Cinnamon Caramel French Toast

Well, the day has finally come: I have run out of purse-sized books. I still have at least eight books on my bookshelf that I haven’t read yet, but none of them are small enough to fit in my purse to take on the subway ride to and from work. I know that I should get a Kindle, but for some reason I am not ready to shell out the money for it yet. Plus, I like books. I know that I need to get over that, though – my purse is already stuffed to the brim and a Kindle would really help free up some space in there. Or maybe I just need a bigger purse? Anyway, the book that finally did me in was Children of the Mind. I absolutely loved the the Ender series, and I’m sad that it’s all over! At least I have the Bean books to read, now. Kramer got me a nice hardcover edition of Ender’s Shadow, so I’m excited to break it in. In the meantime, does anyone have any pocket-sized book suggestions? I mostly read sci-fi, historical non-fiction, and auto-biographies. I bet you guys didn’t realize how cool I was until just this very moment.

Speaking of sci-fi, it’s almost Valentine’s Day! I can’t think of a more romantic way to start the day than to serve your loved one this scrumptious Cinnamon Caramel French Toast. I used brioche bread, of course, and while you can use any other bread (I ended up using a few pieces of sourdough when I ran out of brioche), brioche is sweet, fluffy, and beyond delicious. It’s the perfect vessel for the cinnamon caramel, too. I used a cookie cutter to cut my bread into heart shapes, but if you’re not one for that sort of flair, it’s completely unnecessary. I’m sure that your significant other will still love you if you serve him or her square French toast. Did I mention that I loved the caramel on this French toast? I made it the usual way, but then brushed the cooked French toast with a butter, sugar, and cinnamon mixture, then baked it in the oven for a few minutes to make it nice and bubbly. The result was an ever-so-slightly crispy caramel crust on top of sweet, fluffy brioche French toast. Happy Valentine’s!


Cinnamon Caramel French Toast
Your ingredients.

Cinnamon Caramel French Toast
I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make my French toast a little more festive!

Cinnamon Caramel French Toast
Combine the milk, eggs, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Cinnamon Caramel French Toast
Dip the bread in the egg mixture, then cook over medium-high heat until golden on both sides.

Cinnamon Caramel French Toast
Combine the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl.

Cinnamon Caramel French Toast
Generously brush the cooked French toast with the butter mixture, then bake in a 450 degree F oven for 2-3 minutes, until bubbling.

Cinnamon Caramel French ToastCinnamon Caramel French Toast
Be sure to top it all off with plenty of syrup and powdered sugar!

Cinnamon Caramel French Toast
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
 
Ingredients
French Toast
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 8-10 thick slices of brioche (or other bread - but brioche is the best)
Caramel Topping
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • syrup, powdered sugar and/or fruit, for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Whisk together the milk, eggs, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Dip the bread into the egg yolk mixture and allow to sit for a minute or two, soaking up the egg mixture on both sides.
  2. Spray your pan with non-stick spray or melt a little butter in the pan. Heat over medium-high and when the pan is hot, add in the soaked bread. Cook on one side for about 3 minutes or so, until golden, then flip and cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes or so, pressing down on the bread with your spatula a bit so it cooks through. When cooked, place all of the French toast on a lined baking sheet.
  3. Mix together the butter, brown sugar, and extra cinnamon. Brush the tops of the French toast with the butter mixture (don't be afraid to generously coat the bread with it). Place the pan with the coated toast in the oven and bake for 2-3 minutes, until bubbling and caramelized. Remove from the oven and serve with powdered sugar, syrup, and/or fruit.

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39 Responses

  1. Julia S. says:

    Sydney,
    Have you read “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R.R. Martin? The first book is “A Game of Thrones” and I would highly recommend it. I just started the series but they are making it into an original HBO series that comes out in April….so that means it has to be good, right?

    Also, I’ve watched your progress with recipes over the years and you are tackling some pretty ambitious stuff these days! Everything looks great! I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

    Julia

  2. Margaret says:

    Cute pancakes! Did you know that you can mix the cinnamon in with some sugar and then add the eggs so that you don’t have cinnamon only floating at the top of the batter when you dip the bread in? I learned that recently. It’s a cool tip!

  3. Anthony says:

    “In the meantime, does anyone have any pocket-sized book suggestions?”

    I read a lot of science-fiction and fantasy, but most of the material I like best is out of print. (Genre literature has a horribly short shelf-life) For some reason, though, I suspect New York City has at least one good used bookstore… πŸ˜‰

    Anyway, Barbara Hambly has written some great fantasy works. I’d recommend “Those Who Hunt The Night” (Edwardian vampires and espionage. Great story). If you like mysteries, her series featuring Benjamin January (1830s New Orleans) is very good. The first book is “A Free Man of Color.” Oh, and “Bride of the Rat God,” a fun fantasy-horror story set in 1920s Hollywood.

    Lawrence Watt-Evans wrote “The Misenchanted Sword.” A delightful story.

    For more traditional sci-fi, you can’t go wrong with Asimov’s “Robot” series. The first is “The Caves of Steel.” There’s also CJ Cherryh’s “Chanur” series, starting with “The Pride of Chanur.”

    Given their age, I bet you’ve read a lot of these, but just in case… :)

    • Sydney says:

      @Anthony: Thanks for the suggestions! I can’t really get into fantasy, but I love sci-fi (it’s a fine line but it’s definitely a line, right?) My husband always makes fun of me for having such specific tastes in books. I’ll bet I can find these in NYC (or at least used book places on Amazon). I’ll let you know if I pick any up!

      @Lisa: Thank you very much! It was Kramer’s idea! :)

  4. Lisa says:

    These look amazing! I love the heart outline in the powdered sugar, such great presentation.

    It’s fantasy, not sci-fi but I highly recommend The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It’s available in mass market and trade, one of which should fit in your purse =) I’m currently rereading it in anticipation of his new book coming out next month and it is even better than I remember.

  5. Skye says:

    If you like reading about space, I enjoyed “Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8″ (nonfiction)- it’s a little propaganda-y, but really interesting.

    This recipe looks amazing and I think I’m going to try making my own brioche for it! Wish me luck.. haha. :)

    • Sydney says:

      @Skye: I like propaganda type stuff – it just makes it more interesting, knowing someone is trying SO hard to convince me. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the suggestion and good luck with the brioche! We made our own, too, but I didn’t like the recipe, so when I find one I like, I will share it with you!

      @Emily: Thanks for all of the books – I’m going to go crazy on Amazon!

      @Nina: Thank you so much!

  6. Emily says:

    YUM!

    I loved the Ender books, too, and here are some other good ones: Remnant: Population by Elizabeth Moon; The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis; The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin; and The Gate to Women’s Country by Sheri S. Tepper. I’d recommend most everything these ladies have written (I’m pretty loyal once I find an author I like), but beware: everyone but Willis also has a large fantasy catalog. For some reason most of my favorite male writers are almost exclusively fantasy.

  7. Nina says:

    Ohhh, Sydney! Your french toast looks amazing and decadent. Perfect for VD…nicely done!

  8. Emily says:

    This sounds so delicious, except I will be making it completely for myself.

    As far as Kindles, I am totally opposed to them so I say go for the bigger purse.

  9. I got a Kindle for a gift. Although I didn’t want it to begin with and still am anti-technology for reading, it is extremely convenient and very easy to read from.

    This french toast looks so delicious, I am loving caramel anything these days!

  10. Jane M says:

    When are we going to see pix of your new kitchen?!!!

    I love love LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE my Kindle! Cannot put it down – have read in the LAST YEAR more books than EVER before! I would not, could not, live with out my Kindle and highly HIGHLY RECOMMEND this gadget! Oh and reading in bed – it’s just REMARKABLE! Go check them out in Staples! I got mine through Amazon.

  11. Anthony says:

    I don’t know why I forgot these, but Fred Saberhagen’s “Berserker” series is a science fiction classic, as is Larry Niven’s “Ringworld.”

    • Sydney says:

      @Anthony: How dare you forget! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for letting me know.

      @Jen: I do like writing in my books, that’s a good point. I’ve read basically everything by Kerouac, but I will check out the others. Thank you!

      @Miss: I am slowly being convinced by all of you! I will definitely look into The Hunger Games, it’s been suggested to me a few times now!

      @Leli: I haven’t yet, but I will definitely check it out now!

  12. Jen says:

    The french toast looks amazing! And I’m off for three days!
    I don’t have a kindle and I don’t plan on getting one, I like books too much and I like writing in my books too.
    I like some historical non-fiction like “The Dharma Bums” and “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac, “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer, “Black Elk Speaks” by John G. Neihardt, that’s all I can think of off the top of my head.

  13. Miss says:

    Oh, you gotta get a Kindle, they are the best things since sliced bread! I read a lot of different kinds of books, have you read The Hunger Games series? I read them on my Kindle, so I’m not sure they will fit in your purse, but worth reading. Also The Help, it’s the best book I’ve read in a couple of years. And of course your french toast looks lovely!

  14. Leli Wiggins says:

    Oooo i love Orson Scott Card!! Did you read Ender in Exile??? here is a link you where you can read it from: http://librius.net/b/18972/read

    happy reading!

    btw these french toast look so amazing, my mouth is watering. lol

  15. Lexie says:

    as someone who loathes “Valentine’s Day”, I really appreciated your “speaking of sci-fi, it’s almost Valentine’s Day!” segue — so true!

    • Sydney says:

      Lexie: Thank you – I’m not big into the holiday, either, except for giving me more reasons to make tasty food!

      @Michelle: Thanks! I think either way, I need a bigger purse! πŸ˜‰

      @Dena: I’m not so much into fantasy, but if you agree with Anthony, I’ll have to check out some stuff by Hambly!

  16. Michelle says:

    Very pretty way to begin the day.
    (If I may weigh in on the kindle…. I think you just need a bigger purse. LOL I can’t bring myself to give up the joy of holding a book in my hands and leafing through its pages. I just love the experience of it too much.)

  17. Dena says:

    This looks amazing!

    I second Anthony on the Barbara Hambly books. Those Who Hunt the Night and the sequel, Traveling With The Dead were great reads. I am particularly in love with Don Simon Ysidro.

    If you like more fantasy, The Dragonsbane series was wonderful.

  18. What a lovely way to start the day. At last I have managed to add you to my reading list. Now I won’t miss any more of your lovely posts x

  19. Jen T says:

    Hmm, can’t help out much with sci-fi, but I just read “Cleopatra: A Life” by Stacy Schiff, and I really enjoyed it. To be fair, her life was so dramatic that even a biography seems like fiction, but it was nice to see the story told from a slightly different perspective (not so much on the Roman propaganda, I suppose it was a pro-Cleopatra perspective).

    And Kindles… oh, I see both sides of the issue. I didn’t want one. My grandfather worked for Western Publishing (the company that made Little Golden Books), so I grew up surrounded by books, and I love the smell of ink and paper, and the stiff binding on new books. I couldn’t imagine going electronic, it seems so impersonal. Then my boyfriend got me a Kindle for Christmas this year… eep. So far I really do like it, it’s so much more convenient because even with its sleeve it’s really small (which is nice when I’m also carrying my shoes and lunch and who knows what else to work). And you can buy books immediately, no finding shoes, getting to the store, seeing if they have the book, etc- which is really dangerous. So, as a previously anti-Kindle person, they’re really convenient, and I would probably recommend it.

    Also, cinnamon caramel sounds ah-maz-ing.

    • Sydney says:

      Jen: That’s how I felt about Wyatt Earp’s biography – it was probably a lot of fiction, too. I think I am going to treat myself to a Kindle sometime soon.

  20. Kasia says:

    These sound great! I’m a big fan of breakfast. :)

    I also recommend Name of the Wind by Rothfuss, but I’d also throw in the Miles Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold if you haven’t read it yet. A screamingly good space opera.

  21. Kirsten says:

    *drools*

    Oh man, I loved the Ender books. Ender’s Shadow is great, but the other three in the Bean series kind of lost steam. That, and I think he wrote them around the time that he started attracting attention from the church about his books – the moral questions that I loved in the first ones are very much black and white by the last three. And then he went from there into that awful series on biblical women, and I stopped paying attention.

    Hmm, if you like Card, you may well like Terry Pratchett. The Discworld books are almost uniformly amazing, and each one takes conventional wisdom and turns it on its head in some way.

    You know, I had a chance to play around with a Kindle, and I really didn’t like it. I read really fast, and I like flipping back and forth to put pieces together that I missed the first time through. You really can’t flip on a Kindle, it’s too slow. So I’ll probably stick with books until they create an e-reader that can read my mind. πŸ˜€

  22. Shaina says:

    I just had to thank you for this recipe! I made it for our Valentine’s Day dinner and it was so very delicious. Definitely a keeper! I took your advice and was not afraid to generously coat the caramel topping on. We didn’t even need syrup – it was plenty sweet all on its own! Yum yum yum πŸ˜€

  23. sheryl says:

    Just printed this out and going to fix NOW. I have several end of homemade bread I need to use and this looks like the way to use them. Yummy is right!

  24. french toast + caramel are two of my favorite foods ever. you just made my day.

  25. Sierra Goldstein says:

    Just made these for dinner.. SO YUMMY. Thanks!

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