Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Yuletide Strata

We're nearing the new year, which must mean it's time to close out the 2014 strata campaign with a tasty dessert strata tot help use up leftovers from holiday baking.  Coincidentally, this strata is also dressed like Santa (or Bucky Badger).  Let's get to it!

In the usual strata fashion, we made layers, but without the normal meat or vegetable components.  Here are the layers this time around: bread (as usual), whole cranberries, white chocolate chips, and a mixture of yogurt and cream cheese.  We used about three cups of cranberries and 1.5 cups white chocolate chips per layer.  The yogurt/cream cheese mixture was about 1.5 blocks cream cheese (12 oz) and 2 cups plain yogurt, to which we added about a teaspoon of vanilla extract.  (So, 0.75 blocks cream cheese and 1 cup yogurt per layer.)

There are two layers each of bread-cranberries-chocolate chips-yogurt/cream cheese.  These layers are inundated with an egg mixture, which in this case was sort of like eggnog: six eggs, three cups milk, 1/3 cup sugar, 0.25 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon cardamom.

The whole shebang went in the fridge for several hours to steep.

Then it got baked at 350 °F for 50-60 min until it looked like this. (i.e., sort of a Bucky Badger/toasted marshmallow hybrid, or maybe Santa after coming down the chimney of a lit fireplace.)

We cut the pan into eight servings, one of which looked like this.  Like our berry strata, this one isn't quite as filling as most.  But it makes one heck of a dessert.  Good stuff, Maynard!

The recipe:
6 cups whole fresh cranberries
4 cups white chocolate chips
12 oz cream cheese (1.5 blocks)
2 cups yogurt

6 eggs
3 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cardamom
0.25 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix the yogurt and cream cheese together well.  Layer the bread, cranberries, chocolate chips, and cream cheese/yogurt (chogurt) mixture in a 9" x 13" pan, starting with bread and ending with chogurt, aiming for two layers each. Beat together eggs, milk, sugar, cardamom, and cinnamon. Pour over layers and set in fridge for several hours or overnight. Bake at 350 °F for 50-60 min, until top is golden brown and kitchen smells like toasted marshmallows. No condiments needed, but make sure to get your protein and veggies somewhere else, or your mom will be really mad.

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