner, if you can get away with it.

Just do it. You won’t regret it. #peerpressure

Blueberry Corn Muffins

It seems obvious once you’ve thought about it. Corn and blueberries are great together! Corn is sweet and earthy; blueberries are sweet and tart. The two are frequently paired in salads in the summer months, so why not combine them in muffins, you know? This was my exact train of thought when I made these a few days ago, and now I’m just wondering why I didn’t make them sooner.

These Blueberry Corn Muffins are so easy to whisk together, and the payoff is outstanding. The recipe is the tiniest tweak on my original corn muffin recipe; I added a touch more flour and some vanilla for a sweeter profile without upping the sugar. Oh, and plenty of fresh summer blueberries, of course!

Blueberry Corn Muffins

Blueberry Corn Muffins bake up in less than 15 minutes. They’re soft, tender and perfectly domed, with a slight crumbly crunch from the cornmeal and bursting blueberries in every bite! While combining two already great things doesn’t always give great results, I am here to say that the union of corn muffins and blueberries is not to be missed.

I’ll say it again: you need to start putting blueberries in your corn muffins.

Blueberry Corn Muffins
makes 12 standard muffins

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup milk (preferably whole), room temperature
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400F.

Line a 12-cup standard muffin pan with cupcake liners, or grease well. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl, toss 1 tablespoon of the dry ingredients with the blueberries. Set aside.

In a small-medium mixing bowl (or large measuring cup), whisk together milk, sour cream, butter, eggs and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon just until combined. Gently fold in blueberries.

Divide batter among muffin cups, about 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) each; they will be pretty full. Carefully tap the pan on the counter five times to release any large air bubbles. Bake for 13-14 minutes, until domed and a bit golden.

Remove muffins from the oven and let cool in the pan for ten minutes before removing to a rack to cool. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Leftovers will keep well tightly-covered at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to five. Muffins may be double-wrapped in plastic and frozen for up to 3 months.

Bostock {Toasted Brioche with Almonds}

Bostock {Toasted Brioche with Almonds}​

If you’ve ever seen fancy-looking Bostock in a bakery, you may be surprised to learn that it’s a snap to make as far as French pastry goes. The origin of the name is up for debate, but it’s sometimes also referred to as Brioche aux Amandes or “almond brioche.” All that is fine and good—almonds and brioche are enough of a selling point—but I was drawn to Bostock when I learned it’s not actually a pastry on its own, but instead a way to repurpose day-old bread. Yep, it’s the pastry equivalent of French toast! Bostock is nothing more than thick, day-old slices of brioche painted with simple syrup, topped with frangipane and sliced almonds (and sometimes seasonal fruit), and baked until golden.

Bostock {Toasted Brioche with Almonds}​

Permitting you are using store bought brioche, this recipe comes together very quickly. Simple syrup is made from equal volumes of sugar and water, and takes only five minutes to simmer. Frangipane, a sweet almond pastry cream made primarily of almond flour, sugar, butter and an egg, just needs two minutes in the blender. See? Quick and easy! Also, if you are more organized than I am, both elements can be made up to a week ahead—just make sure to let your frangipane come to room temperature before you try to spread it on the delicate brioche.

Assembly is easy as can be. Cut the stale brioche into 8 thick slices, then give each one a heavy brush of simple syrup and a luxurious smear of frangipane. Add some fresh fruit if you like, or don’t; I sliced up a nectarine for half my pastries. Sprinkle on some sliced almonds and bake your Bostock for 25-30 minutes, or until it’s puffed and browned a bit.

Bostock {Toasted Brioche with Almonds}​

One more wonderful thing about Bostock? You don’t have to let it cool completely! Definitely don’t eat it straight out of the oven, but go right ahead and enjoy it warm with a (admittedly heavy) dusting of confectioner’s sugar. It’s crispy and toasty at the edges, and the frangipane squidges against your teeth in the most satisfying way. Bostock is softer at room temperature, but still pretty dang stellar. I haven’t seen many people tell you to eat it cold, but I’ll admit that I like the leftovers straight from the fridge, too.

Bostock {Toasted Brioche with Almonds}​

Like its spiritual cousin French toast, Bostock is a genius way to repurpose leftovers into something much greater than the sum of its parts. While the classic recipe is made with brioche, you could give the Bostock treatment to a number of leftover carbs. Challah, stale croissants, and day-old waffles come to mind. You could also swap out the simple syrup for warmed jam—I’m absolutely going to try matching the flavor with my seasonal fruit topping next time! Saturday morning double cherry Bostock, anyone?!

Bostock {Toasted Brioche with Almonds}​
Bostock {Toasted Brioche with Almonds}
makes 8 servings

Simple Syrup:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water

Frangipane:
1 cup blanched almond flour or 4 ounces blanched almonds
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold-ish room temperature, cut into cubes
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

For Assembly:
8 thick slices brioche, preferably a bit stale (mine were from 1 14oz loaf)
2 medium sliced nectarines or other seasonal fruit (optional)
2-3 tablespoons sliced almonds
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

Arrange a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

Make the simple syrup. Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Set aside.

Make the frangipane. In a food processor (or very good blender), pulse almond flour, all-purpose flour, salt and sugar together. Pulse in butter. Pour in egg and almond extract, and process until frangipane is a homogenous paste.

Place brioche slices in a single layer on the prepared pan. Brush each slice with simple syrup, making sure to use up all the syrup. Spread about 2 heaping tablespoons of frangipane over each slice of brioche, covering the entire top. Press in fruit, if using, then sprinkle on the sliced almonds.

Bake Bostock for 25-30 minutes, until the frangipane as begun to brown in places. Let cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before dusting with confectioner’s sugar and serving slightly warm or at room temperature.

Bostock is best the day it’s made, but may be wrapped and kept in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
Bostock {Toasted Brioche with Almonds}​
Bostock {Toasted Brioche with Almonds}​