Tag Archives: brunch

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.

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.

Banana Pancakes

Hello! WordPress has updated its app this week and I am having some technical difficulties. I appreciate your patience while I work out the formatting kinks.

Banana Pancakes

I bought these bananas to let them rot. Well, not just these two—I bought sixteen bananas to let them rot. While that’s not something I do with most produce, it’s almost always the predetermined destiny of bananas, as as letting them get a little gross is the secret to every good banana thing there is: bread, milkshakes, sweet rolls, cookies, and the subject of today’s post, Banana Pancakes.

Banana Pancakes

These are a simple riff on my go-to Buttermilk Pancakes. They’re just as tall and fluffy, but have plenty of banana flavor and a good hit of cinnamon. These are the things of my Saturday morning dreams.

As with my other pancakes, the mixing here is easy—whisk together wet and dry ingredients—but their perfect height and texture hinges on a quick rest. Just five or ten minutes are all the time your batter needs to thicken up for perfect griddling. I like to heat my pan during this time so I’m ready to go the second that rest is up. No time to waste when there are Banana Pancakes to be had!

Banana Pancakes

Every pancake maker has their secrets. I’ve revealed all mine at this point, but they bear repeating. For golden tops, cook your pancakes somewhat-slowly over medium heat in almost no oil; just the barest swipe is all you need here. Let them cook until bubbles form on one side, then gently wedge a spatula underneath to flip and finish. Perfect results every time!

Banana Pancakes

I like to serve banana pancakes with more sliced banana, chopped pecans and maple syrup, but feel free to keep it classic with just butter and maple. Instead of varying toppings, you can experiment with the batter itself—add blueberries or chocolate chips for a fun twist! As far as I’m concerned though, Banana Pancakes are perfect just how they are.

Banana Pancakes
Banana Pancakes
Banana Pancakes
makes 18 pancakes

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup mashed banana (from about 3 very ripe medium bananas)
1 cup milk or buttermilk, room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
canola or vegetable oil, for cooking

For serving:
pats of butter
sliced bananas
chopped nuts
maple syrup

Preheat oven to 200F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a medium mixing bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together mashed banana, milk (or buttermilk), melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk until no streaks of flour remain—there will still be some lumps. Let batter rest 5-10 minutes.

Heat your pan or griddle over medium heat for a few minutes, until heated through. Brush with oil (or grease lightly), then wipe excess out with a folded paper towel or dish towel.

Stir rested batter one or two strokes. Pour 1/4 cup increments of batter on greased pan. Let cook 2-3 minutes, until bubbles are forming and they are turning golden. Flip with a spatula and cook for 2 minutes, or until the bottom is turning golden. Remove to prepared baking sheet and keep warm in the oven until serving.

Continue making pancakes with remaining batter, greasing the pan only as necessary.

Serve immediately with butter, sliced banana, chopped nuts and/or maple syrup, if desired.

Leftover pancakes may be stacked in threes, triple-wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for a couple of months. Discard plastic and microwave 2.5 to 3 minutes before serving.

Banana Pancakes
Banana Pancakes
Banana Pancakes

Almond Poppy Seed Scones

Almond Poppy Seed SconesI know what you’re thinking. How many scone recipes does one baker need? The answer is simple: as many as they can conjure up! Can’t stop, won’t stop. Sorry, not sorry. I mean, do you see these???Almond Poppy Seed Scones

Almond Poppy Seed Scones are super tender and buttery, speckled with crispy poppy seeds, topped with a creamy almond glaze and finished off with a smattering of toasted sliced almonds. They’ve got tons of texture and flavor, but aren’t overly sweet or cloying. I think they’d be a perfect addition to any brunch or tea menu, though they’re so simple they can be thrown together on a Saturday morning without a second thought.Almond Poppy Seed SconesAlmond Poppy Seed SconesAlmond Poppy Seed SconesAlmond Poppy Seed SconesAlmond Poppy Seed Scones

I’ve made scones with half-and-half and whole milk over the years, but heavy cream is my current go-to. If that sounds intense it’s because it is, but if you’ve tried my Maple Scones and Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Mini Scones, you know how cream can take things from good to luxurious. In addition to the cream, these scones are made with flour, a little sugar, baking powder, salt, poppy seeds, cold butter, vanilla & almond extracts, and an egg. The dough may feel a little thick when mixed and patted out, but will result in super rich, tender scones.

As with biscuits, pie dough, rough puff pastry and anything else that depends on cold butter for texture and structure, you’ll need to keep these babies cold cold cold so they don’t turn out flat and sad. I like to freeze my scones for 15 minutes after they’re sliced into wedges, then brush them with a little more cream before baking.Almond Poppy Seed Scones

When they emerge, they’ll be craggy and golden and pretty difficult not to tear into while they’re still warm. I’m not going to tell you how to live your life, but I will suggest holding off on eating until your scones have cooled. Not only will this save the roof of your mouth, but it will give you time to stir together a quick glaze and toast some sliced almonds. You know I love a glaze and a garnish.Almond Poppy Seed Scones

Almond Poppy Seed Scones have it all—the looks, the textures, the simplicity, those irresistible little poppy seeds! I made four batches trying to get them right and I’m still hoping for a moment this weekend to make some more. Like I said, I can never get enough scones.Almond Poppy Seed Scones

Almond Poppy Seed Scones
makes 8 scones

Scones:
3/4 cup heavy cream, very cold
1 large egg, cold from the fridge
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold, cut into cubes

Glaze & Garnish:
2 1/2-3 tablespoons heavy cream (or 1 tablespoon whole milk)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

Make the scones. Meanwhile, place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.

In a liquid measuring cup, use a fork to whisk together heavy cream, egg, vanilla and almond extracts. Refrigerate.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt. Add cold butter. Use a pastry blender or clean fingertips to cut the butter into the flour until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Stir in heavy cream mixture until a shaggy dough forms.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Pat it to 3/4-inch thick circle. Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice circle into 8 wedges. Freeze sliced scones for 15 minutes.

Place scones at least 2 inches apart on prepared pan. Brush with more heavy cream. Bake 16-17 minutes, until puffed and golden at the edges. Let scones cool on the pan on a rack for 15 minutes, or until they can be handled.

Make the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together cream (or milk), vanilla and almond extracts. Whisk in confectioner’s sugar and salt. If the mixture is too thick, add more cream (or milk) by the teaspoon. Drizzle over scones and finish with toasted sliced almonds.

Scones may be served warm or at room temperature. They are best the day they are made, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.Almond Poppy Seed SconesAlmond Poppy Seed SconesAlmond Poppy Seed Scones