French Toast Day in the Northeast

Yesterday, it felt like spring: sunny and temperatures in the 60’s. This morning, a foot of snow.

The northeast is getting slammed with a fast moving snow storm with high winds, white out conditions and up to 3 inches of accumulation an hour. Good day to stay home if you can. If you can’t, be careful, dress warmly and good luck.

I went to the store early knowing there would be the usual panicked rush for the ingredients for French Toast – milk, eggs and bread – like NYC would be snowed in for a week. The stores were so packed I had to follow a shopper to her car to get a spot. It wasn’t much better inside and it was only 9 AM. A store worker in the bread aisle was staring perplexed at the already half empty shelves. I decided to not go down it was so packed with customers. I had my list and I was a woman with a mission, get what I needed and get out of the chaos and bread wasn’t on my list. I headed back to the dairy aisle for orange juice, coffee creamer and some sour cream. That area was worse than the bread aisle with people loading their carts with gallons of milk and dozens of eggs. It’s quite a phenomenon, really. I managed to get what I needed. At check out, I had less than a dozen items in my basket, so I slipped through to fast check out. The lady in front of me had a cart full of bread, eggs and milk, along with several gallons of water. Though she had more that the limit, it was still on four items, just a lot of them. The clerk didn’t blink, just checked her out as quickly as possible. When the I got to the clerk, the lady had left, the clerk wondered out loud what she was going to make with all that milk, eggs and bread. I smiled and said, “French Toast, of course.” I would have added bacon because, after all, what’s yummy French Toast without a side of crispy bacon?


   5 large eggs plus 2 yolks (or 6 whole eggs)

   2 ¼ cups whole milk

   ½ cup heavy cream (or use more milk)

   3 tablespoons dark rum or orange juice

   2 teaspoons vanilla extract

   ¾ teaspoon grated nutmeg

   ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

   1 loaf challah bread, sliced 1 inch thick, preferably stale (about 1 pound)

   1 cup packed light brown sugar

   8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


   In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, rum, vanilla, nutmeg and salt. Spread bread out in 1 layer on a large rimmed baking sheet (about 11 by 17 inches). Pour custard over bread, cover with plastic wrap, and let soak in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. Flip bread slices over once while they soak. This can be halfway through the soaking, or about an hour before baking, whichever is more convenient.

   Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar and butter. Pour mixture onto another large rimmed baking sheet, using a spatula if necessary to spread into an even layer.

   Transfer soaked bread to sugared baking sheet, placing slices on top of the brown sugar mixture. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until tops are golden brown and sugar is bubbling.

   Serve immediately while still hot, with the crunchy brown sugar side up, spooning more of pan syrup over the top.

Serve with your favorite holiday morning beverage.