Saturday, December 19, 2009

Waiting for Snow :: French Toast with Orange Maple Butter

I woke up early today excited about the first snowfall this season, we're supposed to get 8" here in NYC!   I admit that I always enjoy the snow, but I especially love it right before Christmas.  Doesn't it make everything feel like the holidays are here?  A. and I sat by the window, drank way too many cups of coffee and ate delicious french toasts waiting for the flurries to start falling.  I can't imagine anything more Christmas-y than that! :-)

The french toasts were delicious!  Perfectly crispy, but still creamy on the inside... with a slight vanilla sweetness... all topped with an orange zest and maple butter.  Yum!

I had a giant bowl of oranges and grapefruits sitting on the counter, so I thought of making orange flavored butter to top our breakfast!  It was perfect.  I'm actually surprised the spread made it to the french toast because it was so delicious, A. and I kept 'tasting' it with know, to make sure it didn't need anymore salt or anything.  :-)

Most french toast recipes call for a baguette or for Challah bread, but I used a Portuguese loaf.  I find that baguettes are too thin and you get too much crust in each slice with not enough of the center.  Challah is the perfect size, but a bit too 'egg-y' in french toast.  The Portuguese loaf was perfect!  

Top with plenty or warm maple syrup and fresh fruit ... Enjoy!

Serves 2
6 slices Portuguese Bread (about 3/4" thick)
4 Eggs
1/2 cup Whole Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 1/2 tablespoons Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Orange Zest
1 teaspoon orange juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
dash of Salt
Butter for pan

In a baking dish, whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar, zest, juice, and salt.  Add the slices of bread until they are completely covered in batter.  Pierce the slices with a fork to make sure the batter gets to the middle.  Leave the bread in the mixture for 15 minutes, flipping over once to make sure all sides are completely covered.

In a non-stick pan, over medium heat, add a couple of tablespoons of butter.  When the butter starts to bubble, add the toasts.  Lower heat if the butter starts to burn.  Cook the french toasts until crisp on one side and flip over.  Make sure the inside is cooked thoroughly before removing from heat.  Serve immediately.

1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 teaspoons maple syrup dash of salt

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and mix.  Taste for salt and sweetness.  You can leave in the fridge until ready to use.

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