Warm and Wintery French Toast
By Jackie Currie, Happy Hooligans
Nov 15, 2017
This year, parts of Canada were surprised with an early fall that felt more like summer, with temperatures reaching much higher than normal. But November has arrived, and it’s brought with it some much cooler weather.
The other day, after playing outside under grey and dreary skies all morning, the kids were chilled to the bone. One of them remarked that it felt like winter, and said she wished she'd been wearing mittens, while another thought it was going to snow soon. And when I asked if they wanted a hot lunch or a cold one, they all agreed: HOT!
I knew exactly what to make. One of their favourite cold-weather lunches: French toast. And because the weather was so frosty, I thought it would be fun to use our cookie cutters to put a wintery spin on things. Snowmen and snowflakes and mitts, oh my!
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French toast is always a hit with the kids and it’s so easy to make. Using cookie cutters to make shaped French toast is something I like to do for holidays and special days. The kids love that the shapes are small enough to pick up with their fingers, so no forks and knives are required!
Served with a side of fruit and cheese and some syrup or yogurt for dipping, it’s the perfect lunch for a bunch of hungry hooligans.
- Slices of bread
- Powdered sugar
- Maple syrup
- Winter-themed cookie cutters
- Frying pan
To make our french toast, I first let the bread sit on the cutting board while I prep the rest of the ingredients. This allows it to dry out a little, as slightly stale bread is better for making french toast than fresh, squishy bread. If your bread is too fresh, it tends to become a little soggy when you fry it. When it's ready, cut out your shapes.
To make your egg and milk mixture, you need to get the ratio right. Years ago, I used to wing it, but sometimes the toast would be too soggy and sometimes it would be too eggy. I've found the perfect ratio is a 1/4 cup of milk for every egg you're using.
For my gang, I use 2 eggs and a 1/2 cup of milk. I always whisk in a pinch of sugar, because as your french toast cooks the sugar will caramelize in the frying pan, giving your toast a nice, crispy and brown crust.
Melt a generous dollop of butter in the pan over medium heat. You want your bread to slightly sizzle when you place it in the pan.
The secret to frying French toast perfectly is to go slowly. If the outside of your toast browns too quickly, the inside won’t have a chance to cook through, and you'll be left with limp and soggy toast. I cook my French toast for a good five minutes on the first side, lowering the heat a bit if things seem to be moving along too quickly. When it’s golden brown, I flip it over and let the other side cook to a similar result.
When your French toast is beautifully brown and crispy on both sides, you’ve achieved perfection, and it’s time to eat!
Because we were in a wintery mood, I sprinkled a little icing sugar on all of our french toast shapes so they’d look like they’d been dusted with fresh snow.
Then I drizzled them all with real maple syrup. Mmmm… Delicious. Our first wintery lunch of the season!
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