Luscious Vanilla Orange French Toast
Recently I posted about the panini grill I got by accident, when what I had really wanted was this spiffy 5-in-1 griddle and grill. Although the panini grill was neat, I really did want that multi-tasker (you know, the Word of Alton Brown is “Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Uni-Tasker”), so I exchanged to get the one I wanted. Usually, I’ll just live with it when I make a mistake like that, but I am so glad I didn’t this time! This griddler is really cool and I’ve used it several times already.
Previously, when I made French Toast, I had to heat up a couple of different nonstick fry pans, each of which can only hold 1-2 pieces at a time. So I ended up standing over the stove while everyone else ate (so their food didn’t get cold). The griddler is much more efficient and I can fit many pieces at a time. I was able to get them all done in two quick batches and sit down to eat at the same time as the rest of the family. Plus, they all browned much more evenly than they did in the fry pans. I’ve also used the griddle for pancakes and it was great. The griddle plates are easily scraped with a provided tool and can then go right into the dishwasher. Yay!
So, back to the French Toast. My boyfriend has the biggest sweet tooth on the planet. He pretty much expects to eat something sweet at least once every day, preferably more often. If he doesn’t get some kind of sweet breakfast item on the weekend, he really feels deprived (maybe you noticed the many sweet breakfast items here – cinnamon rolls, pancakes, waffles). Since I had some going-stale-rolls, I sliced them up and went for French Toast this time.
I have this no-fail recipe for French Toast that produces delicious every time, crisp on the outside, soft and custardy on the inside French Toast. After trying lots of tasty-but-never-just-right recipes, I ended up taking a recipe from one place and some techniques from another and have hit upon what we think is the Perfect French Toast recipe! The basic recipe is scrumptious as is, but it’s also easy to customize it with different flavors. This time, we went with orange.
It was a hit! The Man loved it and said the orange made the outer coating seem almost “candy like.” I’m not sure I agree with that, but it was sweet and it was delicious! Definitely serve this with a big glass of icy cold milk and be prepared to ignore calories. Feel free to omit the orange flavoring, or sub something else in there of your choice.
None of these pictures really show how delish this recipe is, but trust me, it’s a winner!
Apple Cake with Maple Frosting
- 1 1⁄2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2⁄3 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups (about 2) Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped (1/3" pieces)
- 1⁄2 cup walnuts coarsely chopped
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3 Tablespoons butter, softened
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄8 teaspoon maple flavoring
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 pinch nutmeg, freshly grated
- 1 pinch salt
- 1⁄2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 inch square baking pan. Dust the pan with flour.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, baking soda and salt; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar and beat a medium-high speed until well blended and light, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla extract, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating it with the buttermilk in two additions and mixing just until blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and stir in the chopped apples and walnuts.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes, until it is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Coo the cake completely in the pan on a wire rack.
- Frost the top of the cooled cake with the maple frosting. Cut the cake into squares and serve it directly from the pan.
- Store in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for up to 3 days; bring the cake to room temperature before serving.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter at medium speed until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract, maple flavoring, spices, and salt. Reduce the speed to low, add the sugar and beat until well blended. Raise the speed to high and beat unti. light and creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Store in a airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Let soften at room temperature before using.
© DontForgetDelicious.com and Valerie Tate Williams