You may think you know casseroles. “Sure, sure,” you say. “A little cream of mushroom soup here, a big handful of cheddar cheese there, and, um, aren’t canned green beans supposed to be involved somehow?”
No. Well, yes. But also, NO, because: gross.
This casserole, my casserole? That I’m sharing today? It contains zero cheese, and has never seen a green bean in its life. Instead, it’s full of crazy good things, like:
fresh berries and
toasted hazelnuts and
Oh, yes, there’s tons of Nutella. Is that a casserole upgrade or what?
In case it wasn’t perfectly clear, this is a breakfast casserole, and a pretty indulgent one at that. Any dish where croissants and Nutella are the two main ingredients is never going to win any nutritional awards, but in my defense, may I just say, yum.
This recipe starts with croissant-Nutella sandwiches. No joke. You slather sliced croissants with a thick layer of Nutella, smash them into a sandwich, then cut them into chunks. Toss them with fresh berries, and soak it all in a sweet vanilla-scented custard. Finally, during baking, top it with a toasted hazelnut streusel.
The finished casserole has a crunchy top layer, full of toasted nuts, crumbly streusel, and crispy croissant edges. Inside it’s all ooey-gooey deliciousness, where the custard has softened the croissants and mixed with the Nutella to create soft pockets of melted chocolate and bread.
It may have a lot going on, flavor-wise, but like any good casserole, it’s meant to be a time-saver. It can be prepared the night before, so if you want to impress company/your boss/your new lovah with a fancy breakfast, put in a little effort in the evening, and in the morning all you need to do is pop it in the oven. Take some time to set the table/put on some lippy/watch kitten videos on youtube, and before you know it you’ll have one outrageous breakfast casserole, ready to be devoured.
This is my favorite casserole—what’s yours? Country Crock is hosting a Country Crock Stars contest to find the best original casserole recipes. It’s so easy to enter! All you have to do is click that link to share a photo of your favorite casserole, and share in 100 words how you demonstrate creativity and resourcefulness in the kitchen. 3 finalists will a trip to NYC and $5000—that can buy a lot of Nutella! So click here for your chance to become a Country Crock Star.
Nutella Croissant Casserole
yield: 9×13 pan
7 large croissants (3-4 oz each)
21 ounces (1 3/4 cups) chocolate-hazelnut spread (like Nutella)
2/3 cup fresh berries, like raspberries or chopped strawberries
7 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
For the streusel topping:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
2 tablespoons Country Crock spread or butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Slice your croissants in half and place them cut side up on two baking sheets. Cook for about 10 minutes, until they’re lightly toasted on top. (If your croissants are stale and several days old, you can skip this step.)
Spread the cut sides of the croissants with a generous amount of Nutella. Sandwich the croissants together—this makes them easier to cut. Cut each Nutella-filled croissant into pieces 1-2 inches long. Place them in a 13×9 baking pan, and add the strawberries. Toss gently to combine.
Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl, then beat them on medium speed until they’re broken up and well-mixed. Add the milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt, and mix until combined. Pour the liquid over the croissants in the bowl, and toss well with your hands. Let the casserole sit for at least 30 minutes, tossing occasionally, while the croissants absorb the liquid. If desired, you can let it rest overnight at this point—just cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake in the morning.
When you’re ready to bake, prepare the hazelnut streusel topping. In a bowl, toss together the flour, sugar, and chopped hazelnuts. Add the melted Country Crock or butter and mix until your streusel is in moist clumps.
Preheat the oven to 350 F, then place the casserole in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes sprinkle the streusel all over the top, and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until golden brown, crispy, and bubbly along the sides.
Let the casserole cool at room temperature. It can be served warm, at room temperature, or chilled from the refrigerator. It’s also excellent with a little whipped cream or ice cream.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
|If you have enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the SugarHero RSS feed, becoming a fan on Facebook, or following on Twitter. Ooh, and let’s not forget Pinterest. Thank you!|