February 5, 2010

Valentine's Day Breakfast

Planning breakfast in bed for your Valentine? Here's some ideas:

I made some homemade bagels in the shape of hearts. (There are a lot of recipes online, make sure to choose one that you boil the bagels first before baking them. I read that those were the best kind.)

I made three spreads to go with the bagels.

Cinnamon Spread: Beat 4oz. cream cheese 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, and 1 1/2 T. brown sugar.
Honey Almond Spread: Beat 1/4 c. toasted almonds minced, 4 oz. cream cheese, 1 T brown sugar, and 3 T. honey.
Raspberry Spread: Use the cream cheese filling recipe below.

My husband's favorite was the cinnamon spread.

I made doughnuts with a chocolate sauce. I tried a new recipe, but didn't love it enough to share it. You can use most doughnut recipes that you shape the dough. I rolled out the dough and used heart cookie cutters to shape them. You can make your favorite chocolate sauce recipe. I just adapted my fondue recipe to make a sauce.

Now, for my new favorite breakfast recipe! My own special creation... It has a few steps, but well worth the time it takes to make!! Let's just say my husband asked for it two days in a row.

Gourmet Stuffed French Toast

1 large loaf of french bread cut into wide slices (you could also use Texas Toast, but french bread is a sturdier bread)
Raspberries for garnish if desired

Peach Sauce:
1 bag of frozen peaches
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 T. corn starch
1/2 tsp. almond extract
generous pinch of nutmeg

Cut up peaches in smaller pieces. Put them in a small saucepan. Mix together sugar, corn starch, and nutmeg and pour over peaches and mix well. Add almond extract. Heat over medium heat, stirring often, until mixture is to desired thickness. If you want your peaches in smaller pieces you can take a potato masher and mash the peaches in the sauce. Set aside.

Raspberry Sauce:
1 bag of frozen raspberries
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 T. corn starch

Put the thawed raspberries in a small saucepan. Mix together sugar and corn starch and pour over raspberries and mix well. Heat over medium heat, stirring often, until mixture is to desired thickness. Strain seeds. Set aside. (You can use raspberry jam, but I prefer making my own sauces. If you use raspberry jam that has seeds, heat it so you can strain the seeds out as well.)

Cream Cheese Filling:

8 oz. cream cheese

1/4 c. + 1/8 c. raspberry sauce

(You could also add 1/4 c. powdered sugar, but there is plenty of sweetness in the rest of the recipe that you don't really need it...)

Beat cream cheese and add raspberry sauce. Beat until well combined. Set aside.

Using a sharp knife, cut a pocket in the bread, and fill it with the cream cheese filling. (You could also sandwich two pieces of bread together with the cream cheese in the middle, but I think the pockets are cooler.)

Egg Wash Mixture:

3 eggs

1/2 tsp. vanilla (if you love the almond flavoring you could add 1/2 tsp. of that as well)

1/3 c. half & half (you could use milk)

dash of nutmeg

Whisk all ingredients together in a wide shallow bowl. Holding your piece of bread flat, dip each side of the bread lightly in the egg mixture, just getting the top and bottom wet, not the sides. DO NOT IMMERSE.

Cook on a greased griddle or in a greased pan until done to desired done-ness (not really a word, I know). Do not flatten with spatula as it will cause the filling to come out. On a plate, top french toast with peach sauce, and garnish with raspberry sauce, sweetened whipping cream, and fresh raspberries if desired.

TIPS: You could make all the sauces, and filling ahead of time - even two days or more ahead. All that needs to be heated up before serving is the peach sauce. You could even slice and pocket the bread the day before hand, and put it back in the bag. Also, for an added touch for Valentine's Day; when garnishing, you could pipe the raspberry sauce in shapes of hearts on the serving plate.

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