Fun and freezer friendly! These crunchy french toast sticks from my sweet friend, the Pioneer Woman’s latest cookbook, Come and Get It are a perfect easy morning snack. And pretty delicious, too! Make and freeze a batch ahead of time and then just grab a few to pop in the oven whenever the mood strikes. I’d say breakfast, but these make a sweet late night treat, too.
Crunchy! That’s what we’re going for. So grab a box of Cap’n Crunch cereal. Crumble it up and use it to help coat these french toast sticks. That’s right… we’re breading some bread with cereal … oh and bread crumbs, too.
So, I’ve been buying this thick Sara Lee Artesan bread lately. I don’t really use it for sandwiches, but for buttered toast it’s awesome and I thought it would work great for these french toast sticks, too. Use a serrated knife to gently saw through the bread. If you slice and press down with your knife, the bread will kind of cinch together along the cuts and lose their squared off edges. This is purely aesthetic, though.
Okay, let’s get going. In a shallow dish, whisk together eggs, half and half, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.
And in a second dish (I’m using one of Pioneer Woman’s pretty little pie plates here btw), add cereal crumbs and panko bread crumbs. That’s right! Double crunch.
Then add more sugar and cinnamon and mix it all together.
Now, get your work area set up. Bread, check! Egg mixture, got it! Crunchy coating, okay! And have a rack ready on a baking sheet. Now this would have been a lot less messy with a helper on hand. Get one if you can so one person can dip and the other can coat.
Dunk and coat with on all sides with egg mixture and then with crumb coating.
Place sticks on a rack set in a baking sheet. This recipe makes 36 sticks … which is a lot for one sitting. So unless you’re feeding a big group, go ahead and place them in freezer bags for a perfect easy-going breakfast.
Or bake a few right away like I did.
Yes and yum yum yum!!! Sprinkle them with powdered sugar and dip them in maple syrup.
Or just stack up some sticks and pour the syrup on top. Either way, you’ll enjoy these sweet sticks!
The Pioneer Woman's Crunchy French Toast Sticks
- 12 slices Texas toast or thick sliced bread
- 6 large eggs
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 cups Cap’n Crunch cereal, crushed into fine crumbs
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- powdered sugar and maple syrup for serving
- Cut bread into three strips each.
- Crack eggs into a pie plate or similar size dish. Add the half-and-half, vanilla, 1/4 cup of the sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Whisk until combined and set aside.
- In a separate pie plate, stir the breadcrumbs, crushed cereal, remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon until combined. Using a fork, stir in the melted butter until the crumbs are slightly moist.
- One by one, quickly and gently dunk the bread strips in the egg mixture, turning to coat on all sides. Then lay them in the dish with crumbs turning and pressing to completely coat on all sides.
- Place the sticks on a rack set inside a baking sheet and flash freeze for 30 minutes to allow the coated surface to set. The transfer them to freezer storage bags in groups and place back in the freezer.
- To bake the frozen sticks, preheat oven to 425 degrees F and place sticks on rack set over a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 - 18 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with warm maple syrup. (NOTE: the sticks baked at 425 were crunchier than I like, so for slightly softer sticks, bake at 375 degrees F for 18-20 minutes.
- Also, if you want to bake them right away without the freezing step, you can bake them at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
And don’t forget to check out Ree’s new book, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! for more easy-to make meals.