It's a Keeper: Crunchy Vanilla Almond French Toast with Brown Sugar Bacon

Well, looky here, a recipe review!  This one, Crunchy Vanilla Almond French Toast with Brown Sugar Bacon, was so good I was inspired to finally get back on the review train (which I got off of when I had kids and never got to eat hot food, much less photograph it).

I'm mostly a stay at home mom these days, so I try to use weekends, when my husband can wrangle our two kids, to make a nice brunch.  I love sitting down to brunch with the paper and a cup of coffee.  Ahhh, just thinking back on it makes me feel relaxed.

I made this recipe for the fam, but it would be a great option for entertaining because it's got a fancy and decadent feel.  But let me tell you something - this bacon recipe is freaking insane.  Just unreal.  I would make it every single day if it wasn't a sugar and fat bomb!    The french toast recipe is also a winner because you don't get that soggy texture that makes me usually not much of a fan.  Here's the recipe with my comments in brackets:

1 pounds applewood smoked bacon
1/2 cup dark brown sugar

8 large eggs
1 cup half-and-half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 pinches salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups corn flakes, lightly crushed
1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly crushed
4 tablespoons butter
12 (1 1/2-inch-thick) slices challah bread or soft "Italian" style bread
Medium or dark amber maple syrup to pass at table [Invest in the real stuff - it is completely worth every dime!]
Mint sprigs and edible flowers, suggested plate garnish  [I think the fruit topping is enough to brighten things up, so I skipped these.]

Fancy Fruit Topping:
1 large navel orange, peeled and chopped
12 large strawberries, sliced
1/2 pint blueberries
1/2 pint raspberries
1/2 pint blackberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier [I skipped this because I do have some boundaries as a mother, right?]

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Arrange bacon on slotted broiler pan. [I should have done it in two batches because I had to squish the bacon really close to eachother, which made it take forever to cook.]  Sprinkle with brown sugar and place in oven to bake until crisp, 20 to 22 minutes.

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.

In a shallow dish, beat together with a wire whisk: eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon. In a second shallow dish combine flakes and nuts. Add 2 tablespoons butter to warm skillet. Place a cookie sheet lined with foil (for easy clean-up) near the stove. Coat 4 to 6 slices of bread in egg, depending on the size of your skillet, then coat bread in cornflakes and nuts. Cook slices 2 minutes on each side and transfer toast to cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining slices and transfer toast to oven. Bake 10 minutes, with already cooking bacon.

While bacon and toast are in oven, combine fruit, sugar and liqueur in a serving bowl and reserve.  [Even without the liqueur, it was a yummy topping and made the plate look nice and festive.]

Remove toast and bacon from oven. Warm syrup in a small pitcher in microwave 15 seconds on high. Serve toast and bacon on plates with optional garnish of mint and edible flowers.

Pass syrup and topping at the table.

1 comment:

  1. This looks SOOOO good. I'm going to have to make this over the weekend.


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