Melissa Clark is one of my favorite food writers and recipe creators and I eagerly await her New York Times Food section articles every Wednesday. Last week, on Christmas Eve, Melissa shared what turned out to be our Christmas morning breakfast and am I glad she did. As Melissa headlined “Girl Scout French Toast: As Good as the Cookies”. Quite honestly, I think she beat the cookies when she adapted a recipe from a friend’s days in the Girl Scouts. (Perhaps not the Samoas, but almost everything else.) Apparently Melissa’s friend nagged and kvetched for so long and so often that Melissa finally caved and made the dish. It should be noted that Melissa is incapable of following a recipe without tweaking it to her own satisfaction and this was the case here too. She upped the egg yolks and cream and she changed the bread from white bread to Challah. She added dark rum and nutmeg. What she ended up with bears some resemblance to an egg nog custard with a topping that resembles crème brûlée.
Melissa Clark’s recipe for Girl Scout (or Crème Brûlée) French Toast
(I halved the recipe with ease.)
2. Spread bread out in 1 layer on a large rimmed baking sheet (about 11 by 17 inches). Pour custard over bread, cover with plastic wrap, and let soak in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. Flip bread slices over once while they soak. This can be halfway through the soaking, or about an hour before baking, whichever is more convenient.
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar and butter. Pour mixture onto another large rimmed baking sheet, using a spatula if necessary to spread into an even layer.
4. Transfer soaked bread to sugared baking sheet, placing slices on top of the brown sugar mixture. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until tops are golden brown and sugar is bubbling.
5. Serve immediately while still hot, with the crunchy brown sugar side up, spooning more of pan syrup over the top.