Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day 2011

Well it is Christmas Day! In addition to celebrating the birth of Jesus we are eating some good food today. Sadly I'm sick (most likely allergies thanks to all the warm weather we are having in Georgia) so I did not get to help out too much in the kitchen this year but I still wanted to share these fabulous recipes.
Breakfast started out with overnight french toast! Wow it is delicious!!! It was so nice waking up and just putting it in the oven. We made eggs and sausage too. The french toast reminded my parents and I of a pecan swirl or a honey bun. I would highly recommend making this recipe that we found on the Six Sister Stuff blog on any weekend.

Overnight Baked Caramel French Toast
(Recipe from


1 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/3 cup whipping (heavy) cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
(I added chopped pecans for a little somethin' extra!)

French Toast:
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 (3/4-inch-thick) diagonal cut slices French bread

1. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In 2-quart saucepan, mix topping ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. DO NOT BOIL. Spread topping in baking dish.

2. In shallow bowl, beat eggs with fork. Beat in milk, vanilla and salt. Dip bread slices into egg mixture, making sure all egg mixture is absorbed; arrange over topping in dish. Cover; refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

3. When ready to bake, heat oven to 400°F. Uncover baking dish; bake 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and toast is golden brown. Remove from oven; let stand 3 minutes.

4. Place large heatproof serving platter upside down over baking dish; turn platter and baking dish over. Remove baking dish, scraping any extra caramel topping onto toast. Serve immediately.

Also, my mom made Cranberry White Chocolate Bars that we discovered on the Glorious Treats blog. I've not tried the Cranberry Bliss Bars at Starbucks that Ms. Glory was trying to replicate but either way these are amazing.  Mom said she struggled a bit cutting them so needless to say they are not in any fancy shape - just rectangles. Oh well, the shape doesn't effect the taste.

Cranberry White Chocolate Bars

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (slightly softened)
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons fresh orange zest
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup dried, sweetened cranberries, chopped
6 ounces (about 3/4 cup) white chocolate chips

~ Frosting ~
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon orange extract

1/2- 2/3 cup dried, sweetened cranberries, chopped
2 ounces white chocolate, melted

~ Directions ~
1.) Preheat oven to 350 (F) degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan then set aside (I also like to line the pan with parchment paper, leaving some hanging over the two long sides- this allows the bars to be pulled out of the pan after baking for easier cutting).
2.) In a medium bowl add the flour, powdered ginger, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set bowl aside.
3.) In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, and orange zest and mix well. Gradually add the flour mixture and blend until combined.
4.) Stir in cranberries and white chocolate. Pour the batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.
5.) Bake 25-30 minutes, until edges are light brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6.) Prepare frosting by beating the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and orange extract. Beat about 1 minute until fully incorporated.
7.) Assemble dessert by spreading the frosting onto the baked and cooled bars. Sprinkle additional cranberries on top. Drizzle melted white chocolate on top as desired.

Mom and I enjoy the Food Network - big surprise for a foodie family. Saturday mornings are often spent watching our favorite line up while on the phone with each other - kind of like cartoons for kids. A few weeks ago a Deen Family Christmas aired. It was hilarious! Her family visited her dressed up as elves as they prepared an amazing meal. We decided to make slow cooked roast with herb sauce and twice-baked shrimp stuffed potatoes. Check out Paula's food network site for the recipes.

Merry Christmas Ya'll!

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