My daughter loves French Toast.
She asks for it every morning, often while EVERYONE IS STILL ASLEEP INCLUDING THE SUN. Which raises the question: why do children like to wake up before sunrise, especially on weekends?
I’ve heard about parents who have trained their children to stay in bed until a certain time. We are so not those parents. We have more of an open-door policy where the kids are welcome to come into our room at any time, snuggle up in our bed and kick us in the face. It’s so cozy!
I know, when they’re teenagers we’ll miss these days.
But back to French Toast before sunrise. As I’m shuffling into the kitchen half-asleep, trying to get the alarm off / dog out / dog fed / cat out before anything regrettable happens, Elle is chanting, “French Toast! French Toast! French Toast!” like it’s her favorite football team.
There’s no use suggesting cereal. The girl knows what she wants. And frankly, at 6 a.m. on a Saturday, I’d rather not argue with her. Thank goodness my recipe for French Toast is easy.
You only need four ingredients: half-and-half, egg, vanilla and bread. (Plus butter for the pan.)
The bread is what makes this breakfast so epic. It’s cinnamon-swirl bread from Trader Joe’s, and OMG it’s amazing. Each slice has cinnamon and sugar swirled into it, but surprisingly, the bread is not overly sweet (just 4 grams of sugar per slice). Best of all, because the bread is cut into nice, thick slices, the bread is easy to work with and holds up well in the egg mixture.
(If you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s, this recipe will work with other bread. Slightly stale challah or brioche would be delicious, but you might add a sprinkle of cinnamon before or after cooking for extra flavor.)
The best part about this French Toast is that once you get it on a plate in front of your children, it’s so delicious that they’ll stay seated and quiet for at least three minutes. Maybe five. For me on a Saturday morning, that feels like a friggin’ vacation :)
Epic French Toast
2/3 cup half-and-half
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 slices Trader Joe’s cinnamon swirl bread (or other bread, preferably slightly stale and thickly sliced)
For serving: pure maple syrup, whipped cream, or fruit
Melt a pat of butter on a griddle over medium heat.
Pour the half-and-half, egg and vanilla in a pie plate or shallow bowl; whisk to combine. Dip one slice of bread in the egg mixture and let it soak for a few seconds; then flip and soak the other side.
Pick up the soaked bread and let any excess liquid or egg drain off. Place the soaked bread on the hot griddle and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
Flip, and cook the other side until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.
Serve, warm, with maple syrup or whipped cream and fruit. This French Toast is also good with nothing, as the cinnamon and sugar give it plenty of flavor!
Make-ahead tip #1: The custard (half-and-half, egg and vanilla) can be whisked together the night before and stored in the refrigerator. Similarly, if you only make 1 or 2 slices of French Toast and have left over custard, the custard can be stored in the refrigerator and used again the next day.
Make-ahead tip #2: This French Toast can be made the night before, cooled and refrigerated, and then reheated and served the next morning.