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10Apr/120

Easter Dinner

We didn't really do anything for Easter this year, and I didn't want to let it pass without a little bit of celebration - so I made some adorable little egg dishes in honor of the holiday.

The first dish I made were these cute little bacon and egg bites in toast cups.  I had seen pictures of this idea floating around Pinterest for awhile and decided that this was the perfect opportunity to try it out.  All you do is flatten some bread and press it into a buttered muffin tin, then add some cooked bacon and an egg, season with salt and pepper, and bake until the whites are set and the yolk is still runny.

Most of the recipes use whole strips of cooked bacon, but I keep my bacon in the freezer and chop off bits of it as needed - so I used little pieces.  I think it is actually easier to eat that way, so I wouldn't change it.  These are perfect little handheld bites, and I think that they would be a big hit with kids or at a brunch.

I also made fresh and creamy baked caprese egg cups by placing halved grape tomatoes, mozzarella bocconcini, and fresh basil into custard cups.

Then I carefully cracked an egg into each cup, added a little bit of cream,  topped them with salt and pepper, and baked them until the whites were set and the yolks were still runny.

The tomatoes become warm and soft, the cheesy becomes melted and gooey, and everything blends to become creamy, comforting goodness.  Digging a spoon down through the yolk and pulling up the creamy, cheesy custard is so satisfying.  I definitely recommend these!

As one last treat, I also baked some blackberry and mascarpone turnovers: chopped blackberries, creamy mascarpone cheese, and a drizzle of honey; folded up inside puff pastry and baked until they are golden and flaky.  Seriously so good, and fresh, and summery - yum!

Bacon, Egg, and Toast Cups
adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes six - if baking in a 12-cup muffin tin, leave empty space in between, place muffin tin on a baking sheet to make it easier to transport

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 slices white or whole-wheat sandwich bread
6 slices bacon, cut into pieces
6 large eggs
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter 6 standard muffin cups.

With a rolling pin, flatten bread slices slightly and, with a 4 1/4-inch cookie cutter, cut into 8 rounds. Cut each round in half, then press 2 halves into each muffin cup, overlapping slightly and making sure bread comes up to edge of cup. Use extra bread to patch any gaps. Brush bread with remaining butter.

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium, until crisp, drain on paper towels. Divide bacon evenly among bread cups and crack an egg over each. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until egg whites are just set, 20 to 25 minutes. Run a small knife around cups to loosen toasts. Serve immediately.

Caprese Baked Egg Cups
adapted from How Sweet It Is
makes 4 2x3.5 inch ramekins, or 8 smaller ramekins

softened butter
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
4 oz mozzarella cheese, chopped (marinated mozz will add even more flavor)
8-10 fresh basil leaves
8 eggs (depending on if you want 1 or 2)
2 tsp cream
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Butter each ramekin and fill with a few pieces of tomato, cheese, and basil. Crack one or two eggs into each (depending on the size of the ramekin) and season with salt and pepper, then add 1/2 teaspoon of cream to each egg to prevent them from drying out. (Optional: Add a few more pieces of tomato, cheese, and basil on top.) Set on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes. Watch carefully to determine how runny/firm you want your yolks.

Blackberry Mascarpone Turnovers
adapted from Vanilla Garlic
Makes 24 turnovers

2 7-oz puff pastry sheets, thawed
6 oz blackberries, chopped
1/4 cup Mascarpone cheese
zest of 1 lemon or orange
1 tablespoon honey
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine blackberries, Mascarpone, zest, and honey in a bowl.

Working with one puff pastry sheet at a time, roll out the pastry to a size of 9-inches by 12-inches. Cut into 12 3x3-inch squares. Use your finger to paint a the edges of each square with beaten egg (this will help the pastry seal). Place a teaspoon of the blackberry mixture in the center of the squares. Fold over the squares into a triangle shape, stretching the dough if you need to. Use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges. Place the turnovers on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the second puff pastry sheet.

Whisk a teaspoon of water into the beaten egg. Using a pastry brush, paint the turnovers with the egg to give them a shiny glaze. Bake the turnovers for 15-20 minutes or until golden and puffy. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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