Monday, September 12, 2011

The Ultimate Brinner: Granola French Toast with Chocolate Covered Bacon

I realized today that I hadn't had brinner since I got to Texas. Normally I don't go more than a week between brinners, so this had to be corrected post-haste. I had a craving for bacon and wanted to make it special, so chocolate seemed like a natural choice.  To keep with the crunch theme, I decided to make my go-to granola French toast.

Granola French Toast
Servings: 4 pieces of toast
Time: 15 minutes

2 eggs
1/4 cup milk or cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 tsp almond extract
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
4 slices of thick bread
Maple syrup

  1. Whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, almond extract, salt and sugar together in a bowl. 
  2. Dip your bread slices into the mixture (about 2 seconds per side). Let excess drip off.
  3. Press one side of the bread into the granola spread out on a plate.
  4. Toast the bread over medium heat in a lightly greased pan starting with the plain side down. Use your spatula to press the granola into the bread. Let cook until lightly browned (about 2 minutes) and repeat for the other side.
  5. Top with syrup and strawberries (and maybe a little powdered sugar to boost the sweetness) and serve.
This meal gets a D... for Delightful (I promise you one bad joke per entry).

This is one of my favorite French toast recipes thanks to the crunchy granola making it interesting. As with most things, I really like the hint of almond extract in the background (if you use Whole Foods granola you can skip this since they put it in their granola). The strawberry is also a perfect companion to the french toast that almost makes the syrup unnecessary. My only complaint about this was that my French toast wasn't thick enough, which really just meant I was forced to eat more slices.

Chocolate Covered Bacon
Time: 1 hour

Cayenne pepper
Milk chocolate

Why did I not try this sooner?
  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Sprinkle the cayenne pepper on one side of the bacon
  3. Lay the strips of bacon on a baking sheet coated with aluminum foil and bake for 20-25 minutes making sure to turn once halfway. Note: go the full 25 for crunchy and 20 for chewy bacon. Be careful not to make it too crispy or the bacon will snap in the chocolate. 
  4. Remove excess bacon grease with paper towels.
  5. Melt milk chocolate using a double boiler or in the microwave. To do this in the microwave and avoid burning the chocolate, heat for 30 seconds at a time on MEDIUM power until it melts.
  6. Dip half of the bacon in the melted chocolate. Wipe excess chocolate off on the side of the bowl.
  7. Refrigerate the bacon on a plate lined with parchment paper for half an hour so the chocolate can set. 

If I could find a way to incorporate beer into the recipe, it'd have all the world's greatest things.
This is pretty much the ultimate in sweet and savory combinations. I was a little worried about eating cold bacon, but it still tasted fantastic (really how can bacon not be incredible?) and actually helped make it more crispy. Next time, I'll be sure to add more cayenne to help it pop more. I might even have to coat the entire piece of bacon in chocolate next time because I was always sad to see the glorious coat end. This was a fabulous side for the French toast, and the chocolate left behind was a great and only mildly decadent dipping "sauce" for the toast (because honestly syrup and strawberries weren't decaying my teeth enough).  Fun fact: I discovered that 8 pieces of chocolate covered bacon is my limit before I feel gross and start to regret my life decisions.

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