I’ve changed my wife Molly’s mind about French toast. She was never really a fan of it in the past, but she’s come around to enjoy the variations I make, including this incredibly simple and quite robust version that uses croissants and bakes in the oven in just 10 minutes. (I find baking French toast, in lieu of frying it in a skillet, is a much more efficient way of evenly cooking and slightly browning all the pieces at one time.)
I recently found a recipe similar to this one while browsing cookbooks with my mom in Indigo Books on John’s Island, S.C., one of our favorite independent bookstores in the South and one we always visit while vacationing in the lowcountry at nearby Kiawah Island. When I got home from the coast, the croissant French toast was still in my mind, so I made it for a sweet weekend brunch just for me and Molly, taking liberties to make it my own, as we tend to prefer in the #FoodieScore kitchen to simplify more complex recipes.
We found that the croissants, which we’d never used in this way before, make French toast more buttery and much more filling. To take it a step further, I incorporated almonds into the toast and the syrup, something the original cookbook recipe mandated. It adds an extra nuttiness that we enjoyed but is entirely optional. So, if you want to step up your French toast game another notch, almonds or not, here’s an idea. Enjoy! The idea is borrowed, but all the specifics are from my own kitchen testing.
Baked Croissant French Toast
What You Need
3 large croissants
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)
What You Do
1. In a large bowl, mix eggs, milk and vanilla.
2. Split croissants in half, then thoroughly coat each piece on both sides with the egg mixture. I like to press them firmly into the egg mix and then rotate and repeat on the reverse side, but I don’t leave them sitting in the eggs because that will quickly make the bread quite soggy.
3. Place each piece on a greased baking sheet. I like to cover my sheets in foil and coat with a cooking spray to cut down on mess and cleanup. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for about 10 minutes.
If you want basic croissant French toast, that’s all there is to it! Just top with syrup and/or dust with powdered sugar, and you’re good to go. If you want to add the almond touch, use a food processor to pulverize your almonds and then whisk them into the egg mixture before dredging your croissants. You’ll add a slight extra nuttiness, as I said previously. This step is completely your choice.
If you REALLY LOVE almonds, you can also make a simple almond syrup by pulverizing another 1/4 cup of almonds in your food processor, then blending in 1/2 cup of maple syrup, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract and a dash of cinnamon. You can even make this syrup with almond flavor and skip the almonds in the egg mixture, if you prefer.
#FoodieScore Pro Tip: Heat your syrup for about 10-15 seconds in the microwave or for a few minutes in a safe position atop your warm oven for an added warmth for your French toast. That also works well, of course, for pancakes and waffles!
This recipe yields three half-croissant pieces of French toast each for two people, six slices in all.
Molly said something about living in a bed-and-breakfast inn after eating this French toast. That was all the endorsement I needed to share this recipe with you. Bon appétit!