April 11, 2013

Sweet Vanilla French Toast Sticks

There are certain benefits to being a pantser like me. For one thing, it means most of the things I write or make or create are going to be original. It's like I'm giving myself a surprise, because I often don't know myself how these things are going to turn out. It's a new adventure every time. XD

For another-- and this is especially true of cooking/baking-- it means I have to use the things that I already have on hand. If I don't have something, and I don't know how to substitute it, it means I'm probably not making that recipe. That doesn't mean that I never go out to buy ingredients, but as I'm generally in my pajamas when I start rummaging through the kitchen looking for something to make, and I'm generally too lazy to actually get dressed and go out before I start cooking, it's very rare. Unless the insomnia monster hit and I'm up at 4 in the morning and I'm a wee bit manic and I run to the store right when it opens. Or I'm already going to the store for staples like flour, butter, and sugar.
These French toast sticks are an example of how little I actually like going to the store. I found the recipe for them in Fast Food Fix and saw they used Hawaiian sweet bread. I almost flipped right past it, because Hawaiian sweet bread isn't exactly a staple in my house, and I'm not even sure if the stores around me carry it (the first time I ever even heard of it was when I was in Florida a few years back). I certainly wasn't going to go looking for it.

Then I remembered that I had a box of sweet bread mix that I had nabbed from Wegman's on one of my rare ingredient runs. So I lugged out Max, my bread machine, mixed up the dough, and was able to clear something out of the pantry and make these French toast sticks. Double win.

(Yes, I spent 3 hours making bread so I didn't have to go to the store. What? I said I was lazy)
These French toast sticks are very sweet, and certainly not something I'd make for an everyday breakfast. But for a brunch or special occasion, these suckers are totally winners. Sweet, vanilla-y, with just a hint of cinnamon, and the slight carmelization of the sugar the sticks are dipped in, these are a totally great alternative to doughnuts. Serve with butter and maple syrup, or dust with powdered sugar. These are eminently nommable breakfast treats.

Sweet Vanilla French Toast Sticks {Printable Version}
Yield: 10 sticks

2 eggs
1 tbsp. milk
½ tbsp. vanilla extract
½ cup powdered sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
Approx. 4 oz. Hawaiian sweet bread (2 sandwich-sized rolls)
2 tbsp. butter or vegetable oil

In a wide mouthed, shallow bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix together the powdered sugar and ground cinnamon.

Cut the bread into strips, about 1 inch wide, and ½ an inch thick. Heat the oil or butter in a skillet over medium heat. Working with one strip at a time, dip in the egg mixture to coat completely (but do not soak), and then coat in the sugar mixture. Place the strips in an even layer in the skillet and cook about 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar if desired, and serve warm.

Recipe adapted from Fast Food Fix