Peanut butter french toast. You heard me right.
Peanut butter is love for some people. Unless you’re allergic, in which case it’s probably death for you, so skip it and live, OK?
A very long time ago, I went to Russia. I’ll spare you the details of the how and the why, but I spent the summer in St. Petersberg in the late 1990s. This was a lifelong dream of mine. Well, as lifelong as an 18-year-old can claim. We flew from Newark to St. Petersburg on a Russian airline. The flight attendants didn’t tell us to sit down or buckle up for take off or landing. People chain-smoked with impunity, in spite of the No Smoking signs everywhere.
I was thrilled. If this was only the flight experience, I couldn’t wait to see what the Motherland held in store.
Here’s the TL;DR version: Bedbugs, steep escalators, muggings, Yeltzen, political protests, cheese, soccer, pirated VHS versions of Titanic, mobsters, ballet, Summer Palace, Winter Palace, old wives’ tales, the black market, lots of cigarettes, discos, magic, robbery, heartache, and peanut butter.
You did not misread that. I said peanut butter. I woke up in the middle of the night to walk down the hall to use the bathroom and I saw two of our group’s translators eating peanut butter with their fingers straight from a Costco-sized tub we brought with us from the US. They stopped abruptly, faces and hands covered in creamy Peter Pan, and started apologizing. They begged me not to tell their bosses as the hastily stood up. They said they knew it was wrong, but they loved peanut butter so much. I smiled and asked them to wait. I went back to my room and pulled two plastic spoons from the small stash I had for sneaking my own bites of peanut butter and went back out to the hall. I handed two spoons to them, told them to eat as much as they wanted and then keep it. We had plenty more, and who doesn’t love peanut butter?
Well, one of them ended up bursting into tears, which woke up a few other people in surrounding rooms, and then the peanut butter secret was out. So we all joined them, eight peanut butter addicts eating a 32-oz jar of peanut butter all by ourselves at 2:00 a.m. from plastic spoons.
So, I get it. Peanut butter is love for some people. Unless you’re allergic, in which case it’s probably death for you, so skip it and live, OK? Try sunflower seed butter instead and keep breathing.
Peanut butter can provide a good hit of protein and in the mornings, that’s what I need more than anything else. Except I love pastries. French toast is a yummy and filling way for me to get what I need without the added sugar or heavy carb load. With the added peanut butter, I’m full for hours and have enough energy and peanut butter goodness to keep me satiated on long days.
6 pieces of bread (I prefer whole grain, and gluten free bread works really well here.)
1 cup milk of your choice
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp garam masala spice blend, or if you’re not feeling adventurous, pumpkin pie spice works OK, too.
2 tsp sugar (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Get a bowl. Something large-ish with a flat bottom is better. You know, like me. Whisk everything together, except the bread. I know. I just told you not to put the bread in there. DUH. I know you’re smart enough to not add the bread while you’re mixing everything, but I have to cover my largish flat ass because the Internet.
Now, if you are worried that your peanut butter won’t incorporate the way you’re hoping, I suggest putting it in a saucepan with your milk and warming it on low while you whisk vigorously. You have to be very careful with this method, though, because adding your eggs to hot liquid can scramble them. So then you have to temper your eggs, which means you add the hot liquid slowly while stirring vigorously and it’s not worth it. Get out your electric beaters instead. Just…start with that.
Next, dunk your bread in the mixture and make sure it’s soaked all the way through. Fry on a skillet with a little bit of butter over medium heat, cooking for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until spongy.
Side note: I detest the word spongy almost as much as I detest the word moist.
Remove spongy French toast from skillet and transfer to a plate for immediate consumption. Top with honey, syrup, more peanut butter, bananas, powdered sugar, bacon, or your hopes and dreams for the day. May they involve much secret peanut butter eating with friends.