Eggnog French Toast Sticks and Brown-Butter Maple Syrup
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whole eggs, at room temperature
cup eggnog, at room temperature
tablespoons whole milk, at room temperature
cup butter, melted and brought to room temp
teaspoon real vanilla extract
teaspoon ground cinnamon
teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
stick unsalted butter
Preheat your oven to 350°F, line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silpat.
Slice the Texas toast into strips of three.
In a shallow dish, beat the eggs, eggnog, milk, melted butter, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Quickly dunk the slices in the batter and set on a wire rack to drip off any extra batter.
Place all sticks on the prepared pan and place into your preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Remove, flip and return back to the oven for 10-15 more minutes.
Pour the maple syrup into a small bowl.
Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Place the half a stick of butter into the pan. Watch closely until it is a deep golden brown. Remove and pour it into the maple syrup. Season with salt, stir and serve with the warm french toast sticks.
I love breakfast food and often find it difficult to decide what meal I want when we go out for brunch. It is always a toss-up between ordering eggs, like Eggs Benedict or in the pancake / french toast category. Breakfast meals are sweet and savory comfort foods that just make the day start off on a happy note. French toast made with good quality bread soaked in a light vanilla custard always makes me happy. Yet today, I wanted to do something slightly different with some make in advance options and fruit topping. Baked French Toast with Apple Cranberry Compote, is a special occasion breakfast or brunch with easy do-ahead preparations.
Baked French Toast
The type of bread is the first key ingredient. I recommend a Country White Boule or Country White Sourdough Boule. The bread is sturdy and will hold up to an overnight soaking without falling apart. I bought my Country White Sourdough Boule at Whole Foods. It does not have a thick crust which is better suited for french toast. Challah or Brioche are other good choices, but I have yet to test them in this recipe. I do not recommend using regular sandwich bread as it will just fall apart before you start.
I don’t know about you, but whenever I make french toast by the time I get to the last 4 pieces the egg and milk custard is used up and I need to make more. The first slices of french toast soaked up more than their fair share of custard leaving none to spare for the last few slices. In this recipe, you soak all the bread slices at the same time overnight and every slice gets an even soaking of vanilla-nutmeg custard.
Another advantage of making baked french toast, is you bake the slices of bread at the same time in the oven. This frees up the cooks’ time to enjoy a cup of coffee or make the compote. At first, I was doubtful that baking the french toast would produce browned slices of french toast, but it does. Baked french toast has a great texture with crispy and buttery browned edges and soft and tender insides.
Apple Cranberry Compote
The compote combines fresh apples and cranberries with a spiced apple cider reduction. The fruit is gently cooked in butter until the cranberries start to pop. For this recipe, I reduced the amount of sugar, so you can taste the fruit and not the sugar. The cranberries are tart and contrast with the sweet apples. If the cranberries are too tart feel free to add more sugar a tablespoon at a time but make sure all the sugar dissolves before you remove the compote off the heat.
I made the compote with Fuji apples because they were on sale, but any apple that keeps its’ shape will work. Golden Delicious apples, Granny Smith apples, or Gala apples are all good choices. If you use Granny Smith apples, then you may need more sugar.
Use real apple cider and not apple juice. It just does not taste the same using apple juice. The apple cider reduction is flavored with cinnamon and fresh ginger, that steep in the apple cider while it simmers. Real maple syrup and orange juice add natural sugar to sweeten the compote giving the compote extra flavor the highlights the fruit and not the sugar.
This recipe is inspired by and adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine, December 2001, Eggnog French Toast with Cranberry Apple Compote. I love the idea of using eggnog for the custard in French toast, but I decided to tone down the amount of sugar in the compote, and over-the-top sweetness in store-bought eggnog. In this recipe, I use half-and-half and milk in the base with eggs, and flavor the custard with vanilla, sugar and freshly grated nutmeg. If the eggnog custard appeals to you, substitute the milk and half & half with 4 cups (1 quart) of eggnog and only use 4 eggs instead of 7. Also, do not add sugar to the mix.
Transferring the saturated bread slices from the baking dish to the sheet pan, and turning them over to brown, requires a thin and flexible spatula. The best tool is a fish spatula and is the most versatile kitchen tool I own. The flexible and thin metal base easily slides under all types of food and does not stick to the surface like with most spatulas. I own the Victorinox one, but the Wusthof fish spatula is highly recommended by America’s Test Kitchen.
More Breakfast Love
More Cranberry Love
This recipe is part of a collaborative social media project featuring the beloved fall fruit, cranberries. This collaboration would not exist without the efforts of Ruth and Rebecca of @squaremealroundtable and Annie Garcia of @whatannieseating. Thank you, Annie, Rebecca, and Ruth for all your efforts and keeping the seasonal collaborative projects going. Check out what all the food bloggers and Instagramers have created by following #yesyourcranberry on Instagram or click on the links below.
Easy Brioche French Toast
Brioche French Toast is hands down one of my top favorite sweet breakfast dishes to make. The French toast is super easy to make, and thanks to the brioche bread, it tastes incredibly good. The Brioche French Toast is dipped in a homemade batter and cooked to golden brown perfection. As a result, the toast is puffy and incredibly delicious.
For best results, you want to use firm bread, one that can stand up to a good soak in egg and cream. However, the bread shouldn&rsquot be too firm, because frying it will make it extra tough. So you want to avoid that. We slice the bread and then dip it in simple cinnamon and nutmeg scented batter before frying. We finish it off with some butter and maple syrup. Similarly, you can serve the toast with fresh berries, honey or whipped cream.
WHAT IS BRIOCHE?
Brioche is a classic French bread that is made of flour, yeast, with high egg and butter content. Brioche can be shaped in a variety of forms, such as a rectangular loaf, round boule, or in its most recognizable form a fluted muffin like a roll.
IS BRIOCHE BREAD SWEET?
In its traditional form, the Brioche Bread is usually on the sweeter side. Due to high butter and egg content, the bread is very soft and very fine. It also has a golden color after baking, and in some ways, it resembles texture-wise the Italian panettone a bit.
Baked French Toast
Simple just doesn't get any more delicious than this. The crustier the bread, the better!
loaf crusty sourdough or French bread
firmly packed brown sugar
Freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
stick cold butter, cut into pieces
fresh blueberries, for serving
- For the French toast: Grease the baking pan with butter. Tear the bread into chunks, or cut into cubes, and evenly distribute in the pan. Crack the eggs in a big bowl. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover the pan tightly and store in the fridge until needed (overnight preferably). Or you can make it and bake it right away---delicious no matter what!
- For the topping: Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and some nutmeg in a separate bowl. Stir together using a fork. Add the butter and use a pastry cutter to mix it all together until the mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in a plastic bag in the fridge.
- When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the casserole from the fridge and sprinkle the topping over the top. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture or for 1 hour-plus or more for a firmer, crisper texture.
- Scoop out individual portions. Top with butter, drizzle with warm pancake syrup, and sprinkle with blueberries.
On this morning&rsquos Food Network episode, I make (among other things) this beautiful, simple, glorious, easy, delectable, scrumptious, heavenly baked French toast, which I served with syrup and blueberries to my daughter and her four friends. The girls absolutely loved it&mdashbetween the six of us, we nearly polished off the whole pan. The great thing about baked French toast is that you can make it on the spot and bake it right away&hellipOR assemble it the night before and let it sit and get even more luscious in the fridge overnight. You can leave it plain like this, or you can mix blueberries or other fruit in with all the bread.
It&rsquos fabulosity in a baking dish. So simple, so wonderful.
Have I used enough adjectives today?
I originally posted the step-by-step recipe here back in 2010, and the recipe above has just a couple of tiny, inconsequential changes. If you&rsquod like to see the four thousand step-by-step photos of the recipe, here &rsquotis!
Chewy Brown Butter Cookies
I was just reading through some of my most recent blog posts (although they aren’t exactly “recent” per se), and a LOT of them start off with me complaining about how busy I am, how sorry I am for not posting, and I will definitely post more consistently. If I counted how many times I’ve rolled my eyes at the incessant ramblings of my younger self, well… I’d definitely be much better at math.
This loooong break has really taught me some interesting things. Mainly, how much I’ve missed baking in my spare time. Especially since it’s the holiday season, it’s kind of sad that I’m not running out of butter and sugar because I’ve baked so many cookies, or that my house isn’t smelling like cinnamon and molasses from baking gingerbread treats from scratch. Also, I’ve missed the enjoyment and satisfaction of taking photos that are pleasing to the eye and fun to drool over. It’s always fun to challenge myself with how minimalistically I can edit my photos while making them look both natural and appetizing.
I’ve also realized that if you really, truly enjoy doing something, you’ll eventually find a time to fit it in to your busy schedule, no matter how many to-do lists and homework assignments pile up on your desk. And it also helps that I have the coolest best friend whose persistent prodding and gorgeous Instagram feed has inspired me to start up blogging again!
CHEWY BROWN BUTTER COOKIES: KEYS TO SUCCESS!!
brown the butter: browned butter is key to a successful cookie. It starts with melting two sticks of butter in a saucepan over medium heat until it’s completely liquid. Continue to whisk and move the butter around you should start to see brown specks appear at the bottom. Once there is a good amount of brown to the point where the color of the mixture starts kind of resembling maple syrup, remove from heat and allow to cool for a couple minutes. The whole process should take around 5-8 minutes!
add the egg after the butter has COOLED! No one likes scrambled eggs mixed into their cookies! Make sure the browned butter is cool enough so that you can comfortably stick in your finger without scalding it. Ok LOL if you’re really impatient, just make sure you mix in the egg super fast (and fingers crossed that it doesn’t cook!) I won’t judge I’ve done it many times before.
cream of tartar: Cream of tartar is traditionally used in snickerdoodles and other cookies to add to the overall chewiness and a slight “tangy” taste. The brown sugar in these cookies already makes them pretty chewy, so honestly the addition is not essential to the overall experience of the cookie. You could probably leave it out and you wouldn’t really taste a difference!
chill the dough! This dough is naturally very greasy from the melted butter, so if you don’t chill the cookie dough, you’re going to make a huge oily mess all over your counter. Make sure to cover in cling wrap and chill for a good 4 hours or overnight. The flavors will get to know each other better, and plus, it’ll be so much easier to work with the next morning.
These cookies were actually a complete accident (which is honestly how most of my recipes first start out). I was trying to make snickerdoodles for a holiday cookie exchange, when I realized I didn’t have cane sugar or cinnamon. That basically defeated the purpose of making snickerdoodles in the first place! I didn’t have anything else to make, so I improvised by using all brown sugar. It was kind of scary, because I’ve heard you’re always supposed to use a mix of regular and brown sugar. But the texture of these cookies wasn’t overly chewy and I was pleased with how they turned out!
Some of my goals for more upcoming posts are to include more step-by-step instructions on how my recipes come together. I love how some of my favorite food bloggers show the process from beginning to end, because I like to confirm that I’m getting the exact steps right when I’m making something for the first time. This is also totally random, but I just now realized there’s this “gallery” feature on WordPress! I might start using it more often to show the recipe process… thoughts?
Maybe I’ll also throw in some fun behind the scenes pictures on the multi-step process of me being super picky about the setups and stuff. I make some of the most minuscule of adjustments just to capture the most perfect image. I always find those kinds of posts to be hilarious, because I can relate to them so much!
I’m going on a fun trip soon, and I’ve also got lots of fun recipes planned. They’re kind of adventurous and more creative than I usually like to post, but I’m super excited for them :)
It may have been 90 degrees in NYC this past Monday, but nobody is happier than I am that fall is finally here, not least because it means I have an excuse to make these Maple Thumbprints.And make them, I have—five test batches before getting them just right. I used the dough from my Maple Spice Stars as a starting place, and then adjusted the spice, sugars, and leavener until I achieved exactly what I wanted: a puffy, slightly soft maple cookie with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg and a well of maple icing in the center. The ideal accompaniment to a cup of tea on a fall afternoon, you know?If you love maple syrup like I do, these cookies are for you. The dough contains 2/3 cup and the icing has another 1/4 cup! I vastly prefer Grade A Dark Amber & Robust Taste (formerly known as Grade B) for its deep flavor, but any pure maple syrup you have will do the trick.Maple, like pumpkin, is a flavor that improves over time. Though these cookies will taste good immediately after they’re baked and filled, they won’t taste particularly maple-y until a few hours later. By the next day, you’ll have no problem finding the sweet nuances of maple syrup in both the cookies and the icing.You’ll notice that many of the maple cookie recipes out there (including this one) call for maple extract for a richer flavor. This is because maple is a delicate flavor in baking, easily masked by its own sweetness. To that point, I tested both the dough and icing with 1/2 teaspoon each of maple extract (I like Boyajian), and while it works and certainly amplifies the flavor, I don’t think this recipe needs it. I did multiple taste tests and preferred the cookies made with only maple syrup every time. If you feel otherwise, feel free to add some extract. To each their own!The point, as always, is to bake the cookies you want to eat. And to bake for the weather you want, not the weather you have. At least, that’s what I’m doing. If it means I’m eating autumnal cookies while sitting in front of a blasting air conditioner and praying for some crunchy leaves to step on, so be it.
makes about 4.5 dozen cookies
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup pure maple syrup (I like Grade A dark amber & robust taste)
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
3-4 teaspoons water
Make the cookies. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a separate large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Beat in brown and granulated sugars, followed by the maple syrup. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Turn the mixer to low, and add the dry ingredients in three installments, stopping frequently to scrape the bowl.
Divide dough in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and flatten into a disc. Chill for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
Place oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove dough from the refrigerator. Scoop dough by the tablespoon and roll each into a ball. Place dough balls at least 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Use the back of a very small spoon (like a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon) to slowly press a well into each dough ball. They may crack a bit—just smooth them with your fingers.
Bake cookies 12-13 minutes, rotating top-to-bottom and front-to-back. Cookies are done when puffed and no longer wet-looking. When you remove the cookies from the oven, press the back of a small spoon (I use a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon) into the centers again. Let cookies cool on the pans for 10 minutes before carefully removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat rolling and baking process with all remaining dough, letting the cookie sheets come back to room temperature between batches.
Arrange cookies on a parchment or wax paper-lined surface for filling.
Make the icing. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together confectioner’s sugar, salt, maple syrup, and 3 teaspoons of water until smooth. Add more water by the 1/2 teaspoon, if needed, until the glaze is thick but pourable.
Transfer icing to a piping bag (or ziptop sandwich bag), twist it tight and snip off a very small corner. Fill wells in cookies as desired.
Icing will set after a few hours. Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Place wax paper between layers for easiest storage.
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon butter, divided, or more as needed
- 6 (1 inch) thick slices dry brioche bread
- ¼ cup butter
- 6 tablespoons maple syrup, or more to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Whisk milk, eggs, vanilla extract, sugar, nutmeg, and salt together in a bowl.
Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, dip each slice of brioche bread in the egg mixture and cook in the hot butter until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side, adding more butter as needed. Transfer French toast to a baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven until puffed, 8 to 10 minutes.
Cook and stir 1/4 cup butter in a skillet over medium-low heat until browned and toasty, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer browned butter to a cold dish. Drizzle browned butter over baked French toast and top each slice with 1 tablespoon maple syrup.
When I was a young girl my mother used to can everything and I right by her side. There was a recipe in (I think) what may have been a Betty Crocker paperback small cookbook. There was a recipe for canned spiced green tomatoes, I can’t find the correct recipe and am reaching out to anyone who thinks they may have the one I’m looking for. I remember it started w 5lbs of green sliced tomatoes, sugar, allspice, cinnamon sticks and I don’t know, maybe vinegar. If anyone thinks they may be familiar with this please post it. There are many recipes but not one of them, so far, has been The recipe. Many thanks and I love this blog
Unfortunately I’m not familiar with this recipe, but if I ever see it I’ll let you know. Spiced Green Tomatoes sound like something that I’d like.
That probably came out of one of the Ball Blue Books. They would publish a new one every few years by the Ball canning jars. They still publish the little paper back but the recipes change over time. If they had a sweet and sour taste then there was apple cider vinegar in the recipe? If the tomatoes was used for green tomato pie then they would have been cold packed in just water with the spices then processed. If you remember the years that she made this? You might be able to find a old Ball Blue Book from that time frame on eBay. The little Ball Blue Books was the bible of canning and still is for most farm kitchens.
Sheryl, this new blogger I discovered, Susan asked me a question while we discussed scrapple that I can not answer: was the original scrapple made from the trimmings after butchering a pig at home? Here is her link –
Whew, this question takes me back to my childhood in Pennsylvania. My memory is that Scrapple is primarily the seasoned and thickened broth of pork trimmings with a little of the ground trimmings included in the broth. When we butchered we put the trimmings, including the liver and head meat, into a kettle and covered it with water and added salt and pepper. After it was well-cooked, the trimmings were ground. Most of the ground meat was eaten as “liverwurst”, but some was put in the broth which was then thickened with corn meal (and maybe flour).
I found a recipe for Scrapple in a cook book published in 1950 called the Mennonite Community Cookbook:
1 1/2 cups ground liver pudding [In the old cookbook, cooked pork trimmings are called “pudding”]
1 quart broth from cooked pudding
1 cup corn meal
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Bring to a boil broth in which pudding meat was cooked. Season with salt and pepper. Stir into the boiling broth the corn meal and flour. Add ground liver pudding. This should be the consistency of corn meal mush. Cook slowly in heavy pan or top of double boiler for approximately 30 minutes. Pour in dishes to mold. When cold, slice 1/4 inch thick and fry in hot fat until grown and crusty on both sides.
(I’m going to copy what I just wrote above, and put it on the site with the question.)
I can’t thank you enough for going to the trouble of getting this to me. I KNEW I came to the right person to ask!! My father loved having this for breakfast during the winter months.
You’re very welcome. I had fun looking through my old cookbooks for a scrapple recipe. The question intrigued me – and I was annoyed that I couldn’t exactly remember how we made scrapple when I was a child.
I have an old recipe for cinnamon rolls that the dough rises in the refrigerator. A mixture of cream and brown sugar is put into the pan before placing the rolls to bake. But I was never given the amount of sugar and cream and maybe I put too much because it didn’t rise up while baking like it should from the friend that shared it. Alas, she’s no longer available.
December. It’s here already, and I can’t believe it. Part of me is excited for winter. It happens every year right on the cusp of serious winter weather (I’m not counting the freak snow storm on Halloween) as I begin to romanticize winter activities. Perhaps it’s how I deal with the cold…I do hate heat and humidity, but I have poor circulation, and am thus always cold, so though I love the idea of winter, even if the reality is not so pretty.
I think about watching the snow fall while reading a good book and drinking hot tea next to a roaring fire while listening to A Charlie Brown Christmas. This fantasy keeps me occupied, and not thinking about the fact that we can’t use our fireplace or the ridiculousness that is our heating bill.
When I was growing up, one of my favorite “winter time” foods were pancakes. My mom would make huge blueberry buttermilk ones, while my dad’s specialty was banana chocolate chip. In college, I would eat those things with nothing on them, like a big, sweet, floppy cracker.
Today, you’ll find me hard pressed to pour maple syrup on my pancakes. I know…I’m weird. I prefer them covered with jam, peanut butter or nutella, and eat them throughout the day. Pancakes are one of my favorite can-eat-at-anytime foods. And these eggnog pancakes are awesome. I’ve made a lot of different pancake recipe to try and experiment with flavor combinations. A lot of “non-traditional” pancake flavors like French silk chocolate, matcha (green tea) produce thin batters that spread out on the griddle, and turn into flimsy, dry sad, pancakes. Of course I eat them anyway, but these pancakes are different.
They are fluffy, soft, moist and delicious. Definitely one of my favorite pancake recipes to date. So if you’ve got extra eggnog, try these. Please. Because they chase away winter blues. And are so amazingly easy to make.
1/2 tsp nutmeg (cinnamon would work too)
some butter to grease the skillet (I use Pam)
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the eggnog and melted butter.
Using a spatula, combine the dry and wet ingredients to make a thick, lumpy batter, being careful not to over mix.
In a non-stick skillet, melt some butter (or spray skillet with Pam) over medium heat. Ladle 1/3 cup batter into hot skillet. Do not overcrowd the skillet because the pancakes will puff up and out as they cook.
When bubbles appear on the surface of the pancakes, and the edges begin to brown, flip the pancakes and cook the other side.
I halve this recipe and get about 10-12 decent size pancakes.
- 6 large eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 10 slices day-old brioche (about 3/4 inch thick)
- 1 cup pecans (coarsely chopped or crushed)
- Rum-Raisin Maple Syrup, for serving
Beat eggs in a bowl. Whisk in milk, heavy cream, 1/3 cup sugar, vanilla extract, nutmeg, and salt.
Working in batches, dip 10 slices day-old brioche into batter to coat. Overlap brioche slices in a 9-by-13-inch ceramic or glass baking dish. Pour remaining batter over top. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degress. Top with pecans and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar. Bake, covered with parchment-lined foil, for 25 minutes. Uncover bake until top is golden brown and crunchy, 20 to 25 minutes more. Serve with syrup.