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Recipe

Maple-Bacon Cornbread French Toast

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

French toast made with cornbread is a bit denser and drier than what you’re probably used to, but that makes it all the better for soaking up lots of maple syrup. Plus, it’s far more flavorful than its white bread counterpart, especially when you add bacon to the batter. A candied-pecan and dried-cranberry topping seals the deal.

Ingredients

For the cornbread

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 6 oz. bacon (6 to 8 slices)
  • 6-3/4 oz. (1-1/2 cups) finely ground yellow cornmeal, such as Indian Head Old Fashioned Stone Ground
  • 4-1/2 oz. (1 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted

For the French toast

  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup; more heated for serving
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup chopped candied pecans
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped dried cranberries

Nutritional Information

      Calories (kcal) : 1230
      Fat Calories (kcal): 490
      Fat (g): 54
      Saturated Fat (g): 27
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 5
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 17
      Cholesterol (mg): 390
      Sodium (mg): 870
      Carbohydrates (g): 164
      Fiber (g): 6
      Sugar (g): 94
      Protein (g): 25

Preparation

Bake the cornbread

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350°F. Coat an 8×8-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  • In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to cool. Reserve the bacon fat.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  • Fold in the eggs and sour cream with a silicone spatula until just combined. Fold in the butter a little bit at a time until just combined.
  • Crumble the bacon and fold into the cornbread batter. Transfer to the baking pan and spread the batter evenly. Bake until the top is just starting to brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool at room temperature for about 15 minutes before turning the cornbread onto a rack to cool completely.

Make the French toast

  • With a serrated knife, cut the cornbread into quarters, then slice each piece in half horizontally. Arrange the cornbread cut side up in a vessel large enough to accommodate all of the pieces in a single layer, such as a 13×18-inch rimmed baking sheet.
  • In a 1-quart measuring cup, whisk together the milk, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Evenly pour over the cornbread. Using a pastry brush, brush some of the custard that pools around the cornbread over any dry spots that were missed while pouring. Set aside until most of the custard is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  • Lightly coat a 12-inch nonstick skillet or a griddle with some of the reserved bacon fat, and heat over medium heat.
  • Working in batches, cook the French toast until nicely browned on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side, and adding more bacon fat to the skillet or griddle between batches as needed.
  • Serve the French toast sprinkled with the pecans and dried cranberries, and pass the heated maple syrup at the table.

Make Ahead Tips

The cornbread may be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Wrap tightly and refrigerate.

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