Cinnamon Croissant Christmas Bake with Creamy Bourbon Sauce

 

Croissant Christmas Bake

Christmas Bake

6 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
6 Croissants, broken into bite-sized pieces
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar-coated almond slices

Place the first seven ingredients into a blender and whip for a minute, until it looks combined.

Butter a 9X12 baking dish. Break the Croissants into bite-sized pieces and add to the dish making sure they’re evenly placed. Pour the egg mixture over top, then, using a fork submerge the Croissant pieces under the liquid. Sprinkle the almonds over top, cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, remove the baking dish and let it sit on the counter. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When the baking dish is closer to room temperature, place on the middle rack in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for a minute before serving. Cut into 6 pieces and plate. Smother with the Bourbon Sauce and enjoy!

BOURBON SAUCE

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups half and half (or whole milk)
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons Bourbon

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When it foams, add the flour and stir to allow the heat to cook the flour. When it begins to change color to a golden brown, add the remaining ingredients except for the Bourbon. Once it thickens, dip a spoon into the sauce and run your forefinger down the center of the back of the spoon. If the line remains clean, the sauce is ready to serve. Remove from the burner and add the Bourbon. Stir to incorporate.

5-6 servings

French Onion Soup

2 stick butter
8 Onions, thinly sliced
64 ounces Chicken stock, or Beef
3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon, or beef cube
1/4 cup dry Sherry
1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 baquette, sliced 1/2″ thick

Melt the butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Once it foams, add the sliced onions and saute until translucent, approximately 10 minutes. You want them golden but not brown or crusty around the edges.

Preheat the broiler

Add the stock, the bouillon, Worcestershire and sherry and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and allow to simmer for another 3 minutes. Add the Parmesan, stir and simmer for another 3 minutes. Allow to stand for ten minutes to allow the flavors to marry. Add salt and pepper but be careful not to oversalt.

Ladle the soup into flameproof bowls, cover the top with sliced baguettes and top with four slices of cheese, allowing it to drape over the sides. Place them under the broiler until the cheese is melted and slightly brown.

Now, comes the best part: Slurping down all that goodness!

Serves 8-10 depending on size of bowl.


Chef’s note: I prefer using the chicken stock because its milder.

Irish Soda Bread

In keeping with the season, I thought I’d share my favorite recipe for Irish Soda Bread. Every time I make this bread, I chastise myself for not making it throughout the year. Let’s face it, no one said you could only eat it for St. Patty’s Day. Right?

PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 425 degrees

INGREDIENTS
4 to 4 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, reserve the 1/2 cup for kneading
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoon butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup raisins or currants
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 3/4 cup buttermilk. If you don’t have buttermilk, using regular whole milk is fine.

In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together, then add the softened butter and work the mixture with your fingers until the flour mixture is soft and crumbly.

Combine wet ingredients together and mix, then pour over the flour mixture and stir until you incorporate the liquid into the dough. Dough will be sticky. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Use the remaining flour, just a little at a time, until you have a nice round ball of dough.

Press in a lightly greased 9″ cast iron skillet. Score the top with a cross and bake for 35-40 minutes. This recipe makes one large loaf.

Erin go bragh!