I took my kids to Trader Joe’s yesterday. Trader Joe’s is a big event for my kids. We don’t go that that often and they love to push the little kid-sized carts…plus they gets balloons when we leave. Yup, Trader Joe’s is a big deal! They were excited that they both got to push carts yesterday….I don’t always let them if it’s too busy. Letting a three and four year old loose with carts is dangerous enough on my ankles, I hate to submit others to that lovely experience. Actually, some Trader Joe’s don’t have the little carts anymore and I have a strong hunch as to why! They love it though, so I continue to surrender my ankles just to see the joy on those little faces.
I love Trader Joe’s too. There are a few staples that we buy there for my allergic-to-everything son. The Trader Joe’s brand chocolate chips don’t have dairy(which can be hard to find). We also buy sunbutter there as an alternative to peanut butter. We like this much better than soy based butters. Some sunbutters have flaxseed in them…this is a big no-no around here, because heaven forbid your little one should have seeds in his sunbutter.
I’m always keeping an eye out for fun new things to try too. I found a couple of things I’m excited about on this trip. I found Panetonne. I usually only see this around Christmas time but Trader Joe’s still has it. Plus, it was only $2.99. If you buy Panetonne at Target (only available during the holiday season) it will run you $8-$9. I like eating Panetonne just plain but I wanted to experiment with it a little so I found this fantastic Panetonne French Toast recipe by Giada. The french toast is fantastic but what really caught my attention was the cinnamon syrup. I was intruiged so I whipped it together and was not disappointed! This stuff is fantastic!! I love maple syrup but this cinnamon syrup is going to be a strong contender at my breakfast table from here on out. If you don’t have panetonne on hand this recipe would be fantastic with challah or brioche.
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 (1.1 pound; 500 gram) loaf panettone bread
- 6 large eggs
- 3/4 cup whipping cream
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese (I used cream cheese)
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
To make the syrup: Combine 1 cup of water and brown sugar in a heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil until the syrup reduces to 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream and cinnamon. Keep the syrup warm. (The syrup can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before serving.)
Meanwhile, prepare the French toast: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Trim the bottom crust of the panettone. Starting at the bottom end of the panettone, cut it crosswise into 6 (3/4-inch thick) round slices (reserve the top piece for toast!). In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until well blended. Add the cream, milk, and sugar and whisk until well mixed. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter on a large nonstick griddle over medium heat. Dip 3 slices of panettone into the custard, turning to allow both sides to absorb the custard. Grill the soaked panettone slices until they are golden brown and firm to the touch, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the French toast to a baking sheet and keep them warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining butter, panettone slices, and custard.
Transfer the French toast to plates. Dollop the mascarpone atop each. Lightly dust with the powdered sugar. Drizzle the cinnamon syrup over and around the French toast and serve immediately.
Coming soon: I’ll highlight another delicious Trader Joe’s find….