Apple Chai-Spiced French Toast


One of my all-time favorite seasonings for fall is chai spice – similar to the flavorings used in apple or pumpkin pie, it is a rich mix of cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, with the added zing of allspice and cardamom. A spiced chai latte or iced chai with milk are perfect companions to a crisp fall day spent amongst the colorful leaves.

This weekend, however, I decided to use some chai spice in a more creative way: to jazz up my typical Sunday morning french toast! This recipe also makes use of all those fall apples you might have lying around, and will fill your kitchen with a phenomenal combination of autumn aromas.

Apple Chai-Spiced French Toast

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs Chai Spice
  • 1/2 tsp + a pinch ground cinnamon
  • 6 thick slices French bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter, plus more for serving
  • 3 apples, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • whipped cream and powdered sugar for topping

Whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla, chai spice and a pinch of ground cinnamon in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Add the bread in a single layer, turning until all the egg is absorbed.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter, and add apples and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, stirring to coat until starting to caramelize. Add the water, cooking until water has evaporated and apples are tender, about 4 minutes. Pour in the maple syrup; simmer for a minute to combine.

In a large, heated nonstick skillet or griddle (I like to spray mine with cooking spray to further prevent sticking), saute the soaked bread until golden brown on each side, about 4 minutes. Place French toast on a plate and top with apple-maple mixture, plus whipped cream and/or powdered sugar if you’d like!



Challah French Toast

2014-01-01 10.49.21HAPPY NEW YEAR my faithful, fabulous readers!! I hope Father Time helped you all usher in a fantastic and fun 2014. I, personally, have vowed to make this year the most fit and fabulous one yet (don’t you love the alliteration?? Twenty-fourteen is now officially the year of the ‘F’), and have come up with lots of resolutions to keep myself motivated in the new year — one of which is writing more frequently to you wonderful people! Another is to run a half marathon… we’ll see which one is more successful.

Yet another resolution of mine is to try lots of exciting, new and exotic foods. After all, isn’t that one of the major perks of living in Chicago, the ethnic food mecca?? I decided this resolution will have to wait until tomorrow, however; today, January 1, 2014 would not be the day for New and Exotic. Instead, I elected to make breakfast this morning following the theme of Tried and True. During my first waking moments of the new year I went back to the basics, back to my roots, and whipped up some phenomenal Challah French Toast. This recipe, though a rare treat reserved only for special occasions, is an absolute favorite of mine and it is genuinely simple to make. The braided challah, in my opinion, is the secret ingredient because it is so deliciously fluffy and light (it is even better if you use bread that’s been sitting around a few days, because it absorbs more of the egg batter before cooking). But the richness of the batter and the combination of textures from the crispy fried shell and the slightly sweet, moist interior made it the perfect way to say “Hello” to a florid 2014!

And, if you’re looking for some inspiration for your own resolutions for the upcoming year, check out this great list I found on Pinterest to help get your ideas flowing.

Challah French Toast

  • 12 slices challah, sliced 1 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup lowfat milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • unsalted butter or cooking spray

2014-01-01 10.49.34In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, flour, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Pour the liquid mixture into a shallow baking dish or pie plate. Soak slices of challah in the liquid for about 60 seconds, turning once, until the bread is soaked through on both sides.

Heat skillet over medium heat or griddle to 350 degrees. Grease the surface with butter or cooking spray. Fry the toast in batches, sprinkling a bit of extra cinnamon over the top, if desired, for a fancier look. Let the slices brown on each side for 3-5 minutes.

Plate the French toast with fresh fruit and garnish with powdered sugar.