Crunchy Vanilla-Almond French Toast with Fancy Fruit Topping, Sweet-n-Smoky Bacon

Total Time:
37 min
12 min
25 min

6 servings

  • Bacon:
  • 1 pounds applewood smoked bacon
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • Toast:
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups corn flakes, lightly crushed
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly crushed
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 12 (1 1/2-inch-thick) slices challah bread or soft "Italian" style bread
  • Medium or dark amber maple syrup to pass at table
  • Mint sprigs and edible flowers, suggested plate garnish
  • Fancy Fruit Topping:
  • 1 large navel orange, peeled and chopped
  • 12 large strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 pint blueberries
  • 1/2 pint raspberries
  • 1/2 pint blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Arrange bacon on slotted broiler pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar and place in oven to bake until crisp, 20 to 22 minutes.

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.

In a shallow dish, beat together with a wire whisk: eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon. In a second shallow dish combine flakes and nuts. Add 2 tablespoons butter to warm skillet. Place a cookie sheet lined with foil (for easy clean-up) near the stove. Coat 4 to 6 slices of bread in egg, depending on the size of your skillet, then coat bread in cornflakes and nuts. Cook slices 2 minutes on each side and transfer toast to cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining slices and transfer toast to oven. Bake 10 minutes, with already cooking bacon.

While bacon and toast are in oven, combine fruit, sugar and liqueur in a serving bowl and reserve.

Remove toast and bacon from oven. Warm syrup in a small pitcher in microwave 15 seconds on high. Serve toast and bacon on plates with optional garnish of mint and edible flowers.

Pass syrup and topping at the table.

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    113 Reviews
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    Just made the french toast for my wife for Mother's day and skipped the bacon & fruit topping. She told me that it was top three meals she's ever eaten. Tried a few other crunchy french toast recipes and none have come out nearly as well as this one. One suggestion to those reading the reviews is to make more of the corn flake/almond mixture than you think you need. Also, make sure you put your french toast on a rack inside the cookie sheet so the bottoms don't stick to the pan and they cook evenly. Great/easy recipe & will definitely make again!
    I made this for my Mom's Birthday Brunch and it was a huge hit! I used pecans instead of almonds, because those are her favorite. We also used a Honey Baked Ham instead of bacon, keeping that warm in the oven at the same time as the French toast was really easy. Especially because you have plenty else going on with chopping, pan frying, etc. The mixture of all the flavors was what I personally the time I sat down. ;- Sweet, crunchy, gooey, salty, tangy, tart. Served with super great coffee. A very happy birthday brunch.
    Just made the french toast this morning for my boyfriend and son. It was easy to make. I burnt the first toast I placed in the pan but once I adjusted the heat it was better. The toast came out crunchy on the outside and soft inside. I didn't make the fruit topping because that is not my thing. This is a great holiday breakfast. I plan to make it again for Christmas morning. As Rachael would say yum-o.
    We have made this as our Christmas Morning breakfast for the last 3 years and it is WONDERFUL. We found that it is cheaper, quicker and tastes better if you use Special K Almond Vanilla cereal instead of the corn flakes for the french toast. Also if you like your bacon crisp make sure you give yourself some extra time or put on broil for the last few minutes. Overall this is an outstanding recipe!!!!!!!
    We made this really special recipe for my husband as an "in bed" breakfast treat...he LOVED it!!!

    My suggestions are: if you line the cookie sheet with foil (it does make clean-up a snap!) spray the sheet with Pam first...our French toast stuck badly to the foil. Instead of orange liqueur I used orange juice with orange marmalade mixed in (I just guessed the amounts); then add the sugar. It was perfect on the fruit.

    The bacon was OUT OF THIS WORLD!! Seriously, you must try it!! I didn't have a broiler pan, so put it in a baking didn't crisp up, so I fried it for a bit afterward to get it bacon we've ever had!!

    We also had scrambled eggs with asparagus; it's a great partner with the sweetness of the French toast and sweet bacon.
    I've made it twice already my husband loves it, and he's picky :) thanks for the recipe. I used honey bunches of oats, works lovely.
    I have made this recipe a few times now, each time to rave reviews. I substitute Special K Vanilla Almond for the corn flakes, which adds a sweet twist and perfectly crunchy almonds. I also use fresh grated nutmeg and cinnamon to both the egg mixture and cereal. Thank you for posting this recipe which turns an ordinary breakfast into an extraordinary treat!
    I made this for my company and everyone loved it! I personally love crunchy texture, so this was much better than regular french toast. I couldn't find any of the recommended bread, so I just bought a loaf of texas toast bread and it was really good. It was beautiful and delicious!
    This recipe was easy to follow and turned out well, go with quality bread and you won't go wrong. And be careful not to burn your toast! The bacon for us was the best part-sweet and salty and so easy to make!
    I made this for father's day a year ago and it was a success. The bacon in the oven with the brown sugar was fantastic. The french toast was also really excellent.
    this was so easy and tasty, I'll make it time and time again.
    This has become my families all time favorite breakfast meal. My kids always request it if they have a friend over as a special treat.
    I made this for a brunch and all my guests LOVED it!!! I used Special K cereal to coat the bread instead of what the recipe called for. Be sure to cook the french toast in the pan before putting it on a cookie sheet, or else it will stick to the cookie sheet! Not good! This only happened to a few of my pieces of french toast. I don't eat bacon but I made it for everyone else and they loved it! Great recipe.
    This was wonderful! I had to cut the recipe in half because I didn't want 12 pieces of french toast. While eating this, my husband looked at me and said, "You're such a great cook!" Cost of ingredients $10.00, gas to drive to the store $6.00, compliment from my husband.....priceless.
    I love this recipe. I make it all the time and I've made it for all my friends. They all make it now too. Great for lazy Sundays!
    I don't eat french toast, or eggs of any kind, and this is my favorite breakfast. The toast is crispy, the bacon is delicious, I can't say more!
    Oh my goodness this is the best french toast I have ever had...YUMMY! I made this for Fathers Day Brunch and everyone raved about it.
    This recipe is AWSOME!!! Althought I left out the fruit. I made it for my family because the are my Guinne pigs when I try something new and they loved it. The especially love the bacon. The only thing I did not like was the cleanup for the bacon...But I learned to line the broiler pan (that catched the drippings) with foil and it makes the clean up soooooo much easier.
    These were pretty easy to make and even easier to eat! my guests loved them and so did i! I didn't make the bacon, but the french toast was a big hit!
    try it try it try it! best french toast ever, i made it on valentines day for my hubby, and to make things a little easier i put together the egg mixture the night before, so in the morning we we good to go. maybe the only thing it needed was a touch of whipped cream ;)

    I made this recipe this weekend and maybe I didn't blend the spices well enough but it didn't look that pretty, though it tasted pretty good!
    Loved, Loved, Loved. This was so great. I ate seconds even though I was so full. It was the best thing I ever tasted in the morining. If I could I would eat it all day.

    Easy to do.
    Yum (o)
    Lots of trouble but worth it!
    Added sugar and cinnamon to corn flakes, great!
    We loved this, even tho I omitted the fruit topping (it was just for 2 people, and that topping would have cost about $25 for the fruit!) It was pretty easy and the Challah was awesome for french toast. I used Frosted Flakes instead of Cornflakes. the bacon was good too even tho i burnt it a little (oops). I'll definitely make this breakfast again!
    I really loved this dish. The Grand Marnier was especially wonderful. I will do this again tomorrow!!!
    We tried this just as a treat, for ourselves and this was fantastic and so easy!! I'm not a big cook but this was very doable and we did it in the 30 minute time frame.
    Oh. yum. I haven't tried the bacon yet, but the toast is delish! Don't waste your time on the fruit, everybody just wants syrup and butter. Rachael was just trying fill time by adding another recipe in there.
    I was very excited about this recipe but disappointed with my results. It was tough getting the corn flakes to stick to the bread and they burned a little while cooking. The bread was also mushy in the middle. I found it overall to be very bland and not worth the time and effort.
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