Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Day after The Holiday: Toast and Tradition

Its here! Its here! Its here!
It’s the trifecta holiday season!!(Read: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas season!) This is my absolute favorite time of the year (yes, I’m a devoted fan of pumpkin; no, I’m not as basic as a pumpkin spice latte unless its homemade), and I won’t turn down any chance to spend time with family and friends, decorate, celebrate, cook, and bake. That said, this recipe is perfect for all of the above and has become one of my favorite ways to (a) use up the often cast-aside leftover breads, cakes, and rolls remaining after a holiday feast, (b) make French toast, and (c) gather the family around the kitchen table to keep the holiday warmth and cheer going strong.

Leftover breads (leave out if possible to allow the bread/cake to dry out a bit), inclusive of soft rolls, croissants, muffins, pound/bundt cakes, etc.
2 large eggs
1.5 cups milk, cream, or eggnog
1 tablespoon almond or vanilla extract
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt

Make it happen:
·      Slice the bread(s). For moist cakes or quick breads, you may opt to dry them out slightly in the oven at around 150 degrees fora couple of minutes, or pop them into the toaster briefly. Make the cake slices about an inch thick to keep them from breaking apart (a wide spatula helps immensely for transport to and from the wet ingredients); for biscuits, croissants or soft rolls, slice in half. Muffins do decently sliced length-wise and also benefit from a quick oven-dry out .
·      In a large, shallow pie pan, whisk the milk/cream, eggs, extracts, and spices until well combined. Begin to soak the bread, allowing each piece to soak up enough of the cream-egg mixture to be moistened thoroughly, but use your judgement - too much of the mixture will make some cake slices or breads break down too much!
·      Heat a large frying pan or griddle over medium-high heat, and when the slices have soaked up a good amount of the wet ingredients, add the butter to the frying pan and coat the inside of the frying pan well.
·      When the butter begins the sizzle slightly, add your slices and fry on each side until golden brown and crisp. Remove each slice to a plate and sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired.

·      Make the syrup: Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pot over medium flame, whisking to combine. Serve hot with the toast

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