Individual Egg Potato and Cheese Casseroles

Individual Egg Potato Cheese Casserole

So I might have used this recipe as an excuse to use these cute little individual casserole dishes from Le Creuset. There’s something welcoming and comforting about having your own personal casserole, lid included. What’s layered underneath the two peeping egg yolk eyes? Alternating layers of mozzarella cheese and potato lightly seasoned with with dried herbs and fresh parsley. Let’s face it: between the melted strings of mozzarella and the brilliant yellow runny yolk flowing over slices of baked potato, gooyeness has undoubtedly taken over this brunch dish.

Ingredients:

4 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and cut into slices about 1/3″ thick
3/4 lb mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
salt and pepper
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup melted butter
6 eggs
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3-6 ramekins (6 small ramekins or 3 large ones).

Place a layer of potato at the bottom of each ramekin. Cover with slices of mozzarella. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, 1/4 teaspoon each dried tarragon and oregano, parmesan cheese, and parsley. Add another layer of potatoes and repeat seasoning. Add a layer of mozzarella slices. Brush the top of each ramekin with melted butter. Bake about 30 minutes. Break eggs on top (one egg for small ramekins, 2 eggs for large). Sprinkle with remaining butter, herbs, salt, and pepper. Return to oven and bake about 20 minutes or until eggs are set.

Serves 3-6 (depending on the size of ramekins used).

Adapted from “The Art of Good Cooking,” by Paula Peck.

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Schnecken

Schnecken

Schnecken

What’s a Schnecken? Some kind of gadget souvenir? This was the thought that crossed my mind when I found this recipe in “The Art of Fine Baking.” After reading through it and then of course baking some, I came to the conclusion that these are basically small, almost bite sized, cinnamon/caramel rolls. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Schnecken, as I was, it’s a German pastry and the name Schnecken means snails – referring to the shape of these delicious breakfast treats. Apparently, Schnecken are often confused with rugelach (also German) but I don’t see much of a similarity other than that they are both rolled pastries creating a spiral of the filling.

I happen to have a weakness for caramel and cinnamon rolls and though these photos may lack the bells and whistles of a carefully styled shoot, you can see that this recipe definitely delivers on all the important aspects: ooey gooey caramel, crunchy nuts, cinnamon, and raisins. One tip: just make sure to use enough of the butter sugar mixture –  the softer and stickier, the better.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup soft unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups well-packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon white corn syrup
1 1/2 cups coarsely broken or whole pecans
1 recipes Rich Sour Cream Dough
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup raisins
1 cup finely crushed pecans

Cream butter with 1/2 cup light-brown sugar. Beat in corn syrup. Grease regular size or mini muffin tins with this mixture, using it generously. Place 2 or 3 pecan pieces into each muffin cup.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Roll dough into a long rectangle 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with remaining sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and crushed pecans. Roll dough tightly, jelly-roll style, sealing the seam. If roll becomes much thicker than the size of muffin tins, stretch it out. If it is too thin, gently compress it.

Slice roll into pieces which will fill muffin cups halfway. Press into cups firmly. Let rise only until dough looks puffy.

Bake in preheated oven about 20 minutes, or until tops of shnecken are golden brown.

Turn muffin pans upside down immediately, to remove schnecken and to permit glaze to run over sides.

Yield: approximately 7 dozen small shnecken or 5 dozen larger ones. Recipe can be easily halved.

Adapted from “The Art of Fine Baking,” by Paula Peck.

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Bavarian Apple Pancake

Apple Pancake Slice

Another lovely unpublished recipe from the archives of Paula Peck. Cinnamon, sugar, and apples – what’s not to like? This is a very simple recipe that reminds me more of an apple pie than a pancake. After deciphering the faded typewriter version with it’s hand written edits, I noticed that the recipe directions completely left out 3 of the ingredients listed. I kept re-reading the recipe as if these ingredients were hidden somewhere amongst the four sentences of instruction. Thanks to it’s simplicity, I didn’t need to think twice about where to add them but I was intrigued by the idea that the recipe was so raw that I needed to add more than just the finishing touches. In addition to mixing in the missing ingredients with the remaining dry ingredients, I increased the sugar to 1 tablespoon. The resulting puffed pancake has just enough sweetness to balance the tart apples but can still be eaten with syrup or fresh fruit.

I’m not sure what makes it Bavarian, maybe because it’s baked? Or maybe it’s as bavarian as French fries are French. Either way, this applicious pancake is a sweet way to start or end your day.

3 eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tart apples (granny smith)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons cinnamon sugar (see note)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Beat eggs. Add flour, sugar, and salt, beating in well until no lumps remain. Beat in milk.
Peel apples, cut in half, and remove cores. Cut in slices 1/8 inch thick.

Melt butter in heavy 9″ oven proof skillet. Arrange apples and sprinkle with lemon zest. Allow apples to cook in butter 3-4 minutes.

Remove from heat and pour in prepared batter.

Bake for 15 minutes. Lower heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake another 15 minutes until pancake is puffed and brown.

Serve with cinnamon sugar, melted butter, maple syrup, or fresh fruit.

Makes one large 9″ pancake (serves about 6).

Note: Cinnamon Sugar can be made by simply combining 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon cinnamon.

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Apple Roll

Apple Roll

Adapted from “The Art of Fine Baking”

1 recipe coffee cake dough (see below)
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups peeled, cored, coursely chopped apples (I like honeycrisp)
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup cinnamon sugar (see note)
1 egg mixed with
1 tablespoon milk

Coffee Cake Dough
2 packages of yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
3 egg yokes or 2 whole eggs
2 – 3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsalted soft butter

Make coffee cake dough:

Combine yeast with milk, sugar, salt, lemon, and vanilla in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Allow to sit and foam up a minute. Mix in eggs. Add flour – enough to make a medium soft dough. Work in soft butter. Kneed in bowl or on table for 10 min. adding more flour if necessary. Dough has been kneeded enough when it is shiny and elastic and possibly has small blisters on the surface. Place in bowl dust top lightly with flour. Cover bowl with a towel and place in a draft free warm place (sometimes I flip the oven on its lowest setting for a minute, turn it off, and place dough in oven) to rise 45 minutes. Dough should almost double in size.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan.

Mix chopped apples with 1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar.

Punch down dough and roll into a large square or oval shape about 1/4 inch thick. Brush with melted butter. Scatter chopped apples over dough. Sprinkle with raisins. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (reserving about 1 tablespoon for later).

Roll dough up jelly-roll style. Fit into loaf pan.

Let rise until dough has almost doubled. Brush with egg mixture and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of cinnamon sugar.

Bake in preheated oven about 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 1 loaf

Note: Cinnamon Sugar can be made by simply combining 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon cinnamon.

 

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