French Toast Crostini

August 24, 2019 by Nicole Collins

I had a dream.

No seriously, I had a dream. About today's recipe!

I've told you before that recipe inspiration hits me in the oddest places sometimes. And when it hits me, I have to write the idea down asap before it's gone. That's why I keep a waterproof notepad in the shower.

Most of the time, I end up texting the idea to myself. I've got a whole LONNNNNNGGGGGGG conversation going with myself about recipe ideas, how to fix recipe fails, how to change original ideas, etc. I'd love to say that my mind is a steel trap. And, once upon a time, it used to be. But these days, ideas are gone from my mind as quick as they got there.

So when I woke up out a dream at 3:38am with today's recipe idea, I went into kind of a panic. I keep my phone off and a few feet away from me at night (a habit I picked up many years ago when I had a gentleman caller that liked to call me at 2 and 3 in the morning... but that's a different story for a different day). So, drowsy me with a fantastic idea in her brain snuggled comfortably up in bed was freaking out about how I was going to remember this delicious idea. Because, I was NOT trying to get out of my bed.

As a result, I basically kept myself up the rest of the night chanting this idea to myself so that I wouldn't forget it. And I didn't, thank goodness. But, I would've gotten more sleep had I just gotten up and texted it to myself instead of keeping myself awake willing myself not to forget.

* Eye roll *

The next night, the moment my head hit the pillow, I had another amazing recipe idea. But unfortunately, that one didn't make it. I had just gotten comfortable, wasn't trying to get up, and thought it was a great enough idea that I could remember it 6-8 hours later after a restful sleep.

WRONG!

RIP great idea.

Fortunately for us, today's idea is totally worth losing a few hours of sleep. It's soooooooo good. A twist on a classic!

Today, we're making French Toast Crostini!

Ok, so I'm not really not doing anything ground breaking here. French Toast is French Toast. Or is it?

French Toast made out of French baguette slices is seriously some next level French Toast business!

We start by making a basic custard out of some eggs, heavy cream, a little vanilla, and a pinch of cinnamon for our bread to take a dip in. Whisk it all together, then give our sliced baguette a good soak. Since our bread choice is thicker and a little heartier, we need to make sure the custard has a chance to infuse in the bread so we're not left with a dry mess on the inside. Each slice gets a soak of about 10 seconds per side.

Then, it's time to turn them into toast! Butter a large non stick skillet, drop in our soaked bread, and give them a couple minutes on each side to become perfectly golden brown. I patted my crostini on some paper towels before placing them on my serving tray to get off some of the extra butter, but that step is totally optional.

All good French Toast needs a topper, and ours is topped with homemade vanilla bean whipped cream and some fresh berries. I'm basically obsessed with vanilla bean paste right now (if you couldn't tell); so, of course, our whipped cream had to be studded with little flecks of gorgeous vanilla bean. Dollop the whipped cream right on top of the crostini, top them with the berries of your choice, and you're ready to serve!

This recipe is the PERFECT recipe to serve at a bruncheon or brunch themed bridal/baby shower. Bite sized treats are perfect for parties, and these little crostini are absolutely portable. Plus, you could set up different topping stations beyond the whipped cream and berries like syrup, powdered sugar, hot fudge, or any other amazing drizzles you like to have with French Toast. YUM!!

These are not just party food, though. These pillowy, rich, bites of heaven are suitable for any time the French Toast bug strikes. The chewy baguette really does take French Toast to a new dimension while still adorning all of the classic charms of traditional French Toast.

Alright everyone! That's all I've got for today. I want to know what kind of food you guys dream about too. Send me a message to share!

I hope you enjoy! And, let's eat!

French Toast Crostini

Serves: 24 crostini Print

Ingredients:

For the French Toast Crostini:

  • 3 eggs

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 French baguette, sliced into 1 inch thick slices

  • 2-3 tbsp unsalted butter

  • fresh berries, for serving

For the Whipped Cream:

Directions:

  1. Make the Whipped Cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add heavy cream. Whisk on high for 1-2 mins until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste. Whisk on high for about another minute until stiff peaks form. Set aside in the fridge.

  2. In a wide, shallow bowl, add ½ cup heavy cream, eggs, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. Whisk well to combine, making sure to break up the egg whites completely.

  3. Take one slice of baguette, and dip both sides of the bread in the egg custard mix until completely covered in egg, 8-10 seconds per side. Transfer to a plate, and repeat with remaining baguette.

  4. Melt 1 tbsp butter over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add crostini to the skillet, making sure not to crowd the pan. Cook for 3-4 mins until the bottoms are golden brown. Flip, and cook for an additional 3-4 mins until the other side is golden brown. Repeat with remaining slices, adding 1 tbsp butter to the pan for each new batch. Number of batches will depend on the size of your skillet.

  5. Assemble the Crostini: Place crostini on a serving platter. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh berries. Enjoy!

Recipe notes:

*Since baguette is a thicker, hearty bread, we need to make sure enough custard soaks into the bread so the insides aren't dry. I tested a few different dip times, and 8-10 seconds per side in the custard seemed to be the perfect amount of soak time.

*You can make a batch of these ahead, leave them undressed, and reheat before assembling and serving. To reheat, Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Arrange crostini on the tray, and bake for 10-12 mins until heated through. Of course, French Toast is much better fresh, but the reheated version is still pretty tasty!

*You could make the whipped cream by using a hand mixer instead of breaking out the stand mixer for just ¼ cup cream. It'll just take a little longer. To help speed up the process a smidge, put your bowl and the beaters in the freezer until you're ready to use them so everything is nice and cold when you're ready to whip your cream.

*This could be a fun brunch/bridal/baby shower treat if you turned it into a crostini bar. French Toast topping possibilities are endless. Try serving these with powdered sugar, maple syrup, melted chocolate, and different assorted fruits on top!

*I'm obsessed with vanilla bean paste right now. I really like it, because you get the concentration of an extract but the aesthetics of the little black specks from a vanilla bean. I also really love the sweetness it adds to the whipped cream. You could substitute vanilla extract, if necessary. This is what I use.

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