Recipe: Eggnog French Toast

While flipping through a recent issue of one magazine (maybe Better Homes and Gardens), I saw an idea for how to use up leftover eggnog from the holidays. Well, there just so happened to be a whole quart of it, unopened, in my refrigerator and I didn’t want it to go to waste, so I made breakfast.

I looked up a recipe for eggnog french toast, since I couldn’t find the magazine article. Many of them called for a lot of eggnog, eggs, and bread, but I decided to just wing it since I was only cooking for three people. In an attempt to lighten up the recipe and cut-down the portion size, I used half eggnog and half skim milk and two eggs. Apple pie spice (a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice — make your own or find it in the grocery store) was added to echo the flavors in the eggnog. I didn’t add sugar because I figured the eggnog would be sweet enough and it wouldn’t need it if syrup was being poured over it, anyway. For extra flavor, I added a handful each of golden raisins and dried cherries.

For the bread, I picked out a very crusty loaf of sourdough from Wegmans that I cut into about nine, 1/2in thick slices, saving the ends for something else. I put the bread in a glass baking pan, poured the eggnog mixture over it, and turned it a few times to let it really soak in. Into the refrigerator it went so the mixture could really soak in overnight.

The french toast was ready to bake this morning. At first, I was going to bake it in the glass tray, but I decided to take it out and put it on a rimmed baking sheet which had been greased with a very little amount of butter. Some of the cherries and raisins had to be rearranged, since most of them fell off of the bread, and I resorted to poking them into the bread so they wouldn’t just sit on top or fall off. I tried heating the oven to 400* F but found that I needed a higher temperature and raised it to 450* F so I could evenly brown the toast. The two trays needed to be rotated so they could brown evenly, and also flipped the french toast after 10 minutes of baking.

In total, the french toast baked for approximately 15-20 minutes and came out golden brown- without a lot of excess fat from frying them in butter on a griddle or in a skillet. I served the french toast with butter, syrup, and a raspberry sauce that I quickly made with only a few ingredients, substituting Splenda for sugar so it would be a little bit more low-cal.

French toast isn’t the best diet food, I know, but I think it was made to be a little bit healthier with my modifications. I don’t feel super full after eating a slice and a half of the french toast with my coffee. I am providing the recipe for anybody who wants to try it. I did not include sugar when I made mine because it was being served with syrup and I don’t like a lot of sugar, but I think it could have used a tablespoon or two of sugar for a little extra sweetness.

Eggnog French Toast

This recipe makes enough for 4 people (2 slices each with 1 slice leftover) or three very hungry people (3 slices each). For a richer taste, full-fat milk can be used instead of the reduced-fat milk. If you don’t have any apple pie spice in your pantry, don’t worry. It is just a combination of cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. For this recipe, use 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon allspice, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.

Ingredients

1 cup reduced-fat milk
1 cup eggnog
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons apple pie spice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 handful (approx. 1/4 cup) golden raisins (optional)
1 handful (approx. 1/4 cup) dried cherries (optional)
1 small/medium loaf crusty sourdough bread

Method

Combine first four ingredients in mixing bowl and whisk. Add dried fruits, if using. Slice bread into 1/2 inch thick slices; the loaf I purchased yielded 9 slices, excluding the two end pieces which can be used for breadcrumbs or something else. Place bread into a glass baking pan and soak with eggnog mixture, flipping to coat. If using the dried fruit, lightly press the fruit into the bread. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, preheat oven to approximately 450* F (your oven temperature may vary!) Remove pan from the refrigerator and place bread slices on a rimmed baking sheet lightly greased with butter. Bake for 8-10 minutes, flip the slices over when golden brown, and bake for another 8-10 minutes until golden brown on the other side. French toast should remain soft on the inside.

For Serving: butter, syrup, or simple raspberry sauce (recipe follows)

Mini-Recipe: Raspberry Sauce

Place 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries in a small pot along with 1/4 cup of water, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, and sugar or Splenda to taste. Bring to boil, drop the heat, and simmer for approximately 10 minutes until raspberries look crushed and sauce is slightly thickened. If desired, strain the sauce through cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve for finer, smoother consistency.