There are a ton of variations on baked french toast out there, but I was inspired by Sam's version because of its decorative design, and the addition of fruit. I love fruit with my french toast, and normally just throw some on the plate before serving. So, I was excited to see how the fruit and french toast would bake up together.
I love how this dish can be made the night before. I felt so accomplished when I woke up the next morning. It was like I checked something off my to-do list before i even got out of bed.
I made some adjustments...my challah was BIG, so I doubled the eggs to six, and used heavy cream. whenever I make panfried french toast, I normally use half & half or heavy cream, so I figured it should be ok. decadent, but ok. :-)
I used a 10" round baking dish with 1.5" sides. You can use whatever shape dish or pan you have on hand, but the key is that the sides are at least 1.5" high to contain the liquid. 2" would be even better. But to be safe, you could place the baking dish on a baking sheet to catch any overflow. i didn't have any overflow, but it's better to be safe than sorry... no fun cleaning the oven... so use the pan. :-)
If you use another shape dish/pan, simply adjust the arrangement accordingly. Any extra slices can be baked in a separate dish, or panfried. Maybe you'll come up with an even cooler design! I had so much fun creating and constructing this. I felt like a sculptor, because the challah is very malleable once it’s coated in the egg mixture.
People, I couldn't wait to snap the final pic so I could dig in. The fresh-baked aroma was driving me absolutely wild.
a drizzle of maple syrup, a dusting of powdered sugar and wowwww. This is like a pillowy heaven of lusciousness.
Yield: about 3 dozen 2” sandwich cookies
8 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
3/4 tsp. salt
1 egg, room temperature
1 cup almond meal (I use Trader Joe’s. If you can’t find this in your store, grind roasted almonds in a food processor until finely ground.)
3 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup jam, or filling of choice
I've partnered with Five Acre Farms and Our Name Is Farm to spread the word that June is National Dairy Month! Local dairy farmers across the US are having a super hard time because of the low prices of conventionally-produced dairy products. We can help by buying local dairy products, which are almost always higher quality, transparently-sourced, ethically-produced and better tasting!! I feel so lucky that here in NY we have family-run farms and cooperatives like Five Acre Farms supplying us with awesome local dairy items.
I made these cookie cows with super fresh Five Acre Farms eggs. I just love how the farmer's story is inside each egg carton. The "pasture" is made from chives and lantana from my garden. You can get the cookie & icing recipe below.
My love for buying local food whenever possible started about 20 years ago, back when i was living in San Francisco and frequenting the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. It soon became my Saturday am ritual. I'd stay for hours, getting to know the farmers, and eventually i started working there. My meals seemed even more delicious with that added dimension of knowing where my food comes from, and that sense of community that forms when you are connected to the source.
I'm now part of the Amazon Influencer Program, which basically means you can now find a collection of my favorite baking tools all in one place! When you go to my shop, you'll see what I recommend, complete with helpful tips in the comments. I do get a small fee for any items purchased through my storefront. click the button below to access my shop, and feel free to email me with any questions!