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chocolate, peanut butter… and hazelnuts

Finally, this is the last of the Easter brunch recipes. Hopefully, this past week of posts has given you a nice repertoire of brunch, breakfast, and spring recipe ideas.

I’ve mentioned my love for Nutella before, so how about a little “history of Nuttela” this time?  This comes straight from the Nuttela website, “Nutella® spread, in its earliest form, was created in the 1940s by Mr. Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker and founder of the Ferrero company. At the time, there was very little chocolate because cocoa was in short supply due to World War II rationing. So Mr. Ferrero used hazelnuts, which are plentiful in the Piedmont region of Italy, to extend the chocolate supply.” There you go, a little history with your breakfast!

I served this at the Saturday office brunch last weekend and have some “do-head” tips for you. The brioche can be sliced, spread, and sandwiched together a day ahead. Place in an airtight bag or container and refrigerate until ready to cook. And the cereal-brown sugar mixture may also be ground together ahead and stored in an airtight container. Unsliced loaves of brioche can be found at Trader Joe’s.

Lastly, a shout-out to my girlfriend, Lorie, in Los Angeles… I couldn’t decide which old picture to choose, so I put up both of them.  Happy Birthday, Lorie! xoxo

Lorie, Sloane, Dave, and I at Phoenix Children’s Hospital in 1998

Anne, Peggy, Lorie, and me about to board a private plane to California in 2005… good times!

Crunchy Peanut Butter-Nutella French Toast

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/4 cup Nutella
Sixteen 1/2-inch-thick slices brioche
4 large eggs
1/4 cup half and half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups Special K® cereal
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 to 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups mixed berries
Maple syrup
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the peanut butter and Nutella. Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mixture on each of 8 slices of brioche and cover with the remaining 8 slices, making sandwiches by pressing them together.

Place the cereal and brown sugar in the bowl of a food processor and use the pulse button to crush the cereal, pour onto a large flat plate.

In a large wide bowl whisk the eggs with the half and half and vanilla.

One at a time, lightly soak three of the sandwiches in the egg mixture, then dredge in the cereal, pressing to help the crumbs adhere.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a very large skillet. Add the 3 prepared sandwiches and cook over moderate heat until golden and crisp on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Add more butter as you turn them over.

Transfer the browned French toast to a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Wipe out the skillet and cook the remaining 5 sandwiches in the same manner, two and three at a time.

Cut sandwiches into triangles and place them on serving plates. Top with the berries, drizzle with maple syrup, and dust with powdered sugar just before serving.

Makes 8 French toast sandwiches


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1 Sloane { 04.08.10 at 4:36 PM }

Extra Yummy!

2 Dave { 04.09.10 at 10:08 PM }

Oh, that was quite an eventful day in California. President Bush was flying in our airspace wich almost made us late for our tee-time, the restaurant we ate at that night unknowingly contributed some nice gifts to our private airline attendent, and I got an unexpected surprise in the mail about two months later from one of the California costal cities because our “local” driver (Lorie) wasn’t aware of certain parking laws.

3 Linda Hopkins { 04.09.10 at 11:14 PM }

Good times!

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