This recipe, like all great recipes, was first used out of desperation. Desperation and an overflow of bread. And it so happens to be one of the recipes that has some of my fondest memories. I swear, whenever I feel a little bummed and lonely for Disney, these are my pick-me-ups, my hug-on-a-plate.
Just back from Disney, I was in what I call the "Disney Blues." People who've been are, I'm sure, familiar with it. Symptoms of "Disney Blues" usually include listening to music from the park constantly, re-watching favorite Disney movies, habitually checking ride line apps on your cell phone to just to see how long ride waits are (like it matters), and dwelling on irrational, pointless thoughts like "Right now, somebody's FastPass for (insert favorite ride) just became active and now they're on the ride and I'm not." I myself freely admit, I'm guilty of
all some of these offenses.
Anyway, it was the morning, I was in the midst of full-swing Disney Blues, and trying to recreate Disney in any way possible. Usually this meant making my favorite foods into a Mickey shape. In the last week, we'd had Mickey-shaped pizza, Mickey-shaped cookies, Mickey-shaped sandwiches...
If it could be made to the face of Mickey, I did it. My plan of attack this morning was to break out the Mickey cookie cutter and make toast shaped like Mickey. Not all that creative, but it was early and I'm not a good morning thinker.
Then, out of the sleepy fog I was operating in, it occurred to me... Extra bread is perfect for French toast. French toast, which I've never made before and had only a rough idea of what went into making it. Surely Mickey had a solution...
And he did.
I cracked out my Mickey Cookbook and found this amazing recipe for Puffed French Toast from Crystal Palace. As soon as the first batch of toast hit the frying pan, it smelled just like every food court and restaurant at the Magic Kingdom during breakfast. Of course it tasted so Disney, sweet and decadent, heavy without being filling. I almost felt like it was time to go conquer the parks after breakfast.
Tons of memories came flooding back like they'd happened yesterday, the castle lit up at night, getting your first glimpse of EPCOT on the way to your hotel to check in, walking with a full tummy from Tusker House to Dinosaur because you're a little too full for Everest...
This recipe made me so happy, and brought back so many amazing memories, it was the inspiration for me to seek out other Disney recipes
And that inspiration inflated my Disney recipe collection from just two little cookbooks to over 1,500 recipes that are direct from Disney, not to mention being on a first-name basis with the customer service rep (and several cast members, even a chef or two) of various restaurants around the The World.
And who would have thought all of that would come from too much Wonder Bread? :)
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Puffed French Toast
As is served at The Crystal Palace, Magic Kingdom
2 whole eggs
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups milk
1 cup flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
12 slices of bread (Texas-style toast is used at Disney)
Butter or oil for frying
4 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
Mix eggs, 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar, salt, vanilla, and milk until well blended and a creamy yellow. Slowly add flour and baking powder and mix until very few lumps remain. Dip bread slices in batter, allowing the extra to drip off. If you're using thin bread, do not allow the bread to soak.
Fry bread in a hot pan using butter or oil (enough to keep the bottom of the pan coated) on both sides until golden brown. Remove from heat to drain on paper towels for about 30 seconds.
For the best toast, fry one side for about 1-2 minutes, flip and fry for 1 minute, then remove from heat. The fewer times the bread is flipped, the fluffier the toast and the better the coating.
Meanwhile, combine cinnamon with 3/4 cup sugar. After toast has drained, coat both sides with cinnamon sugar mixture. Serve warm.