Tag Archive: cherry

May 11 2013

#BrunchWeek: Stuffed French Toast Using @CAWalnuts

Disclosure: California Walnuts provided me with a bag of walnuts for participating in #BrunchWeek, which were used to prepare this recipe. All opinions remain my own.

You baked that brioche from Wednesday, right? Good, because it should be just the right consistency now for one of my favorite ways to eat brioche–Stuffed French Toast.

Brioche Stuffed French Toast

One of the down sides to homemade bread is that you have to use it quickly. Since it’s full of the good stuff, it’s also more likely to go moldy or stale within a matter of days instead of weeks. You’ll have to bake more often to fill demand, but you’ll also be avoiding additives and chemicals, so it’s worth it. Plus have you ever eaten a loaf of grocery store bakery brioche? Blech. That is not what bread is supposed to taste like!

Brioche Stuffed French Toast

What do you do when your brioche has turned stale? Transform it into French toast, of course. Many of you are already keen on this, given the comments I’ve read this week, and I’m glad that you haven’t been kept in the dark. You can’t beat brioche when it comes to French toast. But we’re talking Mother’s Day here, so we want to make the ordinary extraordinary. This is where stuffed French toast comes in.

Brioche Stuffed French Toast

A bit of a hybrid between grilled cheese and French toast, stuffed French toast puts the ooooh! in ooh-la-la! Perfect for a brunch celebrating Mom and all she’s done for you! Show her that you care and go the extra mile. She’ll love you even more for it!

Brioche Stuffed French Toast

In this case, I chose to add some chopped California walnuts to the filling, providing textural interest. The walnuts complement the sweet/sour cherry preserves and smooth cream cheese beautifully, creating a memorable dish. Don’t be surprised if this becomes Mom’s favorite part of her special brunch. You’ll be making it over and over again!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Stuffed French Toast
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Breakfast/Brunch
Serves: 4
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup black cherry preserves
  • ¼ cup California walnuts, lightly toasted and then chopped
  • 8 thick slices brioche
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon dried orange peel
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon organic sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • confectioners' sugar
  1. The night before, combine the cream cheese, preserves, and walnuts, mixing well, and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, take it out 15 minutes before you're ready to prepare the French toast.
  2. Spread ¼ of the cream cheese mixture on one slice of bread. Pair with another slice to make a sandwich. Repeat with the rest of the slices and cream cheese.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, orange peel, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla, beating until well combined.
  4. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat and melt ½ of the butter in the pan.
  5. Dip 1 sandwich in the egg mixture, let it sit for 5-10 seconds, then flip over and dip that side, also letting it sit for 5-10 seconds. Add it to the heated pan.
  6. Repeat so you'll have 2 sandwiches at a time in the pan.
  7. Flip when golden brown, then cook until that side is also golden brown.
  8. Plate and sprinkle confectioners' sugar over the top before serving.
  9. Repeat with other 2 sandwiches.

Are you curious about who won the giveaways we’ve been promoting all week?

PinChatLive #BrunchWeek

Join our PinChatLive from 2-3PM Eastern Time today to learn who won. You don’t want to miss these announcements–you could be a winner! Good luck and thanks for joining us for #BrunchWeek!

What did everyone else make to close out the week…?

Brunch Drink Recipes

Cherry Sangria by Cooking In Stilettos
Frozen Grasshopper by Amanda’s Apron
Gin and Sparkling Red Wine Cocktail by Take A Bite Out Of Boca
Vanilla Pomegranate Mojito by Noshing With The Nolands

Potato Brunch Recipes

Parmesan Roasted Red Potatoes with Vidalia Onions and Thyme by Cook the Story
A Salad Called German Potato by The Vintage Cook

Breads, Grains, Cereals and Pancake-type Yums

Biscoff Walnut Granola Parfaits by White LIghts on Wednesday
Carrot Cake Pancakes by Love and Confections
Chocolate Chip Craisin Granola Bars by Big Bear’s Wife
Dandelion Pesto Pizza by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Pina Colada French Toast by The Domestic Mama & The Village Cook
Sourdough Epi Baguettes with Rhubarb Blood Orange Ginger Jam by Spontaneous Tomato

Spreads and Dips for Brunch

Grilled Pineapple and Walnut Dip by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Strawberry-Kiwi Jam by Sweet Remedy

Brunch Dessert Recipes

Chocolate Trifle {kid friendly} by Real Housemoms
Florida Strawberry, Lavender Farmers Cheese and California Walnut Braided Pastries by Vanilla Lemonade
Raspberry Sweet Rolls with Meyer Lemon Glaze by by Cravings of a Lunatic
Sour Cream Coffee Cake by Savory Sweet Eats

Dec 01 2012

#FirstOnTheFirst: Chocolate Cherry Rugelach

2012 is winding down, bringing us the last First on the First of the year. Thank you for joining us, whether you baked along, salivated over the photos and descriptions, or made the recipes we tried! Kate and I are looking forward to another year of culinary challenges and hope you will join us in executing them! The more, the merrier–there can’t be too many cooks in this virtual kitchen!

Chocolate Cherry Rugelach

Rugelach. I had a bad experience with rugelach before. Filling oozing out, messy little bites that were pretty darn ugly. Great idea, poor end product. (Or poor skills on my part–I’ll take ownership of that.) It’s taken me nearly 2 years to build the courage to attempt rugelach again. Something that should be so easy has gained epic pedestal status because of my inability to attain a satisfactory sweet with my last try. This is ridiculous!

Chocolate Cherry Rugelach

The making of the cookies themselves is fairly easy (though a tad messy, with all the flour on your counters). It’s the chilling of the dough that makes the task seem daunting. You need to add 90 minutes to your prep and baking times to accommodate hang time in the fridge; leaving this to the last minute, as I’m prone to do, is a recipe for disaster. Or a panicked crash on the couch for two hours, entirely in denial of the fate that awaited me. Whichever.

Chocolate Cherry Rugelach

Even done correctly, these are still messy. You’ll get cinnamon sugar and chocolate chips all over your counter. (Though I scooped the remnants up into my mouth–have to clean up, after all.) The preserves will ooze out of the cookies a bit. Cinnamon sugar will be everywhere, after you’ve sprinkled it on the cookies. In all this chaos, you’ll find that you really don’t care. It doesn’t matter. There are painstakingly perfect cookies, with intricately detailed royal icing…and then there are cookies like these. A little like you look when you wake up late and have no time to shower… yet brilliant. It doesn’t matter what they look like. It’s all about the flavor.

Chocolate Cherry Rugelach
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Cookie
Serves: 48
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (16 Tablespoons or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar, plus 9 tablespoons
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed lightly
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and then finely chopped
  • ½ cup cherry preserves
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy.
  2. Add ¼ cup of the granulated sugar, the salt, and vanilla extract, beating on medium-low for 3 minutes.
  3. On low, add the flour, beating until just incorporated.
  4. Flour a work surface and turn the dough out onto it, shaping into a disc. Cut the disc into 4 portions, wrap each in plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for one hour.
  5. For the filling, in a medium bowl, mix 6 Tablespoons of the granulated sugar, all of the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, chocolate chips, and pecans.
  6. Flour a work surface, remove a dough disc from the fridge, and flatten it out until you have a 9-inch diameter circle.
  7. Spread 2 Tablespoons of cherry preserves over the disc and sprinkle ¼ of the filling (approximately ½ cup) over that, pressing the filling lightly into the dough.
  8. Using a pizza wheel, cut the disc into 12 triangles (cut into quarters first, then each quarter into thirds).
  9. Roll each triangle from the long side to the point, making a little crescent.
  10. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and place the crescents on the prepared baking sheets, point side down.
  11. Place baking sheets in fridge for 30 minutes to chill (you can also freeze the cookies at this point and bake them off later).
  12. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  13. Brush each cookie with the egg wash. Combine 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle on the cookies.
  14. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  15. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To ring in the new year, we’ll be making Swiss Rolls. Your interpretation, your twist, however you’d like to make them. For details on how to bake along with us, check out the First on the First tab above. If you don’t have a blog of your own, feel free to post your results in the comments on Kate’s or my blog post for Swiss Rolls–we’d love to hear about it! January 1st… be there!

And now…for all the other yummy rugelach!

Oct 20 2012

#SeriousSandwich: Sweetened Cream Cheese and Cherry Jam Turnovers

One of the benefits to participating in the #SeriousSandwich challenge, cooking our way through Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches, is that we all had an opportunity to ask Emeril a few questions. No, I wasn’t flown to Louisiana for this (you wouldn’t believe how many time I’ve been asked that!). And I wasn’t fortunate enough to be able to make it to his book signing at Grand Central Terminal on Thursday either. Thanks to the magic of email, however, I was granted a little insight into Emeril Lagasse‘s world.

Sweetened Cream Cheese and Cherry Jam Turnovers

·         What made you think of writing a cookbook on sandwiches?

Well, everyone loves a good sandwich, right? I also noticed a few years back that around the country, and really around the world, lots of kicked-up sandwich joints were opening up. I figured folks would like a book that might help them make some kicked up sandwiches at home.

·         Do you have a recipe development team who assist you or do you come up with the recipes by yourself?

Yes, I have a small culinary team who helps me with my various recipe projects. They have been with me a long time and have a real feel for what I like and how to help me get my projects completed.

·         Do you ever get burned out? How do you keep going in the kitchen?

Well, many people who know me well say that I have an amazing amount of energy. But of course I’m human, too, and yes, I do have my moments when I just need to stay at home with my family and recharge. Usually a day at home with my wife and kids or a day out on the water fishing will put me right.

Thank you, Emeril, for taking some time out of your very busy schedule to answer my questions! How cool is that?!

Sweetened Cream Cheese and Cherry Jam Turnovers

This is my 7th post in the #SeriousSandwich series and I felt it was time for another dessert. Turnovers would not appear to fit into an assortment of sandwiches at first glance, but when you look at the broader, more global definition and include things like Big Empanadas and Tunisian Street Sandwiches, then turnovers make a lot of sense. They still have a bread-like exterior with a filling, and they can be a grab-and-go kind of meal. Or treat. Or meal. Yup, they’re a dessert sandwich.

This was my first time working with puff pastry since my baker’s assistant days 14 years ago. There are recipes out there to make your own puff pastry, but I’ve always considered it to be one of those things that just isn’t worth the time investment. Making laminated dough is a pain in the rear. Frozen puff pastry is readily available. No contest.

Sweetened Cream Cheese and Cherry Jam Turnovers

Once your puff pastry is thawed, the time to assemble is short. They do have to spend an hour chilling in the fridge after assembly before being baked off, but that’s not bad. I vacuumed the house while I waited. Cherry jam is delicious, but I opted for Bonne Maman Four Fruits Preserves to kick these up even more. Mmmm… Turnovers are best eaten the day they’re made, but they will survive up to 3 days on the counter wrapped loosely.

To find out what the other cook-along bloggers think of the recipes they’re trying out, follow #SeriousSandwich on Twitter, or check out their links below:
Cover of Emeril's Kicked-Up Sandwiches

Disclosure: The views and opinions expressed on this blog are mine alone, based upon my personal experience. Morrow Cookbooks provided me with a Cookalong Kit including an advance copy of Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches. In addition, upon completion of the #SeriousSandwich cookalong, all participants will receive a small grocery reimbursement and a complete library of Emeril Cookbooks.

Jul 09 2012

#MuffinMonday: Cherry Shortcake Muffins

This Muffin Monday is brought to you by my new kitchen, where I am beginning to work my way around it and learning to love it. Plus it’s really nice to have my work space be in the same room as my oven and refrigerator.

cherry shortcake muffins

We’re still settling in here–heck, we still have a whole basement and garage to move, plus some furniture and miscellaneous junk–but it’s starting to feel like home. Our home. I get a flutter of excitement and panic at the same time just thinking about it. It’s so nice to not have the thumping and bumping upstairs anymore or the smoky waves wafting in our windows. No more cigarette ashes and butts in my potted plants or other kids’ toys strewn across the parking area. If there’s a problem, it’s ours, for better or worse, and we will deal with it. I love it!


Dragging out a move can be exhausting though. Between my back and foot drop in my left foot, plus my newly-developed plantar fasciitis in my right foot, I feel like I haven’t been much help at all. I packed quite a bit initially and have done much of the cleaning, unpacking, and organizing at the new house, but it doesn’t seem like enough. I should be doing the heavy lifting, too. And I can’t.

cherry shortcake muffins

What I can do is turn our house into a home with the little touches. Where to put the decorative stuff so it’s not so stark white and bland. How to arrange the silverware and dishes so they’re easy to find by the other occupants of my home. And baking. Because baking always makes a house a home. There’s no substitute for it.

cherry shortcake muffins

This week, An sent around a recipe for Strawberry Shortcake Muffins from Seasons & Suppers. Strawberry shortcake is one of my favorite desserts–simply classic. While this would have been wonderful with the originally called-for strawberries, I found some gorgeous cherries at the store and was compelled to use them in this recipe. I needed a baked cherry treat in my life. The cherry on the top of the sundae that is our home. Just a little something extra special.

poet in the pantry

Cherry Shortcake Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: breakfast/brunch
Serves: 20
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ cup turbinado sugar
  • 8 Tablespoons (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sweet cherries, pitted and chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cut together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and butter with a pastry blender until you get pea-sized crumbs.
  3. Add the egg, cream, and vanilla extract, stirring with a silicone spatula until just blended.
  4. Stir in the cherries.
  5. Using a large cookie scoop, portion out the batter between the muffin cups, filling ¾ of the way.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, rearranging the pans halfway through baking.
  7. Cool in muffin tins before serving.

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street; a culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings, week after week.

Older posts «

Fetch more items