Do you have a favorite gift basket you like to put together for Christmas? This is my “go-to” gift basket for family members we see once a year and it makes a great hostess gift too~ Panettone, a sweet Italian bread, along with a bottle Italian sparkling wine, Prosecco!
Wrap it up in a basket or tray with a pretty ribbon, add some red paper shred to nestle it in. I snipped some boxwood sprigs for a little greenery to tuck in that will stay fresh for a week or longer. Add some oranges and a bottle of syrup to enjoy with Panettone French Toast!
If you’re not familiar with panettone, it’s an Italian bread that’s slightly sweet, made with dried fruit and candied citrus peel. You can find it at specialty food or most grocery stores in December.
I look forward indulging in panettone every year and pick up a several boxes for gifts and to enjoy with coffee or tea during the holidays. The size and price of panettone varies. It’s available in individual serving sizes ranging from 3 oz. loaves up to 2 lb boxed loaves. I found mine at World Market for $8.99 for 1 lb 10 oz. loaf.
The flavor and texture of panettone also makes it ideal for bread pudding or French toast.
Panettone French Toast makes a wonderful treat for brunch over the holidays, especially served with a Mimosa!
Making French toast doesn’t necessarily require a recipe, you just need eggs whisked together with some milk, a little vanilla and sprinkling of cinnamon but here are some tips I think make for better French toast.
❄ Use room temperature eggs and milk for consistent and quicker cooking. Use a ratio of one large egg to 1/3 cup milk for a custard-like French toast. A ratio of less milk to egg makes for a more dense and firmer French toast with more egg flavor. For 3 eggs add 1 cup of milk or half and half for about 6 slices of French toast, depending on your bread.
❄ Add a touch of vanilla and cinnamon for some additional sweetness and depth of flavor.
❄ Soak just a few slices of bread at a time, working in batches. Soak only as many slices of bread as will fit in your skillet in a single layer. This will keep the bread from getting too soggy while it waits to go in the pan.
❄ Wipe out your skillet between batches and start each batch with fresh butter.
Panettone French Toast:
Whisk together 3 large room temperature eggs, 1 cup milk or half and half, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, swirling skillet, until foaming subsides. Soak as many slices of bread in egg batter at a time as will fit in skillet, turning, until saturated. Add soaked bread to skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Transfer cooked French toast on a sheet pan and keep it warm in the oven. Repeat with remaining slices of bread wiping out skillet with a paper towel and adding butter as needed.
Serve French toast with dusting of powdered sugar and warm maple syrup.
You can find a dessert recipe for the holidays with a ‘wow’ factor, Panettone Trifle with Orange Curd and Raspberries, HERE.