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The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook | image: www.littleobservationist.com

TIME TO READ: 3m 15s

New York author and blogger Deb Perelman proves you don’t have to be a qualified chef or exotic ingredients to cook delightful food. 

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

New to our shelves is another cookbook that could be the perfect gift for culinary enthusiasts or an end of year treat for yourself. ‘The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook’ by author and blogger Deb Perelman made its debut ranking No.2 on The New York Time’s best-seller list and features over 100  delicious recipes. Incredibly modest, Deb said laughing of the book’s success: “Don’t ask me what I am doing there, I really don’t know.” The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook still remains at the top of The New York Time’s ‘hardcover advice and miscellaneous’ list.

Deb doesn’t have any qualifications in cookery and has never even worked in a kitchen, or even waitressed. She does have a passion for food that led her to launch her award-winning blog smittenkitchen.com. Out of a personality trait of being picky, Deb became a self-taught kitchen wiz, tweaking and concocting delightful food in her tiny Manhatten kitchen. She even taught herself how to photograph her food and grow the blog she launched in 2003 into a thriving community.

For Deb, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is all about pleasurable cooking and guaranteed delicious food. From stews and salsas to tatins and cheesecakes, the recipes are all to-die-for, yet relatively easy to master. This recipe for cinnamon french toast is just one of the many mouthwatering recipes found in the pages of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. We thought it might be a great Christmas morning treat…

Cinnamon French Toast from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Cinnamon french toast from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

What you’ll need:

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
16 slices white sandwich bread
1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups full cream milk
6 large eggs
1/4 tsp table salt
2 tsp vanilla extract

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Cinnamon french toast from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 230 degrees C. Whisk the cinnamon and sugar together in a small dish. Line two large baking sheets with foil. Place the bread slices on the baking sheets in one layer. Spread each slice of bread with 1 teaspoon of butter, then sprinkle each slice with one teaspoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Toast the trays of bread in the oven until the bread is golden, and until the cinnamon-sugar makes a caramelized crunch on top, for about 7 to10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 190 degrees C and let the toast cool slightly.

Generously butter a 9×13-inch baking dish. (You might have a little butter leftover but I wanted to build in some leeway in case, understandably, you weren’t buttering your bread with precise teaspoon measurements!) Cut two slices of the cinnamon toast in half horizontally. Arrange the cinnamon toast down in two rows along the width of the pan. Begin with the bottom half of one slice of toast, then fan 7 more slices in a row, finishing with the top half of the slice.

This ensures that those served the end pieces of the baked French toast are not stiffed with thin slices!

Repeat with another 7 full slices and 1 halved slice of cinnamon toast in the second row. Whisk the milk, eggs, salt and vanilla in a medium bowl and pour evenly over cinnamon toast in baking dish. Let sit for 15 minutes (or overnight, if you’re preparing this ahead of time) so that the custard absorbs a bit.

Before baking, if you’ve got any extra cinnamon-sugar (you’ll likely have a tablespoon or two), sprinkle it over the French toast. Bake for 30 minutes, until puffed and golden and until no liquid seeps out of the toasts when they are nudged about in the pan.

Cut into squares and serve plain, or with a dollop of plain yogurt and fresh berries, or maple syrup.

You can find The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook on the shelves of the Eco Outdoor showrooms. You can also find an array of gifts including cookbooks, linen ware, furniture, soaps and artisan produce for all your Christmas shopping.

 

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