Fast Food Cronut? No Thanks!

Croissant Donuts from Jack In the Box - In Promos

Just as the Cronut fad seems to be fading, Jack In the Box has jumped on the bandwagon to offer their version of the pastry.

The Cronut was originally created by pastry chef Dominique Ansel in 2013 for the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City.  The name Cronut is trademarked, thus Jack In The Box’s decision to use the innocuous, descriptive name Croissant Donuts.

The Jack In The Box website describes their Croissant Donuts as, “The perfect hybrid of two delicious sweet treats – croissants and donuts; this pastry is a donut made with buttery croissant dough rolled in cinnamon sugar to create a decadent pastry treat.”

Perfect? They are most definitely not.

Croissant Donuts from Jack In the Box - In Reality

The outside of the pastry is chewy and tough.  The inside has a nice, soft texture but the overriding flavor is that of artificial butter.  If you’ve ever had real butter before, you’ll notice something fishy.  Also note that these Croissant Donuts are much smaller than you’d probably assume from ads.  They’re just a little bigger than a golf ball.

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Vive la French Toast: 15 Favorite Recipes

Vive la French Toast: 15 Favorite Recipes

There’s nothing quite like a perfectly prepared piece of French toast.  The outside is ever so crisp and the inside is moist and tender.   Ordinary bread suddenly becomes a playground for maple syrup and other toppings. Use extraordinary bread and you’re in for a guaranteed breakfast bonanza.

Here’s 15 of the best French toast recipes on MrBreakfast.com:

Basic French Toast

#1.  Basic French Toast

Everybody needs a good go-to French toast recipe.  This is mine.  The custard that you dip the bread into is a simple combination of milk, beaten eggs, sugar and a hint of salt.  If you’re craving no-frills, classic diner-style French toast, this is a recipe you should try.  Get the recipe here.

Crunchy French Toast

#2. Crunchy French Toast

I can still remember the first time I tried Crunchy French Toast.  It was several years ago at a restaurant in Los Angeles called Fred 62.  I took a bite and was an immediate fan.  A crisp French toast exterior is great.  A crunchy exterior is even greater.  The trick is dragging your bread through crushed corn flakes after you dip it in an egg and milk mixture. Get the recipe here.

Cinnamon Crunch French Toast

#3. Cinnamon Crunch French Toast

Once you try Crunchy French Toast (#2), you might want to explore other ways to achieve a crunchy French Toast exterior.  In this recipe, the crushed corn flakes from the previous recipe are replaced with crushed Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.  Get the recipe here.

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Red, White And Blue Breakfast Ideas

Red, White And Blue Waffle

Happy Independence Day!  Today’s ideas are all about adding some red, white and blue flare to your morning meal.  If you have some berries and bananas, you have the power to transform an ordinary breakfast into an All-American Fourth of July Spectacular Breakfast.  Add some whipped cream or yogurt and the patriotic possibilities are endless.

The easiest (and maybe most fun) thing you can do is arrange berries to make an American flag pattern on waffles, pancakes or French toast.

4th of July Waffles

Here, you can see combinations of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, banana slices and whipped cream.  Those are Apple Cinnamon Waffles in the pictures.  The warm apple pieces in the waffles tasted amazing with the fresh berries on top.  For standard waffles, I’d recommend the following recipes: Best Waffles Ever (quick waffles without yeast) or Overnight Waffle Batter (yeast waffles from a batter that needs to rest at least 7 hours).

American Flag Toast

In a matter of seconds, you can turn ordinary toast into USA-mazing toast.  A spread of cream cheese gives you a white canvas to work with.  Strawberry jam is used to make the red stripes of the flag which are offset by banana pieces to make the white stripes.  I especially love this idea because it’s so kid-friendly. Wee ones will have a blast making a flag out of a piece of toast.  You don’t really need a recipe for this, but here’s one anyway:  American Flag Fruit Toast.

Fourth of July Berry Bites

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How to Make A Basic Breakfast Strata

Basic Breakfast Strata

A breakfast strata is just a breakfast casserole with layered ingredients.  It’s best when you assemble it the night before and refrigerate it overnight.  The next morning: pop it in the oven, take a shower, watch a little George Stephanopoulos* and then… wham, bam, thank you ma’am… breakfast is ready.

Think of a simple farmhouse breakfast of sausage, toast and cheesy eggs with onions and peppers.  Now, imagine what it would be like to have all those wonderful flavors mingled together in a single, delicious bite.  That’s a breakfast strata.

This recipe features one of the non-glamorous superstars of breakfast… day-old bread.  You probably already know that day-old bread makes the best French toast.  It’s a little dry so it retains its structure but it’s also thirsty to absorb the egg, milk and other good stuff that make up French toast.  It’s the key to French toast that’s firm but pleasantly moist inside.   The same principal works for a strata.  After we assemble our strata (which includes slices of bread), we drown it in a French toast-like egg and milk mixture.

This dish elicited enthusiastic comments from the people I tested it on.  My Italian friend Pete said, “Dude, this is great. Is it cool if I get some more?”  My fiance Kellie said, “Tell me about this.  What’s in here? I’m gonna have another piece.”

Nobody is 100% sure who coined the the phrase “leave ‘em wanting more.” It was likely either Walt Disney or P.T. Barnum.  Whoever it was, let’s just assume they were talking about a good Breakfast Strata.

Ingredients For Basic Breakfast Strata

Let’s assemble a strata…

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How To Make Excellent French Toast

The best French toast is golden brown on the outside with an inside that’s soft and tender, moist but not wet.  The flavor should enhance the bread you decide to use. Any spices or added flavoring should be subtle yet noticeable.  French toast should be a welcoming platform for syrup or other toppings, as if to say, “Hello maple syrup.  I’ve been waiting for you.  I’m your soul mate.”

Basic French Toast Done Right

The following article should give you everything you need to know to make successful French toast every time.

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How To Make Donuts In The Microwave

How To Make Donuts In The Microwave

If you’ve been on social media in the last year, you’ve probably encountered enticing, single-serving, microwave recipes for brownies, cakes and other desserts. They usually look amazing and always promise to be fast and easy.  I went to baking school, but I still became temporarily obsessed with the idea of making my favorite desserts in minutes in the microwave.  I tried several of the recipes and they we’re mostly satisfactory, if not stellar.

Throughout this quick-fix phase, I pondered how I could make a satisfying donut in the microwave.  I tweaked and tested recipes until I came up with a microwave cake that tasted similar to a chocolate cake donut.  Coming up with the recipe was the easy part.  Making a donut out of it was another matter.

I played with thicker batters piped in the shape of donuts.  That didn’t work.  The batter fused together in what was supposed to be the hole.  Plus, the cake was too dry from having to add extra flour.  I knew I had to find a way to stick to the recipe I liked, yet still create a donut shape.

Having no luck, I decided to drink my troubles away.  I was pouring bourbon into a shot glass to make a Manhattan.  The answer was in my hand.  I took the shot glass and rested it in a glass cereal bowl.   There it was… a donut mold.

I whipped up another batch of the cake batter, greased my makeshift mold and gave it a try.  It worked!  I realized on subsequent attempts that works best if the shot glass is right-side-up in the bowl with the smallest part of the glass touching the bowl.

Holding A Microwave Donut

In a reality, these donuts are just cakes in funny shapes.  But isn’t that what donuts are?  They need icing to make them really feel like donuts.  Without icing, they look kind of like sad, little, porous Bundt cakes.  But once you add icing, you get the donut experience.  At least, you get the best donut experience you can get in a couple of minutes from your microwave.

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Bacon Cheddar Oatmeal?

Bacon Cheddar Steel-Cut Oatmeal With Fried Egg

The idea of savory oatmeal might sound weird to people used to sweetened packets of oatmeal or simple Old Fashioned oats with brown sugar, etc.  If done wrong, savory oatmeal is weird.  If you use the right oats and treat them like rice or other grains associated with savory dishes, the result is pretty cool.

This post started when I tested a recipe submitted to the site called Billbo’s Cheddar Oatmeal.  It received a handful of positive comments and I wanted to try it for myself.

Ingredients For Cheddar Oatmeal

The ingredients were super simple: Old Fashioned oats, milk, cheese and sugar.   It’s a microwave recipe that takes only 2 minutes.

Cheddar Oatmeal

The recipe worked and I understood why some people liked it.  Unfortunately, I personally didn’t like it that much.  My mental association of Old Fashioned oats with sweet ingredients is very strong and it took a few spoonfuls to accept that I was eating something savory.

As I was trying it, my overriding thought was that it would be better with steel-cut oats. Steel-cut oats have a firmer, rice-like texture. That kind of texture makes more sense in a savoy dish than the mushy texture you get from Old Fashioned or quick cooking oats.

From experience, I know that steel-cut oatmeal always benefits from the savory flavors of butter and salt. It seemed totally feasibly that they would get along with cheese.

I also thought… as I always do… that the dish would be better with bacon… which everything always is.

So I set out to experiment with steel-cut oats, hoping to achieve something that would transcend oatmeal as we commonly know it.

Ingredients For Bacon Cheddar Oatmeal

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Bailey’s Irish Coffee Donuts

Bailey's Irish Cream Donuts

This donut was a huge success last St. Patrick’s Day.  All year whenever I told friends I was thinking of making donuts, they’d say, “You should make the ones you made for St. Patrick’s Day again.”

This recipe uses my proven, kitchen-tested, yeast-raised donut base (which you can use for a multitude of different donuts).  The topping is a chocolatey, coffee-infused mocha icing and the filling is a vanilla buttercream that’s been transformed into a taste of the Emerald Isle by a shot of Irish coffee liqueur.

Irish Cofee Donuts

There’s an old Irish proverb that says, “Hunger is a tasty topping.”  That may be true, but I think you’ll prefer this mocha icing.

Bailey's Irish Cream Donuts

To Make The Yeast-Raised Donuts:

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