Last year Grant and I took a few days and visited one of our favorite spots in the U.S. - Marco Island, Florida. Marco is a beautiful island south of Naples on the Gulf side of Florida. If you visit after Easter, you practically have the beach to yourself on the weekdays. Unbelievably beautiful. Wanna see some pics?
We ate breakfast twice at a little place called Nene's Kitchen. First visit, the waitress talked me into trying the Crunchy French Toast. Pleasant surprise. The second time back, I ordered the same thing. Which I normally wouldn't do on vaca. But it complies with my "Food Rules" as Brooke calls them:
Rule #1: No ordering the same thing twice (while on vaca), unless it's unbelievably amazing, or you are trying to figure out how to make it at home.
Rule #2 No ordering the same thing as your dining partner (EVER). I'll spare you and stop at rule #2.
Following rule #1, we tried about 10 different flavors at this delectable little cupcake shop-
Simply Cupcakes of Olde Marco. My favorite? The Key Lime Cupcake. Still on a quest to re-create. That's another post....
When I returned home, I wanted to re-create the dish, and not by mistake (bc I don't believe in those, that, whatever) my friend Jo made this yummy stuffed french toast for a neighborhood breakfast. I'm not usually a fan of stuffed french toast, but this recipe was not too rich, and had the crunch I loved at Nene's. Here it is, revised a little. I'll print it as Jolene made it, and also with my alterations. Oh, btw, when Jake was a baby, he called Corrine "Neenee". Prob bc we always called her Corriney. Hence the reasoning behind trying this restaurant.
There are no mistakes. Even at breakfast.
This would be yummy for Easter Brunch. This weekend. Remember? You are cooking Easter brunch/dinner, right? Yes, I'm talking to you.
One last thought.
Just say no to prepared food at Costco.
Crunchy Coconut French Toast
For stuffed french toast:
1-8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
8 slices white bread, thick slice or dense white (Jo used Granny Sycamores)
Mix together and spread a little (1-2 tablespoons) between two slices of bread.
If you want to make the french toast without stuffing the slices of bread, simply cut out the step above.
For coating bread:
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup crushed cornflakes
1 cup loose packed coconut
Beat eggs, milk and vanilla in a pie plate.
Mix the crushed cornflakes and coconut in a separate dish.
Dip bread into the egg mixture and then the cornflake mixture.
Heat a griddle to medium - medium high heat and coat lightly with butter or spray with PAM.
Fry the bread pieces on griddle until lightly browned on each side. Do not pat down. Do not turn more than once. Watch carefully so coconut does not burn. Keep slices warm in oven till serving.
Serve with Cinnamon Syrup.
Jo's Cinnamon Syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup heavy cream
Stir together everything except the cream. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over moderate heat and boil for 2 minutes. Syrup will thicken as it cools. Remove from heat and stir in cream.
Makes 1 1/3 cups, store in fridge.
-When I asked Jo for this recipe, she ran the recipe over with a loaf of Great Harvest Cinnamon Swirl Bread. I tried it with the Cinna-Swirl and loved it. As stated above, Jo used the Granny Sycamore White bread. I loved that as well. She made a tray of the stuffed version, and cut the pieces into triangles (fourths of a slice). Usually, I'm not interested in touching a piece of french toast that is not piping hot, but this was really yummy. If you are serving this to a crowd, double the recipe and place the slices in the oven until ready to serve. Slice the pieces in half or fourths, serve with a bowl of Cinnamon Syrup in the center of a platter.
-You could also make this ahead of time and "stuff" the pieces of bread, dip and coat with crumbs, arrange in a single layer on cookies sheet or 9x13 pan. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready to cook, remove from fridge, and cook as directed.
-Always serve with home made syrup, this will give your french toast, waffles or pancakes the WOW factor :)