Ettie’s Eats: Caramel-Soaked French Toast
Fill up on weekly kitchen experiments, recipes and local cooking tips from our assistant editor, Ettie Berneking.
As Springfield was getting pelted with freezing rain, I decided to drive up to Kansas City, which was getting hammered by a blizzard. After getting stuck in the parking lot of a QuikTrip and having to be pushed out by two bearded, camo-clad truck drivers, I finally made it to K.C. Sure, heading out in the middle of a snow storm might not have been my smartest idea, but I was on a mission. My parents and I had made plans to spend the weekend with my grandparents in Davenport, Iowa, which was also getting frosted with snow.
With cold weather settling over the Midwest, I decided it was the perfect time to make a sinfully delicious breakfast that would warm us all up. While scouring my favorite cooking blogs, I found a recipe for caramel-soaked French toast on the Desserted Planet blog. And while the idea of sugary-sweet French toast is appealing all by itself, I also love that a 417-land native hosts this blog.
As far as French toast goes, this stuff is pretty freakin’ delicious. A bulk of the work is done the night before, so in the morning all you have to do is sprinkle on some cinnamon, sugar and melted butter and then spend the next 45 minutes or so curled up with a cup of coffee. Oh, and put that bottle of maple syrup away. This dish is plenty sweet on its own. The bottom layers of bread resemble a bread pudding while the tops of each bread slice are crisp with a cinnamon-sugar glaze. Among the six of us, we nearly devoured the entire dish. This is one recipe I’ll have to make again soon.
Recipe for Caramel-Soaked
1½ cups brown sugar
¾ cup butter
¼ cup plus two tablespoons corn syrup
One loaf French bread, cut into 10 slices about 1¾ inches thick
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2½ cups half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ cup butter, melted
To Prepare the French Toast:
- Cook the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in a small saucepan, stirring constantly until the mixture starts to bubble. Pour the caramel-y syrup into a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
- Take the sliced bread, and arrange the slices in the pan. It doesn’t matter how they’re arranged, so feel free to place them on their sides or smush them down to get them to all fit.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, half and half, vanilla and salt. Pour over the bread.
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight (at least 8 hours).
- Remove the dish from the fridge 30 minutes prior to baking.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Combine the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle on the bread.
- Drizzle the melted butter over the bread.
- Bake for 45 minutes, serve immediately.