Ever since I became a mum, Christmas means so much more to me. When the girls were little, it was all about waking up early in the morning to open presents. The look of excitement in their faces to this day is pretty priceless.
But as the years have gone by, and although presents will always be a part of our Christmas, it is the moments spent with them, our giggles and our chats, our RuPaul drag race marathons, our Sunday in pjs while having waffles that makes each year something to be so very grateful for. Something to be celebrated.
I love making them breakfast on Christmas morning. After all, so many of our traditions revolve around food, that to celebrate anything without a meal would be impossible. Today I want to share this Winter Spice French toast with you, to have you all set for Christmas day. Best part? You can either prepare most of it the day before and simply bake it in the oven early in the morning, or you can pan fry the slices on the spot.
A few musts when it comes to French toast.
You can certainly use any bread you have on hand, but if you want the best French toast of life, Challah is the bread to use. It has the perfect texture to soak up the custardy batter.
Made mainly with milk and eggs, this is where you can put your own take on this classic by adding different extracts (I love using almond or vanilla extract in mine), and spices. For this recipe, I’ve used an aromatic Winter Spice, and blended all ingredients until smooth using my Vitamix A3500. As far as blenders go, Vitamix is on a level of its own. From blending soups and smoothies, making pizza and pastry dough, this latest model is hands down the best addition to my kitchen.
Topping French toast with maple syrup and fresh whipped cream is how I usually serve mine, but it’s the holidays! So there’s no better way to dress it up than with a fruit sauce, in this case, I’ve made a cranberry maple sauce that’s not only good on French toast but on waffles and pancakes too. You can even use it to top greek yogurt and have it over oatmeal.
I’m excited for you to try this recipe and so happy to be here in Canada for the holidays. Because my parents live in Dominican Republic and some of Gaby’s family lives in Argentina, there’s usually tons of travel involved for us during Christmas time. But this upcoming Monday, we will be staying home in our pjs all day while watching movies and having Winter Spice French Toast for breakfast.
Wishing you a beautiful holiday season and thanks from the bottom of my heart for all the love and support this year.
2018 is going to be amazing. Feliz Navidad!
Winter Spice French Toast
- 1 Challah loaf
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 4 eggs
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- 3 tsp Winter Spice
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 apple cider
- 2 tbsp Cointreau – optional
- 1 cup Greek Yogurt
- 1 cup pecans
To make the sauce, rinse the cranberries and place them in a medium size pan with the maple syrup, apple cider and Cointreau (if using) and set it over medium heat. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring often. Set aside and let cool. (The sauce will thicken a bit more as it cools)
I a blender, whisk the milk, eggs, winter spice, and vanilla extract, place mixture into a shallow pan.
In a frying pan over medium heat, toast pecans for 2 minutes and add 1/2 cup of maple syrup, stir to coat, and once the maple syrup has evaporated. Bring nuts to a sheet of parchment paper and set aside.
Cut Challah bread into 6 to 8 thick slices, and add the slices to the egg and milk mixture. Wait 10 seconds and turn each slice to soak the other side. If making the night before to bake in the morning, place the slices on a buttered baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Just before baking, brush with melted butter.
Bake at 350 F for 12 minutes keeping the foil for the first 10 and leaving uncovered for the last 2. Set your oven to broil and broil for 15 seconds.
If making the same day, pan fry the slices, one by one in a pan with butter set at medium heat. Fry each slice 1 minute per side.
When ready to serve, place one to two slices in each plate, top with spoonfuls of Greek yogurt, cranberry maple sauce, and caramelized pecans. A dusting of icing sugar is always welcomed.
*This post was made in collaboration with Vitamix, however all views, opinions and recipe creation are my own.