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Croissant French Toast

June 28, 2011

Croissant French Toast

- Merrill

While I was pondering this week's blog post, it occurred to me that I hadn't written about anything breakfast-y in a while. And for whatever reason, I was reminded of a former brunch staple I used to whip up regularly: croissant french toast. Yes, it's rich. And for this I make no apologies. If you're typically a breakfast purist who enjoys nothing more than a bowl of fat free yogurt sprinkled with toasted wheat germ, this may not be the dish for you -- then again, it just might be! The truth is, it's a special breakfast, not meant for every day (even for those of us who don't gravitate to yogurt and wheat germ), but for an Occasion. You know, like having friends over on a Sunday morning, or seducing a new mate.

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The croissants develop almost unbelievably crisp edges when they're dipped in egg and milk and then fried in butter. I put some fresh orange zest and juice into the batter for the croissants, and then a little Cointreau in with the syrup to keep the orange theme going. A little mascarpone on top is optional, but highly recommended.

Croissant French Toast

Serves 4

  • 2 large croissants
  • 2 large eggs
  • Finely grated zest and juice of one orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup good maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • Mascarpone for serving (optional)

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.


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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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I'm a native New Yorker, Le Cordon Bleu graduate, former food writer/editor turned entrepreneur, mother of two, and unapologetic lover of cheese.


fatima27 March 27, 2012
I have learned a lot because of your unique styles of cooking. Now, I still visit your site. Sometimes I would go to www.goumetrecipe.com or www.gourmandia.com for other ideas. They are great sites as well.
hill2011 July 5, 2011
Nice article. Never thought of using a Croissant! Please check out my French Toast recipe here: http://www.thebestfrenchtoast.com
Risa G. July 4, 2011
I make this once in awhile, for special occasions. I got the recipe from Barefoot Contessa but I have made my own changes to it over the years. I try and use whole grain croissants If I can find them. This is rich and delicious.
Merrill S. July 4, 2011
I bet this would be nice using good whole wheat croissants.
Ushan July 4, 2011
omg - that looks fantastic. I just had a fabulous breakfast but I am dying to run out to our local French bakery and purchase some croissants and make this - hmm maybe I can persuade my husband to run out. Thanks for sharing YUM
Merrill S. July 4, 2011
You're welcome!
teamom July 4, 2011
Where did you get those "croissants"? They're HUGE! I've never seen a round one before. - I usually make my own croissants, and they're smaller, bite-size morsels that freeze well. Small trick - put the dough through a pasta machine. Once you get the hang of it, it's very simple, and goes quickly.
Merrill S. July 4, 2011
Yes, they were enormous! They were from a chain bakery here in the city -- for this recipe, you don't necessarily need great croissants, but your method of making them sounds great. I hope you'll consider posting your recipe!
sinosoul July 1, 2011
1 cup whole milk, 2 tbsp of butter, 1 cup of maple syrup, AND mascarpone? Most of us shouldn't eat this, cuz the new mate's going to be grossed out.
mariaraynal June 29, 2011
Gorgeous holiday breakfast fare.
lindaw June 29, 2011
My friend always quotes Back to the Future when her children aren’t listening to her and she says ‘Hello? McFly?’a la Biff. Another young friend asked her why she kept saying that and was she a big fan of McFly?! We felt ANCIENT. She’d never even watched the film!
Oh my! Thank you thank you thank you!!!
Kaye B. June 28, 2011
o my!! Is it Saturday morning yet?!! :-) Thank you for sharing!!
Bunny June 28, 2011
Wow! That looks amazing, and it's making me crazy hungry. Who would have even thought of making French toast with anything other than sliced bread?
Merrill S. June 29, 2011
Well, I certainly can't claim to be the first -- but it sure was a great idea, whoever came up with it.
lapadia June 28, 2011
What a special breakfast, a beautiful morning it would make, thanks Merrill! (ps - I acquired a croissant french toast casserole (where?) using many of the same flavors you have here, very delicious, too)
Merrill S. June 29, 2011
Sounds yummy!
Helen's A. June 28, 2011
Sad because it's just too rich...
hardlikearmour June 28, 2011
I'm a sucker for good French toast, and this sounds beyond delicious! I'm seriously Jonesing!
Merrill S. June 29, 2011
Kitchen B. June 28, 2011
Oh Merrill. You're my long lost tongue hanging out twin. Well, kind off - usually my tongue hangs out and then threads (don't want to say lick...sigh, said it)my chin.....

Moving on swiftyly, away from bad habits, I love the sweet orange flavours. Optional mascarpone....or Creme Fraiche. Superb!

This is a must make - no need to discard day old croissants which the kids snob!
Merrill S. June 28, 2011
I totally hear you on the tongue thing. And yes, this is perfect for stale croissants.
zerosummer June 28, 2011
I had no idea anyone else had this tongue problem--so glad to know that I'm not suffering alone! What is it about whisking that makes tongues do this? Maybe food52 should sponsor some sort of research study.

Merrill, I am not usually a french toast fan, but this looks scrumptious. I can't wait to have an Occasion so I can try it out!
fiveandspice June 28, 2011
I think we may be quintuplets. Merrill, I think you're my mascarpone and creme fraiche soul mate! :)
Helen's A. June 28, 2011
Wow this looks great. Sadly I'll never be able to make it...
Merrill S. June 28, 2011
Why not?
Sasha (. June 28, 2011
Oh. My. Goodness. Pure evil, in the best possible way. :)
Sasha (. June 28, 2011
Unless there was a way to do this with chocolate croissants... then that would be the *ultimate* evil.
boulangere June 28, 2011
How about making it like this, then topping with Nutella.
Merrill S. June 28, 2011
Oh, man. Chocolate croissants would really put it over the edge.
boulangere June 28, 2011
Lovely! I have plans for this . . .
Merrill S. June 28, 2011
How mysterious!