Sunday, May 16, 2010
Cinnamon Almond Crusted French Toast Recipe
In the fall I like to make pecan crusted pumpkin french toast topped with a dollop of maple whipped cream. It's almost more of a dessert than a breakfast. I wanted something lighter for the summer months, so this morning I experimented with cinnamon almond crusted french toast. Please excuse my pic of breakfast, above, as I am certainly not a food photographer, haha. The little white lumps are powdered sugar. As an afterthought i'm sure breakfast could have done without it.
Here's what you need to make this:
*a sturdy skillet
*plastic ziplock/freezer bag
*rolling pin or other suitable almond smasher (for the fun part, you can even get the kids involved)
*several slices of your favorite bread. (I use Milton's Whole Grain Plus bread-it has lots of fiber and a good supply of iron, which I need, because I struggle with chronic anemia.)
* eggs, I used about half a dozen for 7 slices of french toast
*a splash of milk to mix with your eggs to make them nice and fluffy
*a handful of almonds
*Smart Balance margarine sub, or whatever type of butter/margarine you use
Now, here's what ya gotta do:
1. Put your almonds in a sturdy, sandwich sized freezer bag. Don't close it because then it will probably pop while you are trying to crush your almonds. Lay your freezer bag flat on the counter, try to lay the almonds in one flat layer. Now take your rolling pin and crush your almonds, still inside the bag. Beat them, roll over them, just make sure they are in small chunks with some that are almost powdered.
2. Pick up your bag of almonds and shake a little cinnamon in for flavor. As much or as little as you like. Shake the bag all around to mix the cinnamon and almonds together.
3. Get a small dinner plate and pour your almond/cinny mixture out in a flat layer on your plate.
**At this point you may want to turn the heat on under your skillet to medium-high. not too high, not too low. You want your skillet nice and warmed up for when you put your french toast in. If you have a good nonstick skillet, you may not need any butter or margarine. If not, throw a small dollop of Smart Balance margarine sub in there to add a nice buttery flavor and keep your french toast from sticking.
4.Take a small, shallow dish that is big enough to fit your bread slices in and crack some eggs into it. Add some milk, a bit of vanilla and a sprinkle of cinnamon to your liking. Beat your eggs until they are light, fluffy and yellow.
5. Take your slice of bread, and immerse each side in your egg mixture. Make sure that you get the whole thing covered in egg.
6. Now, take your egg drenched slice of bread and press each side into the almond/cinnamon mixture. Make sure the bread is covered with yummy pieces of almond and flavorful cinnamon.
7. Lay your bread in the hot skillet. Keep an eye on it and flip it when it is a nice golden brown. I can't even tell you how long, you just have to practice a few times and get a feel for it. Cook on the second side until golden brown and crusty.
Note: This french toast is very rich, I only make one crusted piece per person. I pile their plate nice and high with regular french toast (same recipe sans almond mixture step) and then top it with 1 slice of crusted french toast.
You can serve this with butter/margarine/Smart Balance/whatever you use, and some maple syrup, or even a fresh berry reduction and a dollop of freshly whipped cream. If you use the bread and stuff that I did it has a good amount of iron and fiber, and it also has some added vitamins and minerals. It will have kind of a chewy, grainy texture. I love it this way but if you are a white bread kinda person it may take some getting used to.
I am eating this for breakfast this morning, even while I do my Biggest Loser contest. I love modifying recipes to make them healthier.
**If you have an aversion to egg yolks, just use egg whites (no yolks) in your egg mixture.