RABANADA

Country Sampler - Christmas Decorating - - INSIDE - RECIPE AND PHO­TO­GRAPH COUR­TESY OF DENISE BROWN­ING OF EASYANDDELISH.COM.

Serves 14 In Brazil, this sweet French toast is served as a Christ­mas dessert or an af­ter­noon snack. For Denise Brown­ing of Easy and Del­ish, Christ­mas­time meant en­joy­ing these sump­tu­ous cus­tardy treats at her grandma’s house. The dish is made dif­fer­ently than its Amer­i­can cousin to give it a much sweeter, crunchier out­side.

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

24 slices stale French baguette, ¾" thick (about 1½ baguettes)

2 cups whole milk

1 ta­ble­spoon pure vanilla

ex­tract

½ to ¾ cup gran­u­lated sugar 4 large eggs, lightly beaten and ho­mo­ge­neous Vegetable oil for fry­ing

½ cup sugar

1 ta­ble­spoon ground cin­na­mon Honey or maple syrup for

serv­ing (op­tional)

IN­STRUC­TIONS

1. Line a large bak­ing sheet with a dou­ble layer of pa­per tow­els. Set aside.

2. Di­vide bread slices be­tween two large, shal­low bak­ing dishes, ar­rang­ing them in one sin­gle layer each.

3. In a jar or pitcher, mix well the milk, vanilla and sugar. Pour the milk mix­ture over the bread slices, dis­tribut­ing the liq­uid evenly over all the slices. Let the bread slices soak for about 20 min­utes, al­low­ing them to ab­sorb as much of the milk mix­ture as pos­si­ble.

4. In a large heavy skil­let, heat about 2" of vegetable oil over medium-high heat un­til the oil is hot enough that it siz­zles.

5. By hand, pick up each one of the milk-soaked bread slices (han­dling them gen­tly) and dip into the beaten eggs, coat­ing both sides and al­low­ing the ex­cess to drip back into the egg bowl. Place the bread into the hot oil, and fry un­til well­browned on one side, about 1 to 1½ min­utes. Flip the bread and cook un­til both sides are golden brown. Care­fully trans­fer rabanada to the sheet lined with pa­per tow­els.

6. Re­peat with the re­main­ing slices of bread, fry­ing sev­eral si­mul­ta­ne­ously if the skil­let is large enough. Be sure to work in batches and do not over­crowd the pan. You may have to lower the heat for re­main­ing batches or cook slices in less time since the tem­per­a­ture will be higher.

7. In a medium bowl, mix sugar and cin­na­mon to­gether. Dredge all sides of the bread slices into the mix­ture. Any ex­cess cooked egg threads can be re­moved be­fore dredg­ing bread slices into the sugar-cin­na­mon mix­ture.

8. Serve warm or at room tem­per­a­ture, by it­self or with honey or maple syrup. Top with ber­ries if pre­ferred.

In the early 20th cen­tury, rabanada was very com­mon in the tav­erns of Madrid, where it was served with jugs of wine.

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