Category: Baking

Dec182012

Crockpot Breakfast Bake

Crockpot Breakfast Bake

One of my planned dinners for last week was Breakfast for Dinner, which is one of the girls’ favorites. Though I like it well enough, I hate babysitting the bacon, the eggs, and the griddle of hash browns. By accident I came upon a recipe for a crockpot egg bake and was thrilled to find that I had everything on hand because I was going to use them all for our regular meal.

But I have a confession: I’m not a fan of baked eggs. I’ll eat quiche or frittata but I prefer the quicker and less-drying methods of scrambled or over-easy.

I decided to give it a shot, and thankfully it was early enough in the day that I had plenty of time to get it going in the crockpot.

Crockpot Breakfast Bake

I ended up combining several different recipes, and all of them called for an overnight baking. Since ours was going to be for dinner, I started at around 10:30 AM, and it was perfect by about 6:00 PM on low. It turned out well enough that I’m going to use it overnight next week for Christmas breakfast.

I did have to fiddle with it a bit since I really wanted to make sure it turned out right. The basic recipe I went with is below, and my notes are under that:

Crockpot Breakfast Bake
makes 8 generous servings

12 eggs
1 cup of milk
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper

1 28 oz bag Potatoes O’Brien
1 cup chopped onion
1 lb bacon, cooked and chopped
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Mix eggs with the milk, ground mustard and garlic powder and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Spray your crockpot with nonstick cooking spray. Pour 1/3 of the bag of potatoes into the bottom. Layer 1/3 of the onion, 1/3 of the cooked bacon, and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat these layers two more times.

Pour the eggs over top and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

~ I used the Ore Ida Potatoes O’Brien, with the potato chunks and not the shredded hash browns.

~ I baked my bacon in the oven instead of on the stove top. Cram the strips of bacon on a foil-lined baking sheet (make sure it has a lip so grease doesn’t go everywhere). Place the bacon in a cold oven, and start heating to 400 degrees and continue baking. Keep an eye on it and when it’s done, remove from the oven and place the bacon on paper towels to drain.

~ After about four hours I started to get a bit nervous because the center of the bake was still really watery. I got a big spoon and gently started lifting the liquid out and redistributing it around the top of the rest of the eggs. This created a crater in the middle, but I think that helped it cook that much more evenly.

Crockpot Breakfast Bake

~ It was also at this point that I realized the steam accumulating on the lid was falling back down onto the eggs, which were trying to bake. I draped a clean kitchen towel over the top of the crockpot, and nestled the lid on top of the towel. Any steam that accumulated on the lid now hit the towel instead of the food.

~ I used my beloved Slow Cooker Liners with this, just spray the liner with the nonstick spray.

~ I served these with a side of popovers — they were just as big of a hit.

~ I’m not a huge Cholula fan, but these were absolutely delicious with some on top.

~ My fall-back in case this wasn’t that great was to wrap it up in tortillas and make breakfast burritos out of it. We all liked it just fine on its own, so we did the breakfast burritos the next morning with the leftovers. They were delicious and by far the easiest I’ve ever made!

Dec152012

The Best Gingersnap Cookies Ever

Gingersnap Cookies from Heathersbytes.com

To get the memory of our last gingerbread experience out of my head, the girls and I decided to make our favorite gingersnap cookies this afternoon.

These gingersnaps have a permanent place in my Christmas cookie giveaways for the neighbors, and they’re always the first to go when I have the leftovers sitting on the counter for my family.

The girls have fun rolling the dough in the sugar before putting them on the pan, and as you can imagine the house smells amazing while they bake. While the outside of these cookies gets nice and crunchy, once you take them out of the oven they deflate a bit and create an amazing chewy cookie.

Careful, these are very addicting!

Gingersnap Cookies from Heathersbytes.com

The Best Gingersnap Cookies Ever

3/4 C shortening
1 C sugar
1/4 C unsulphured dark molasses
1 egg
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 C all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cream the shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until well mixed, then add the molasses and mix well.

Add the ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and mix well, then add the flour and mix until well combined.

Using a scoop, scoop out dough and form into balls, about 1 inch around. Roll the balls of dough in sugar and then place on a baking sheet. Give them room, they will spread out while baking.

Bake in the preheated oven for 9 minutes.

Dec42012

TWD: Gingerbread Baby Cakes

gingerbread baby cakes

This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie is Gingerbread Baby Cakes and is hosted by Karen, who has the recipe at her blog.

I was excited to try these because I love gingerbread, and because I had just gotten the awesome ramekins I used for the pot pies a couple of weeks ago. The ramekins worked perfectly for the cakes, and there was just enough batter for all six.

However… no one really liked these 🙁 They smelled amazing while they were baking, and I couldn’t wait for them to cool enough to give them a try. I served them up for dessert night with some whipped cream, and only one kid finished hers (actually, I cut them all in half because each cake was pretty rich).

coffee extract

I really can’t say what it was that put us off. Maybe we’re used to overly-sugared gingerbread cookies? But it just tended too far on the bitter side of things.

I thought it might have been the coffee extract I used in place of the instant espresso powder (I have never been able to find instant espresso powder), but I only used 1-1/2 teaspoons for the whole batch, so I don’t think that was the problem.

Anyway, so I’ve got three cakes left that I can’t stand the thought of tossing. I’m thinking I might freeze them and add them to a batch of homemade ice cream — I think the ice cream could temper the richness of the cakes. I guess we’ll see!