Drop everything, people. The eternal breakfast problem has been solved.
I don't know about you, but it's hard to come up with exciting breakfast ideas. Don't get me wrong: pancakes, scrambled eggs, muffins and waffles are delicious, but there's no "wow" factor, and each has its drawbacks. Pancakes are a lot of work, scrambled eggs are almost too easy, muffins are merely tolerated by some, and waffles (at least the ones I make) use three big bowls. And try feeding an army with any of those!
Last week I needed a magazine (remember magazines?) to take my mind off the Fine Arts Festival for at least thirty minutes. I found a little thing called "Spring Brunch," an offering from Pillsbury promising "163 recipes and tips for your next gathering" and featuring one of those breakfast casseroles with lots of eggs and cheese on the cover. I can never find breakfast casserole recipes in my regular cookbooks, probably because these dishes carry the stigma of hometown-potluck-spiral-bound recipe compilations. It's like something you would find in giant pans at a Mother's Day brunch in your church's multipurpose room. But you know what? Sometimes those are really good. And I wanted to look at pretty pictures of them.
So even though I chafed a bit at buying some of these ingredients, this recipe came together in ten mindless minutes, baked in 30, generated one dirty dish (not counting the baking dish), and was incredible. Our reactions:
K: OH HELL YEAH.
J: [guttural moan of surprise and delight] This is really good.
Bun: [offered small bite] BUN WANT MORE PLEASE NOW;;;;
Eight big servings. Your kitchen will smell fantastic. It couldn't be easier. I think it won some kind of Pillsbury bake-off prize, too. Make it and believe that breakfast can be exciting again.
- 1 can (12.4 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing (8 rolls)
- 8 Nature Valley oats 'n' honey crunchy granola bars (4 pouches from an 8.9 oz box), crushed (1.5 cups) <-- To easily crush, do not unwrap; use a rolling pin to crush bars.
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 C milk <-- They suggest skim, but all we had was whole milk, and guess what? It was good.
- 1 can (14 oz) fat-free sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
- 3 medium bananas, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 bag (10 oz) frozen blueberries, thawed <-- We have decided that the blueberries are strictly optional.
- 1 aerosol can fat-free whipped cream topping
Heat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13-inch pan or 12x2-inch round cake pan with butter-flavor or regular cooking spray.
Separate dough into 8 rolls; set icing aside. Cut each roll into quarters; arrange evenly in pan. They will not touch each other at all. Expect gaps. Sprinkle 3/4 cup of the crushed granola bars evenly over dough pieces. (This is the equivalent of 2 pouches.)
In a large food processor or 5-cup blender, place eggs, milk, and condensed milk. Cover; process 1 minute. Add bananas and process 1 minute longer. Pour egg mixture over dough in pan. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup crushed granola bars.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and set in center. Spoon and spread icing over warm rolls. Cool 15 (excruciating) minutes before serving.
To serve, spoon baked French toast into shallow bowls or cut into 8 servings. Top each with 3 tablespoons blueberries; garnish with 2 tablespoons of whipped cream.