Do you ever find yourself humbled by an automatic hand dryer? Pleading to be seen, silently screaming, “I exist!” while engaging in a complicated choreography of waving, lunging, squatting, jiggling, and jazz-handing to initiate the drying sequence?
Yeah, me too.
Anyone who has ever stepped foot in a women’s restroom knows that its operation demands efficiency. While I’m glad that we’ve replaced those older hand dryers that would require a solid two-minute investment to get your hands from sopping wet to just kind of damp, these newfangled motion-sensor activated machines often refuse to acknowledge our humanity.
So, in a crowded ladies room, these jet-powered dryers aren’t much of a time saver if you have to spend as many minutes performing a Dance Dance Revolution routine to activate the damn thing as you would spend drying your hands on an analog model that blows air about as hard as an octogenarian with emphysema.
The stress of being denied by a small appliance is only exacerbated by the backlog of women quickly forming behind you, with places to go and people to see, and the risk of walking out of the washroom and being forced to shake someone’s hand with your clammy paws.
The other downfall of these automated dryers is that by moving air at the speed of a jet engine, they are quite loud, and as one eighth-grader in Calgary discovered, they are quite literally deafening for children.
Given everything else we’ve been able to automate effectively, from vacuum cleaners to surgical practice, you think we could have mastered something as simple as a hand dryer. But alas, this marvel of technological advancement continues to elude us.
So, you can catch me at the paper towel dispenser.
Now that I’ve exhausted the topic of hand dryers, let’s talk about this fall French toast recipe.
Take your classic apple pie with cheddar cheese snd make it breakfast. That was the inspiration behind this recipe. You can find apple butter at most grocery stores in the jam/spreads aisle but can also be made quite simply at home with the use of a slow cooker and a blender.
I’ve repurposed the cinnamon syrup from the Saddle Up Cocktail to intensify the cinnamon flavour in this recipe and cut the sweetness with the intensity of the aged cheddar.
The result is the perfect combination of flavours for a fall brunch.
Apple Cinnamon French Toast with Aged Cheddar
- 1 baguette sliced diagonally in 1″ slices, approximately 12-16 slices
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tbsp apple butter divided
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 4 tbsp salted butter
- Cinnamon syrup for serving
- Cinnamon for serving
- 1 apple thinly sliced for serving
- ¼ cup aged white cheddar crumbled, for serving
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
Whisk milk, eggs, vanilla, 2 tbsp of apple butter and 1 tsp of cinnamon in large shallow bowl to combine.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter mixture in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Dip baguette slices a few at a time into egg mixture to coat. Working in batches, add 4-6 slices to the skillet. Cook until bottoms are deep brown, 2 to 3 minutes, flip and repeat on the other side, adding more butter as needed.
Keep cooked French toast warm in a 250-degree Fahrenheit oven until all baguette slices have been cooked.
Divide baguette slices among plates and smear each slice with a thin layer of remaining apple butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon, drizzle with cinnamon syrup and top with crumbled aged white cheddar and apple slices.
Combine sugar, water, and cinnamon sticks in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let sit at room temperature overnight.
Remove cinnamon sticks and store syrup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.