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Frugal Recipe: Crunchy Challah French Toast

By Marissa Bognanno, Professional Chef and Zumba Instructor, and Author / Owner of The Boot Blog

When we make this for brunch I have to resist the urge to yell, “Holla!”  at every bite. That’s how good it is. And the challah is what makes the difference. Thick, soft, buttery challah bread, dipped in creamy egg, and then softly flaked with crunchy cereal, toasted almonds and walnuts, fried to golden perfection and then smothered in Vermont maple syrup with fresh fruit? HOLLA. 
Johnny’s Crunchy French Toast
(from Johnny's Luncheonette in Newton, MA)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup corn flakes
1/2 cup bran flakes 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 eggs beaten
1/2 cup milk
pinch of salt
8 slices of fresh challah
1-3 tablespoons butter
Toast the almonds and walnuts for 5 minutes in a 350-degree toaster oven. Set aside to cool. In a plate, crunch the cereal and the nuts to a coarse texture, not too fine.  Add the cinnamon. In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk and salt. Dip the challah first in the egg, shaking off excess, and then in the nut and cereal mixture, pressing to coat both sides. On a hot griddle or skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the slices of bread and cook until nicely browned. Turn to cook the other side. In between batches, you can add more butter to the skillet if it’s looking dry. Serve with fresh fruit, syrup and a sprinkling of confectioner's sugar. 
We ate this outside under the umbrella with the sweet, New England air swirling around us and I was literally floating on a cloud. Not many things make me happier than a good breakfast enjoyed on a summer morning in a garden. I sent Manu this photo and I share his sentiments exaclty, "Oh Mai God."  

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