A delicious breakfast treat for the holidays: Cherry Peanut Butter-Stuffed French Toast
For me, french toast evokes memories of my childhood. It’s what I always asked for when my Mom would make me breakfast in bed for my birthday. (Love you Mom!)
A young Tony Finnestad tucks into some birthday french toast.
While my Mom’s recipe didn’t include stuffing it with White Chocolate Cherry Peanut Butter
and topping it with Cherry Preserves
and Cherry Granola
, it was still one of my childhood favorites. So this is her recipe with a Cherry Republic twist!
When it comes to french toast, all too often, what should be a delightfully-golden brown crusted, fluffy, soft-in-the-middle, custardy treat ends up being a soggy, limp piece of syrup-drenched sponge. This delicious recipe is a guide to better French toast.
Best of all: it can be made ahead of time to accompany a large group. Be patient with the sautéing process and make sure to achieve the golden brown crust. Then you can refrigerate these slices and bake the morning-of for a quick breakfast!
For the Batter
- Whole Eggs, room temperature – 4 Each
- Egg Yolks, room temperature – 3 Each
- Half-and-half – 2/3 Cup
- White Sugar – 2/3 Cup
- Vanilla Extract – 1 teaspoon
- Ground Cinnamon – ¾ teaspoon
- Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread – 12 slices
- Butter – 2 Tablespoon
- Vegetable Oil – 1 Tablespoon
1. Our first step is to crack the eggs and egg yolks into a bowl.
Because this recipe is quite simple and has few ingredients, the quality of each of them is very important. Try to use the freshest, best quality eggs you can get your hands on. I recommend using the eggs at room temperature because it will help soften the egg yolk and will allow quicker whipping and greater volume.
2. Next we’ll add the half-and-half, sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon.
3. Whisking is our next step; and is quite important as well.
Whisking serves multiple purposes; it helps to blend ingredients together, but also helps incorporate air into the batter, which will result in a lighter, fluffier end result. Using egg yolks in addition to whole eggs will also help to create a foamier batter.
4. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. When pan is hot, add the vegetable oil and butter and melt.
5. When I think of bread for French toast, I immediately think of Challah; the shiny, golden-brown braided egg bread you see at the store. But when I saw this cinnamon pull-apart bread at the grocery store, I couldn’t pass it up!
The bread you should really try to avoid for French toast is plain, white bread. It isn’t sturdy enough to stand up to either the soaking or cooking process.
6. Next, we’ll dip the bread into the batter and let it soak for a bit. Soaking too long will leave you with soggy French toast; not enough soak time will result in a dry interior. Dip each slice of bread into batter and allow it to soak for 30 seconds per side.
7. Allow excess batter to drip off of the bread before placing it into the pan. Because we allowed the bread to soak on both sides, we aren’t as concerned about all of the batter being retained.
8. Place the bread into a non-stick pan and give it a gentle shake to be extra sure it doesn’t stick to the pan.
Sauté in pan until golden brown, flip and repeat on each side, about 3 minutes each. This step requires some patience to be sure you achieve the correct consistency on each side!
9. While cooking the second side, grab your White Chocolate Cherry Peanut Butter.
10. When golden brown, remove from pan and place on plate. Add the Cherry Republic White Chocolate Cherry Peanut Butter to the top side of the first slice, and immediately top with the second slice so the peanut butter melts.
11. Top the second slice with the Cherry Preserves and sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
Our new Chocolate Cherry Jam and Cherry Fudge Sauce were also a hit when we sampled them with the group. A light dusting of brown sugar works well also, and a sprinkle of sugar in the raw adds a nice crunch.
12. Finish the dish by topping the second slice with our Triple Cherry Granola and a light drizzle of our Cherry Syrup.
That's it! All you have to do now is savor the deliciousness!
A couple of other points though. In the past I’ve cubed and sautéed left-over French toast to use as croutons for yogurt or oatmeal. I've also used these sweet slices for a delicious French toast bread pudding.
Remember that French toast doesn’t always have to be sweet! There are plenty of savory options as well. You can leave out the sweet ingredients and make a fantastic sandwich with French toast slices. It's great with ham, gruyere, Cherry Artisan Mustard
, spinach and a fried egg, or thick-bacon, Cherry Honey
, Manchego, and apples.