Friday, November 23, 2012

And the Winner of the Pumpkin Cook Off Is...

Kelli Huff
with her recipe for 
Pumpkin Cinnamon Overnight 
Pull-Apart French Toast with 
Vanilla Maple Butter! 

photo credit

I was a little worried I wouldn't have time to try all the recipes, but my sister and my step-mom came to stay a few days before Thanksgiving and between the three of us we pulled it off. This afternoon we had one recipe in the oven while another was going in the kitchen aid. I don't think my kitchen has ever smelled so good. Pumpkin bread, cocoa, dessert bars, pancakes pie and cup cakes! It was a pretty close call and I felt grateful to have helpers to debate the finalists, but in the end the pumpkin french toast came out on top. Mostly we kept asking ourselves, Which recipe feels fresh and different from the others? And which recipe might we add as a permanent addition to our pumpkin repertoire? 

The custard/batter that you soak the french bread in crisps up in the oven giving it a nice crust on the exterior to compliment the pudding-soft interior. Kind of a sister recipe to bread pudding, it's pretty much dessert for breakfast. Congratulations Kelli, and a big thanks to all who submitted recipes. 

Pumpkin Cinnamon Overnight Pull-Apart French Toast with Vanilla Maple Butter 

For the French Toast
  • about 8 cups of bread, diced into 1 1/2 to 2 inch pieces (french bread or a crusty hearty bakery style bread that can hold up when soaked overnight)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
In a large microwave safe bowl melt the butter one minute. Allow butter to cool momentarily so you don't scramble the eggs. Add all remaining ingredients to bowl except bread and whisk until smooth. Add bread cubes and toss gently in custard to combine. Refrigerate overnight, or at least two hours. 

Before baking preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x9 inch pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Transfer bread mixture to baking pan, leaving in a loose pile. Watch any corners that stick up to high because they might burn, just nudge them down until the bread is mostly even in height. Scrape any remaining custard in bottom of bowl overtop of bread. Bake 30-38 minutes until golden brown, Serve immediately with vanilla maple butter, recipe to follow. 

For the Vanilla Maple Butter
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Melt butter one minute in microwave. Add syrup and whisk until combined. Add vanilla and whisk again. Pour over french toast. 

Bon Appetit!

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