Homemade Garlic Butter Croutons

Garlic Butter Croutons | Pinky's Pantry
Croutons are cubes of bread that have been coated in butter or oil and then baked or fried until crisp. They’re wonderful sprinkled on soups or salads, or used as a topping for casseroles. You can buy ready-made croutons from the grocery store but why bother when homemade croutons are a hundred, no, a thousand times better and are sooo easy to make?

They can be seasoned in a variety of ways. In place of garlic powder, you could use anywhere from ½ to 2 teaspoons of italian seasoning, herbes de Provence, dried dill, Greek seasoning, chili powder, curry powder, fresh cracked black pepper, or whatever seasoning strikes your fancy. You could make parmesan croutons by adding ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese to the butter, or make fresh cheese croutons using cheddar, swiss, gruyere, emmentaler, or asiago by sprinkling 1 cup or so of the grated cheese over the croutons halfway through baking.

These garlic butter croutons are my family’s favorite. They’re so good and smell divine while they’re baking. It’s all I can do to keep the fam from gobbling them all up before dinner! Feel free to use fresh garlic instead of garlic powder if you like. The garlic powder just makes it super quick and easy to do, but fresh garlic is equally delicious.

HOMEMADE GARLIC BUTTER CROUTONS

  • 1 loaf (about 1 lb.) french or italian bread or texas toast
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, melted
  • 1½ tbsps. granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. garlic salt, optional (we like a little salt on our croutons, but this is completely up to you – feel free to omit the salt if you like)
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. With a serrated knife, cut bread into ¾ to 1-inch cubes.
  3. Combine melted butter, granulated garlic, and garlic salt (if using) in a gallon-size ziploc bag.
  4. Quickly add bread cubes to bag and seal well.
  5. Shake like mad till bread cubes are completely coated with garlic-butter mixture.
  6. Spread bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  7. Bake about 15 minutes or until golden and crispy.
  8. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

NOTE:

  • Make sure to use a good, sturdy bread. A light, airy loaf will just turn soggy. This is better made with stale bread so try to purchase your bread a day or two before you plan to make the croutons so the bread will have a chance to dry out a little.
  • If you’d rather use fresh garlic instead of garlic powder, finely mince 4 cloves of fresh garlic and use that in place of the garlic powder.
  • Use real butter and not margarine. Margarine has a high water content and could turn your croutons soggy. Also, my family loves the butteriness (is that a word?) of these croutons but if it seems like too much butter for you, just cut the amount down to half a cup.
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Browned Butter Toffee Tartlets

Browned Butter Toffee Tartlets | Pinky's PantryI’ve had this recipe a long time. I don’t remember where I got it. It’s probably from one of my old cookbooks, though I don’t remember which one. I made it once years ago and then never made it again. For the life of me, I don’t know why. They were a hit when I made them all those years go. These tartlets are not only yummy, but they’re super-duper easy to make. The recipe makes a lot, too, which is perfect for a party or get-together.
Browned Butter Toffee Tartlets | Pinky's Pantry

BROWNED BUTTER TOFFEE TARTLETS

  • 3 pkgs. (15 pcs. each) baked miniature phyllo dough shells
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsps. vanilla
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup toffee pieces
  • 2 ozs. bittersweet chocolate, chopped or bittersweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Place phyllo dough shells on a cookie sheet.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; then reduce heat to medium-low.
  4. Continue to cook, without stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes or until butter becomes brown and fragrant.
  5. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla and salt. Whisk vigorously to combine.
  7. Whisk browned butter into egg mixture.
  8. Stir in toffee pieces.
  9. Spoon filling into tartlet shells.
  10. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until tops are light brown.
  11. Transfer carefully to wire rack and allow to cool completely.
  12. Melt chocolate in microwave in 30-second increments, stirring until smooth.
  13. Drizzle melted chocolate on top of cooled tartlets in any design you want.
  14. Let stand until set.

NOTE:

  • You should get at least 40 tartlets (if not more) from this recipe, depending on how full you fill the shells.
  • If you can’t get toffee pieces, you can substitute chocolate-covered toffee candybars, like Skor, Heath or Daim, and chop them up.
  • To store, layer tartets between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container. Cover and store in refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. If frozen, thaw tartlets at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.