Nothing beats the smells of something sweet and warm wafting from the kitchen on a weekend morning. This decadent French toast is sure to be a welcome treat for your family. It’s got all the best elements of classic French toast — eggy carbs, sizzling butter, cinnamon-kissed sweetness — but turns it up a level by swapping the usual maple syrup for an ooey, gooey praline sauce.
If you’re unfamiliar with praline sauce, it’s a luxurious treat that hails from the South and it’s pretty much praline candy in liquid form. It’s made by mixing melted butter with brown sugar and warm baking spices like cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg, along with a generous splash of bourbon for nutty depth. Once slightly thickened, chopped walnuts and heavy cream are stirred into the mixture to bring it all together.
Don’t just limit this praline sauce to French toast. Drizzle it on vanilla or coffee ice cream, dunk apple slices into it, spread it on crepes or even spoon it over slices of cheesecake or pound cake.
For the French toast, we like to use slices of Texas toast, which are sturdy enough to keep their form when dunked in the egg custard. Plus, they caramelize wonderfully. You can also use challah or brioche — just be sure to cut whatever loaf you use into thick one-inch slices.
While this recipe generously feeds four to six people, it’s equally fun to double it and turn it into a brunch dish for a crowd. For even easier eating, make French toast sticks by cutting each bread slice into three pieces and serving them with the praline sauce for dunking.
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 3-4 tablespoons bourbon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups unsalted walnuts, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 12 slices Texas toast or any 1-inch-thick bread slices
- 4-6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 4 tablespoons dark brown sugar, divided
- whipped cream, for serving
- powdered sugar, for serving
For the Bourbon-Praline Sauce:
Place a medium saucepan over medium heat and add in butter. Once the butter is melted, stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, bourbon and vanilla extract. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes while continuing to whisk.
Once the sauce has slightly thickened, stir in the walnuts. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream. Set aside for serving over the French toast. If the sauce is too thick upon serving, stir over heat for 30 to 60 seconds to loosen the consistency.
For the French toast:1.
Preheat the oven to the warm setting or 200 F to 250 F.2.
In a large casserole dish or bowl, whisk the eggs, half and half, vanilla extract, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk together until there are no longer egg streaks and the batter is evenly combined.3.
Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add a tablespoon of butter. While the butter is melting, dip 2 to 3 slices of bread into the egg mixture and allow it to soak for around 5 seconds on each side.4.
When the butter begins to sizzle, add the soaked bread slices into the pan. Sprinkle each slice with 1 teaspoon brown sugar and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until the bread is golden-brown on both sides.5.
Once the first batch of French toast is are cooked, place them onto a large baking tray and keep warm in the oven. Repeat steps 3 through 5 until all the French toast is cooked.
Serve the French toast warm with the bourbon-praline sauce, whipped cream and powdered sugar.