from Laurie Burrows Grad*
Grandmothers can help their grandkids make this really fun French toast recipe. The best part is that you assemble the dish the night before and then pop it in the oven on Mother’s Day morning. The whole family will just love it. I love the teddy bear shapes but any cookie cutters will do.
TEDDY BEAR BAKED CHALLAH FRENCH TOAST with RASPBERRY SAUCE
If you don’t have teddy bears, then use whatever large cookie cutters you have in the house to make this delightfully fun breakfast. You can prepare the sauce and soak the bread overnight and bake it in the morning.
- 1 12-ounce package frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 8 slices challah, brioche, or other rich egg bread
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cups 2% low-fat milk
- ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of grated nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoons canola oil
Accompaniments: powdered sugar and warm pure maple syrup
- Prepare the sauce: Combine the thawed raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Pour the sauce into a strainer set over a bowl and press on the berries to get as much sauce as possible. Discard the seeds, place in a covered container, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Cut the bread into 8 shapes with the large cookie cutters. Discard the crusts or dry them out and save them to blend as crumbs. Arrange the bread in a single layer in the bottom of a 9-by-13-by-2 inch baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until smooth. Pour over the bread in the pan. Allow the mixture to soak for 10 minutes. Turn the bread over to soak on the other side. Cover tightly and allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes. You can also refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Brush a large non-stick rimmed jellyroll pan or baking sheet lightly with the oil.
- Allow the raspberry sauce to come to room temperature or warm it very slightly in the microwave oven.
- Using a spatula, carefully transfer the pieces of bread from the soaking liquid to the prepared pan. Bake until the French toast is lightly golden brown and set in the center, about 25 to 30 minutes.
- Serve the teddy bear toasts with the raspberry sauce, powdered sugar, and maple syrup.
* Laurie Burrows Grad is a cookbook author, television chef, food journalist, and activist/fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association. Her cookbooks include Make It Easy in the Kitchen; Make It Easy Entertaining; Make It Easy, Make It Light; and Entertaining Light & Easy. On a personal note, she is the enthusiastic babysitter for her nine-year-old grandson Lucas and his five-year old sister, Georgia.