Saturday, October 20, 2012

Creamy, crunchy sweetness

Do you like toffee? I absolutely love it. It is a great partner to ice cream. My mother-in-law makes wonderful homemade toffee during Christmastime, but I can't wait around for that. This toffee ice cream crunch cake is a delicious and irresistible alternative!


2 1/2 c. crisp rice cereal
1 1/2 c. sweetened shredded coconut
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 stick butter, melted
2 8-ounce bags English toffee bits (from the baking aisle)
1 half-gallon vanilla ice cream, very softened*

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In 9x13 pan, mix cereal, coconut, brown sugar and melted butter. Stir in toffee bits and spread evenly in pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until toasty and browned. Let cool completely. Remove half of mixture, then spread out remaining mixture in bottom of pan. Carefully top with softened ice cream, then with reserved mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm.

*I let my ice cream sit out for two or three hours. I then stirred it in a mixing bowl so it was thick and creamy and evenly spreadable. Otherwise it would have been melty on the outside and stiff on the inside.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fancy french toast

The gal at Smitten Kitchen came up with an innovative way to make french toast. She calls it cinnamon toast french toast, and it tastes fantastic. You can make it ahead of time, even the night before, then have breakfast ready to go in a flash. I would never have guessed regular, cheap sandwich bread could make such great french toast.


1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
16 slices white sandwich bread
1 stick butter, softened and spreadable
6 eggs
3 c. whole milk
 1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix sugar and cinnamon. Lay bread in single layer on two cookie sheets, then spread butter on each slice. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Toast bread in oven for 7 to 10 minutes, or until bread is golden and crisp.*

Butter a 9x13 baking dish. Cut two slices of cinnamon toast in half. Arrange toast in two rows, starting with a half slice, then fanning out whole slices and ending with a half slice.

Whisk together eggs, milk, salt and vanilla, then pour evenly over toast. Sprinkle any remaining cinnamon sugar on top. Let stand as little as 15 minutes or as long as overnight. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until puffed and until no liquid seeps out when toast is nudged around in pan. Cut into squares and serve with syrup.

*Switch cookie sheets halfway through if they are on different racks to ensure even cooking. Bake time in this case is more like 10 to 15 minutes.