Friday, August 5, 2011

Maple Apple Bacon Baked French Toast

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that my college roommate came back to Los Angeles to have her bachelorette party!  I hosted her shower at my apartment and we did an around the world themed potluck.  The bride to be is Korean and originally from Los Angeles.  When she got engaged she moved out to North Carolina with her fianc√© since he decided to go back to school to become a physicians assistant.   All of the guests were assigned one of the following locations for their contribution: Los Angeles, Korea, North Carolina, and Spain (the brides favorite vacation destination).  We made cute little flags to put in each dish to designate the location inspiration.    Here is a pic of the lovely bride to be, about to start one of our shower games!   

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Besides our cute little food flags, I also made each guest a passport booklet complete with a fake VISA for our bride and pictures from each location.  We also included a "How well do you know the Bride” quiz game in the booklet which had random, cute and embarrassing questions about her.  And for our prize…. The guests won a trip to Croatia!!  Well not really, she got a travel guidebook about Croatia, to inspire her for her next vacation.  Other guests won exciting “trips” to other exotic locations as well…   

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For the food I got assigned Spain and North Carolina, luckily I had bookmarked this recipe months ago and I had patiently been waiting for the perfect opportunity to make it.  (Making even a half recipe for just myself seemed a little gluttonous)  Kitchen Runway  had made this as part of the Kings Hawaiian Tastemaker Program and thank goodness she got chosen, cause this recipe is seriously no joke.  I made a few changes and lightened it up a bit and no one even noticed- it’s that good!!!

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Thanks to A, who provided so much help hosting!  She assembled all the flags and helped me prep the day before and that morning.   

Maple Apple Bacon Baked French Toast
adapted from Kitchen Runway

21 Kings Hawaiian Rolls (2 packages)
12 oz. Maple Bacon
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cayenne
1 large Fuji apple, peeled quartered and sliced
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
8 large eggs
2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup half and half
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Topping
8 slices maple bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. milk

1.  Cut and quarter the Kings Hawaiian rolls.  *You can let them sit out while you prep the rest of the ingredients, letting them dry out a little.*

2.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Mix brown sugar and cayenne in a small bowl.  Lay out bacon in a single layer and sprinkle the brown sugar over the bacon.  Bake for 35 minutes, or until bacon is done.  Carefully remove from oven and let the bacon cool and then crumble.  *I really liked candying the bacon- the little bit of heat the cayenne added was well liked by the shower guests too.*

3.  Place the sliced apples in a bowl and add maple syrup.  Toss so sliced are evenly coated and set aside. 

4.  In a large bowl mix together eggs, milk, half and half, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt.  Mix until well combined.

5.  Grease a 9x13 pan with butter and create the first layer by laying down the quartered Kings Hawaiian rolls.  Cover the bread with 1/2 of the egg mixture. 

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6.  Toss the remaining bread into the egg mixture.  Create a second layer in the pan by laying down the apple slices and  sprinkling the bacon over it. 

7.  Gently place the egg soaked bread pieces in the pan as your last layer.  If you have any left over egg mixture pour into the pan.  Cover the baking dish with foil and place into the refrigerator to let it rest overnight. 

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8.  In the morning preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 60 minutes until the bread is golden and puffy.  *Tent foil over the dish if you feel it is browning too quickly, I did this when there was 20 minutes left to go.*

Topping

1.  Cook the bacon and crumble for topping.  *I did this one in the microwave since I was lazy.*

2.  In a small bowl whisk together milk, maple syrup and powdered sugar. 

Once you remove the French Toast from the oven, sprinkle with bacon and drizzle the maple mixture evenly over the entire baking dish.  Serve with additional drizzle or maple syrup, but this is so jam packed with flavor that none of the shower guest even need it!! 

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This was so good and the hit of the shower!  And as a bonus, this keeps well in the fridge and heated up so nicely the next day for left over breakfast!  Thanks to Belle and Kim who sent me some pics, I was so busy with the cooking and hosting that I didn’t charge my camera!  The shower was so much fun, such a great bunch of girls and everyone brought amazing yummy dishes.  We of course ended the shower on a high note with a “naughty” cake.  We made the Bride to be put on the blindfold again and brought it out and boy was she surprised.  Not sure if people would be offended if I posted pics (or if my mom would faint if she saw it) so you can look at Jamaica's Cakes to see what we got.  Although each girl may or may not have taken at least 5 pictures of the cake.  Best cake ever- for the fun factor and the flavor, champagne cake with a raspberry mousse… How could we go wrong?!