Last week, I came home from the library with The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, a book that came highly recommended by a friend. These days, my day job keeps me well stocked in cookbooks, so when it comes to purchasing one myself, I like to test it out first. Based on a blog, this cookbook is wonderfully visual, and it lays flat (which I love in a cookbook). My first recipe to try was its Cinnamon Toast French Toast, and to put it simply, it was a winner!
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup sugar
- about 1-pound loaf white sandwich bread (I used 12 slices)
- butter or margarine (to spread)
- 3 cups milk
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Maple syrup and strawberries (for serving)
My no. 2 reason for loving this reason (no. 1 being how delicious it turned out) is the fact that I can make most of it ahead of time. The night before I made the cinnamon toast.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Place the slices of bread in a single layer on 2 parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Spread butter on the top of each slice of bread, and sprinkle with a spoonful of cinnamon-sugar mixture. Toast the trays of bread, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove for oven, and let cool.
Generously butter a 9- x 13-inch backing dish. Arrange the bread in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight.
The next morning, I let the pan come up to room temperature as I whisked together the milk, eggs, salt and vanilla in a medium bowl. I then poured it evenly over the cinnamon toast and let it sit for 15 minutes (to give the bread time to absorb the custard).
Next, bake for 30 minutes, until golden and egg mixture looks firm. Cut into squares and serve.
For garnishes, I went with something simple: sliced strawberries and warm syrup. I set out extra cinnamon-sugar, but I don’t think anyone went for it. (The recipe has enough sugar as it is.)
The same weekend, I tried a recipe for Brownie Roll-Out Cookies that turned out equally delicious. So long story shot, the book is in my Amazon shopping cart (just wanting to qualify for free shipping)!