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French Toast

Renée Robinson

What’s For Brunch? French Toast with a Secret Ingredient.

Hello, friends!  It’s been awhile. I optimistically hoped I’d be up and running a few weeks after moving, but it turned into a couple of months. I’m happy to say my kitchen renovation in my new house was completed 2 days before Christmas and I’m ready to dig into some recipes I’ve been thinking about.

 In the meantime, I want to share something I’ve been making for many years. Like many of us, I shake things up in the kitchen and try different recipes in order to keep things interesting. I’ve always got something new on the table for all our holiday meals. We’re not locked into anything traditional.

But there is one thing I make that we all love and I don’t mess with it at all. It’s our Christmas Day brunch French toast. We celebrate Christmas Day by staying home and opening gifts throughout the day. We’ve have our big celebratory meal on Christmas Eve, so the next day is calm and relaxing. Whenever we get hungry, this is what I make. 

As anyone who follows me knows, I very rarely use processed foods. Not because I’m a food snob, but only because I like fresh ingredients best. So, I know it will surprise you when I say that my secret ingredient in my French toast is Egg Beaters. Yep, I’m talking about the egg substitute, which contains egg whites, but no yolks, comes in a carton, and is in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, right next to the eggs. How this came about is beyond me.

I cannot begin to imagine why I had Egg Beaters on hand. I do not have any recollection of using them in any recipe. It’s a real mystery to me. And it’s been so many years ago, that I just have to assume I had them for some reason, but decided to try them out in French toast. All I can tell you is that ever since using them for the first time, I’ve continued to do so. For decades. I actually tried substituting real eggs once and couldn’t have been more disappointed. I didn’t come close to getting the desired end result. It was way too heavy. 

Here’s what I love about my recipe. I want my French toast to be very crisp on the outside edges, but creamy and custard-like in the center. I don’t enjoy French toast that has a scrambled egg like texture or tastes too eggy. As I said, I want a creamy center. And Egg Beaters is the only thing that gives me exactly what I want. 

I’ve never measured the other ingredients, but did so this year in order to be able to share the recipe. I’ve used different kinds of bread, but I like challah the best. If challah isn’t available, then go with French bread. Not a dense loaf. It should be soft and fluffy.

And while I don’t mess with the basic ingredients, I’ve played around with the added flavorings and for the last couple of years I’ve added a few drops of orange oil, which we all really like. I always include a couple tablespoons of sugar in the custard, so the French toast doesn’t need to be drenched in maple syrup. It only needs a little.

Some years I serve it with sausage, some years it’s bacon. This year, while shopping in my new home town of Pittsburgh, I ran into some peppered bacon that looked great to me and had to try it out. Man, was it delicious.

I also always serve some sort of fruit with this meal. Some years, it’s berries, but this year the cara cara oranges and pomegranates looked especially good, so that’s what we had. As I said, I mix it up with the meat and the fruit, but I never change the French toast. It’s what we always have on Christmas Day and I don’t make it any other time of the year, so it always feels special to us. Egg Beaters. Who woulda thunk it???

French Toast

Recipe by Renée Robinson
Servings

4-6

servings

French Toast with a soft and creamy center, but nicely crisped outside. Couldn't be easier, but also couldn't be more delicious.

Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces 16 Egg Beaters Original

  • 2 cups 2 whole milk

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons 2 granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 fine sea salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons 1 1/2 vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 almond extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 orange oil

  • 1 pound 1 loaf of challah or French bread, sliced into 1 inch thick slices

  • 2 tablespoons, plus more as needed 2 Salted butter, for frying the French toast

  • Powdered sugar for dusting on top

  • Maple syrup for serving

Directions

  • In a large casserole or dish (large enough to hold the slices of bread in a single layer), whisk together the first 8 ingredients (Egg Beaters through orange oil), until everything is thoroughly combined and the sugar and salt are dissolved. Place the slices of bread into the mixture, turning in order to cover them in the liquid. Let sit for about 30 minutes until the bread is saturated, flipping the bread a couple of times. This can be done the night before and kept covered in the fridge. Take it out a half hour before cooking.
  • Over medium heat, 2 tablespoons butter on a large griddle or a couple of frying pans. You can also use some bacon grease if you’re serving this with bacon. Add the slices of soaked bread to the pan/pans and cook until nicely browned on the bottom. Flip the slices and continue to cook, adjusting the heat if necessary to prevent it from burning, and adding more butter if necessary. Continue to cook until the slices have all puffed up and are browned on the bottom. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar and maple syrup. Enjoy!

4 Responses

  1. Hi Renée! If you soak the bread over night, when you remove it from the batter do you put it on a rack over a sheet pan, or just on a plate. My concern is it getting too soggy if it sits on a plate as opposed to draining a bit on a rack. Thanks!

    1. Sharon, please forgive me for not getting back to you sooner. Yes, it will be soggy after soaking overnight, but no, I don’t drain it at all. I gently pick it up, letting it drain a little and then place it directly into the hot pan. I’ve never had an issue with it being too soggy. I want it fully saturated, do it’s not a problem.

  2. Renee .. I’ve missed you ! I moved as well this year .. down sizing after 36 years in one house ! Still trying to get situated .. love this recipe .. very similiar to mine but you’ve added something special .. will try this !
    Happy New Year !

    1. Thank you so much, Robin. Sorry it’s taken me this long to respond. I am not fully with the program yet. Lol!! For instance, today we’re hanging window treatments and setting up my pots and pans pantry. Whew!! Yes, you’re right, it’s a big deal. 36 years – I can only imagine. I was in mine for 24 years and that was hard enough. Perhaps we’ll be fully established this time next year. 😂

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