Crème Brulée French Toast w/Vanilla Cognac

This by far is the most perfect Sunday brunch ever.  Baked Crème Brulée French Toast with Vanilla Cognac added to it for a little extra something.  This would be a great breakfast treat for Mother’s Day or Easter Sunday or Christmas Morning.  It’s easy to make and can be made up to 24 hours before hand.

Baked Crème Brulée French Toast

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Créme de Menthe Brownies – St. Patrick’s Day Style

The last few days have been really busy and I missed my St. Patrick’s Day post of these totally tasty green treats.  I made these for a pot-luck that we had in our office on the 16th to celebrate St. Pat’s day (as well as my birthday) and they were a huge hit.  Not only was the frosting minty, but the brownies had a subtle hint of mint as well.  When combined gave a nice refreshing burst of mint.  I used the green Crème de Menthe for added color, but there is also a clear version if you want to use it for this or other minty treats as well.

Créme de Menthe Brownies

Crème de Menthe is by all accounts Gluten Free – the alcohol is distilled, yet some people still react from distilled alcohol from grain sources so I will leave it to you to know your sensitivities.

Ingredients:
Brownies
½ cup butter, room temperature
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate powder
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
¼ teaspoon mint extract
2/3 cup GF all-purpose flour (I used Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour)

Frosting
¼ butter, room temperature
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Crème de Menthe (green)
½ cup sifted

Drizzle
1 ounce of semisweet chocolate

Directions:
Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x9x2 inch pan and put aside.  In a saucepan melt butter and chocolate over low heat. Stir in sugar, eggs and mint extract. Using a wooden spoon, beat lightly by hand until all ingredients are combined.  Stir in flour.  Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another mixing bowl beat 1/4 cup butter until fluffy. Gradually add the 1 cup of sifted powdered sugar.  Beat in Créme de Menthe.  Gradually beat in about 1/2 cup more of the sifted powdered sugar until the frosting is easy to spread.  Once brownies are cooled, spread frosting over brownies.  In a small saucepan melt semisweet chocolate on low heat.  Drizzle all over the top of the brownies.  Let chocolate cool, then cut into bars/squares.

Make about 16 bars/squares.

***adapted from recipe.com***

 

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Vanilla Cognac Cheesecake Cups

Last night I was in the mood for something sweet but I wasn’t sure what I wanted. So I went to the grocery store and started searching the GF section and found these little 90 calorie packs of Chocolate Graham Cookies with Marshmallows and I was inspired. Cheesecake, I said to myself, but not a whole one, but nice bite size cupcake style. Now mind you it took all five packs in the box of the graham cookies to make the crust for these little morsels, but hey, you don’t have to eat all the cupcakes at one time. Plus as an added bonus, I added a little boozy-oozy to them to give them just a hint of something special without making them a drunken cupcake.

Vanilla Cognac Cheesecake Cups

Ingredients:
For the Crust
1 cup finely ground graham cracker crumbs ( I used MI-DEL All Natural S ‘mores 90 calorie packs)
¼ cup sugar
4 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling
1 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
¾ cups sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ cup Vanilla Cognac (but you can use Amaretto or Irish Cream)
2 large eggs
¼ cup Greek Yogurt (you can also use sour cream)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

To Make The Crust. In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and the melted butter. Toss with a fork until well blended. Drop a heaping tablespoon full of graham cracker mixture in each muffin cup and pack it down gently with your fingers. Bake 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the crusts to cool while you prepare the filling. Do not turn the oven off as you will need it shortly to bake your cheesecakes.

To Make The Filling, using an electric or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and cornstarch until smooth. Add the vanilla cognac, eggs and yogurt and beat until smooth.

Fill muffin cups with cream cheese mixture until almost to the top. Place the muffin pan in a large, shallow roasting pan with enough hot water to come about 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Bake until the cakes are puffy and barely set in the center, about 35 minutes. When done, allow to cool for 2 hours and then transfer the cheesecakes, still in the pan, to the refrigerator and chill for 4 hours or overnight.

To serve, remove each one from the paper wrapper and place a dollop of fresh whipped cream on the top and garnish with a crystal-sugar coated raspberry.

 **recipe inspired and adapted from The Boozy Baker**

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