Apple Cinnamon French Toast Sticks

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Have you signed up for the 30 Day Fit Family Challenge?  If not, head over to the challenge page and linky up!  You can join us even if you don't have a blog!  Let's make our families healthier together!

I am always very happy to take recipe requests from my readers.  I recently received a request from a mom who said that her son LOVES French Toast Sticks and was wondering if I had a recipe for them.  French Toast happens to be one of my favorite breakfast foods, but I never make it because I do not have a griddle.  As I got to thinking about how I could get around this, I thought maybe it would be possible to do French Toast in the oven.  So I set to work, and this is what came out of my brain.  I hate to toot my own horn, but these are INCREDIBLE!  They take a little time to make if you make them the way I did, but it is well worth it.  For those of you who want something a little quicker, I am providing some time saving tips.  They freeze really well too.  To reheat I just pop them in the toaster oven or the microwave straight from the freezer!  Just a warning, these are laden with butter (especially if you make the brioche from scratch) so if you are watching your calorie and fat intake, this is not the recipe for you!  I can guarantee you, however, that there are no "yucky no-no" ingredients in these French Toast Sticks!  Nope, nothing processed about these!

Apple  Cinnamon French Toast
  • 1 recipe apple cinnamon brioche (see below) or any thick sliced bread like Texas Toast (or you could use a store bought French loaf, anything that can be sliced fairly thick)
  • 1/2 recipe cinnamon applesauce (see below) or 1 1/2 cups store bought applesauce with cinnamon
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks butter, melted
Slice the bread about 3/4 inch thick and then cut each slice into thirds.  In a large bowl (and I mean LARGE), whisk together the eggs, the buttermilk, the applesauce, the vanilla, and the sugar.  CAREFULLY place the bread in the egg mixture and turn to coat, being very careful not to tear the bread.  Allow the bread to soak in the mixture for about 20-30 minutes.  Spray 2 large cookie sheets generously with cooking spray and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Carefully remove the bread (it will be very fragile) from the egg mixture and place it on the cookie sheets, leaving about 1/4 inch between each bread stick.  Drizzle the sticks with half of the butter.  Bake for 1 hour in the oven.  Halfway through baking, remove the sticks, turn them over, and drizzle the other side with the rest of the butter (see, told you there was a lot of butter, I feel like Paula Deen with this recipe)!   You will know they are ready to be flipped when the underside is golden brown.  Serve with maple syrup or just by themselves they are really good!
To freeze for later - flash freeze on cookie sheet then place them in ziplock bags.  This will prevent them from sticking.  To reheat, simply microwave them for 30 seconds to 1 minute or place them in the toaster oven for 2 minutes.  

Apple Cinnamon Brioche - 

The basic Brioche Recipe comes from The Barefoot Contessa but I have adapted it in many different ways because I make Brioche so often.  
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 1/8 cup applesauce from applesauce recipe (or store bought applesauce with cinnamon)
  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. yeast
  • 1 egg mixed with 1 tbsp. milk for egg wash
Place all ingredients (except the egg and milk for egg wash) in the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer and set to dough cycle.  When dough is finished, scrape dough into a buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Place in the fridge overnight.  The next day, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for one hour.  Place a small amount of flour on your countertop.  Lightly knead the dough and then shape into a 6 X 8 inch rectangle.  Tightly roll up the dough and tuck the sides under and then roll lightly to smooth out.  You should have a cylindrical shape.  Spray a loaf pan generously with cooking spray and place the brioche dough cylinder inside.  Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise in a warm place about 2 hours, or until doubled in volume.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Brush the top of the brioche dough with the egg wash.  Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when you tap the top.  Allow to cool completely before slicing.  

Easy Peasy Applesauce
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced (any variety, whatever you have on hand is fine, I used Fuji apples)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. butter
Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan.  Saute over high heat for 1 minute or until the apples start to sweat, the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted.  Turn down to low, cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally for about an hour until the apples are very soft.  Puree in a food processor or using an immersion blender.  Allow to cool completely.  This makes about 2 cups of applesauce.  

To cut corners and save time, use store bought bread and applesauce instead of homemade.  I made this after Daniel went to bed, then stuck it in the freezer for him to have for breakfast the next morning...of course, it made my house smell like absolute HEAVEN so David came sniffing up the stairs and said "I want French Toast for my evening snack!"  David is not usually one for sweet foods but he told me this was the best French Toast he had ever eaten, which is a really lovely compliment from him.  Please let me know if you try it, and what you think!

Until next time, happy and HEALTHY cooking and EATING (even if this meal is full of butter!)


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Brittney said...

looks yummy but this mommy is dieting.. i may try them for my son though :)

alyna said...

Yeah! Something vegetarian! No, seriously, I was looking in your "Labels" and don't see a "Vegetarian" one. Pretty please, for readers like me?

~ Alyna
Better Your Blog

frenchieliza said...

I have created a "meatless (vegetarian)" label at your request! Some of my recipes that contain meat have suggestions on how to turn them into vegetarian dishes. I don't make a lot of dishes that are vegetarian because my husband always wants meat and is grumpy if we don't have meat in our meal. I used to be a vegetarian though, so I know how to transform meat meals into meatless meals! THank you for your comment!
Brittney, yes, there are huge amounts of butter in these, so if you are dieting I wouldn't recommend them, but butter is better for you than margarine!

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