Hello Lovelies! It’s almost Christmas!!!!!! Who else is super excited?!?!?! Honestly my most favorite tradition is one that belongs to my mom. It started when we were younger with her trying new fancy breakfast recipes every year in effort to find the ultimate dessert that would become our family’s traditional Christmas morning breakfast. Needless to say after a few years, or 10, we finally admitted our tradition was trying out new dishes every year.
Right now my mom is in the process of moving into a new house that is, shall we say, not quite finished. In effort to make things a little easier, I thought I would have a new recipe ready that we could make in her kitchen (that is still missing cabinet doors mind you).
When I was studying abroad in Italy for a semester, my mom and aunt came to visit me. Their trip did not get off to the best start as I stepped on both of their toes at least a couple times within the first 24 hours. But it was on the second day of the trip, when we rode the train into Milan, that we stumbled upon a little Italian bakery and things turned around. You see over the semester I had more than indulged my sweet tooth at just this type of establishment (to the tune of 30 pounds of extra weight).. but that’s neither here now there. Being that it was December and the Christmas season is my mother’s favorite time of the year, I was overjoyed to see the traditional Christmas bread of Italy, Panettone! The bakery had mini panettone loafs wrapped in cellophane in a barrel next to the cash wrap and I quickly placed one to the counter as my mom paid the bill. Although they both insisted that neither of them were hungry, I assured them that they must try it as a part of the experience of a Christmas in Italy. I also insisted they must try it the Italian way, live in the moment and tear it open immediately. To this day it is one of my favorite food memories; the warm, sweet, eggy, fruit studded loaf was devoured in a matter of seconds. One of the best things any of us had every tasted and the trip took a turn for the better after that. It was that bread that we have all longed for year after year and once I moved to Houston (home to some of the very best grocery stores and bakeries) I started buying a loaf to take home to mom.
Last week in preparation for my Christmas Vacation I tested out a basic french toast recipe using our favorite holiday bread…. needless to say it was over the top amazing and it fits perfectly into our Christmas morning tradition. Don’t worry I bought my mom a tiny loaf to snack on as well ;).
Panettone French Toast
1.5 Cups of milk (whatever you have will be fine, I actually tried with skim and it was still amazing)
2 Tbsps. vanilla
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
1 Medium loaf of panettone bread, sliced about 1 1/4 inch thick
8 Tbsps. butter
First whisk together eggs, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
Place panettone slices in a shallow baking dish, spaced out in a single layer. Pour egg mixture over bread and let soak 10 minutes. Then flip the slices and soak until soaked through roughly another 5-10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Heat 4 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Fry half the bread slices until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to cookie sheet and place in oven while cooking remaining bread. Wipe skillet, and repeat with remaining butter, oil, and bread. Keep in oven until ready to serve.
Enjoy with family and friends!