Grandpa Pat was visiting for a few days and we had only a few hours in the morning before we had to drive him to the airport. I wanted his final breakfast with us to be special, but I just hate getting up early on the weekend! Crunchy Snickerdoodle French Toast was a perfect fit. It is made the night before and baked crunchy in the oven in the morning.
It’s pretty easy the night before as well! Start by buttering your pan …
... and slicing your French bread into ¾-inch slices. I like to slice mine at an angle – it makes a pretty shape and there’s more surface area, too.
Then mix up the fat-free half and half, eggs, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon with a whisk.
Now, crush the flakes or cinnamon cereal -- use a cereal you like because there’s quite a lot of it on the finished French toast. There are many ways to achieve this task. The standard way is to put the cereal into a sealed plastic bag and roll on it with a rolling pin, or just smash it with the side of your fist. For some reason I thought it would be just as simple to put it into the container I was using for dipping and smash it with my fist. Ouch! The flakes were so crispy they were sharp! So I used my potato masher to do the job. This worked fine and I saved using a plastic bag.
At this point you simply dip, roll and sprinkle. Give the egg and half and half mixture a good whisking as it may have settled a bit.
Now, dunk the bread into the liquid mixture and let it soak. My bread was relatively moist so it needed about 10 seconds to absorb the liquid. Drier bread may soak up liquid fast, so do your best to gauge how long to soak your pieces so you don’t run out of the half and half mixture.
The next step is to roll the dipped bread into the crushed cereal. I used my left hand to pull the bread out and my right hand to pile the cereal on so that the slices were well-coated. That keeps crumbs out of your dipping bowl, too, since your right hand is the only one in the cereal!
As they’re done, simply place them on the prepared pan.
Last step the night before is to cover the pan with plastic wrap and pop it into the freezer. The whole preparation took only 15 minutes. This was especially nice because it didn’t take much time away from our last evening with Grandpa.
The next day …
Good morning! Wake up and set your oven to preheat to 425˚F. while you get ready for your day. In about ten minutes or whenever you and your oven are ready, take your pan out of the freezer, remove the plastic wrap, and put it in the oven.
As the French toast bakes, you can set the table, cut up some fruit, make some coffee or tea (don’t forget you likely have some extra half and half), and get the syrup and butter ready. Sometime during the 15-20 minutes, give the slices a flip with a spatula. The cereal keeps them from sticking so they’re easy to get under.
When they’re baked and nicely browned and the kitchen smells divine, pile them up on a plate and call the troops for breakfast!
Then sit back and watch everything disappear!
Besides the fun crunch and the cinnamon sweetness, I loved that all the dishes except the pan could go right into the dishwasher before we left for the airport. All the other dishes I need to hand wash were done the night before when I prepared the French toast. All this, and I didn’t need to wake up before 8 A.M.!
If you try this Crunchy Snickerdoodle French Toast, I’d love to hear your comments. Let me know how you crushed your cereal – maybe you have a better idea to share!
Check back in a few days when I make a spicy African Chicken Peanut Stew to ward off the winter chill. Liz is paid to write for the Land O’Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.