Baked French Toast Sticks

Do you remember when fast food french toast sticks became a hit?  You know -- those deep fried sticks of bread?  Yeah, I don't know exactly when it was, but I do remember asking my mom to take me to get some.  I thought they were wonderful!  And I have to admit, there are times when I still get a craving to run to Sonic and order some.  I will even admit to feeding them to my kids before.  However...never again.  Not after making them myself!  :)

They're really not that hard to make, and the best part?  You can make them ahead of time, freeze them, and just heat them up when you're ready to eat. 

The first time I made these, Munchkin and Squirt gobbled them up.  Sprout?  Well, he was too busy being...himself to eat that morning.  Although I did catch him taking a "picture" with a toy camera instead of eating.  Couldn't possibly be because I had just been taking a picture of the food myself, right?  Since then, he's actually eaten them and decided they taste good.  Especially with powdered sugar and cinnamon dusted on them.

Baked French Toast Sticks
adapted from One Crazy Cookie

1 (1 lb) loaf challah bread (or bread of choice)
1 cup milk
4 large eggs
2 Tbsp real maple syrup
2 tsp real vanilla extract
¼  cup powdered sugar
½  tsp ground cinnamon
pinch nutmeg

Preheat oven to 425'F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray well with cooking spray.

Cut bread into 1" slices, and then cut each slice into strips about 1 ½” wide.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, powdered sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Be sure that it is mixed really well.  Pour into a shallow dish or pie plate.

Dip each strip of bread into the milk mixture, coating completely and allowing it to soak up a little of the liquid, but do not over soak (how quickly you have to work will depend upon the bread you are using!).  Place the strips of bread on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, then flip them over and bake another 5-10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

If serving immediately, dust with powdered sugar and cinnamon and serve with warmed maple syrup.

If freezing, allow to cool completely, then place on a baking sheet and freeze for a couple of hours.  Transfer to freezer bags.  To serve, reheat in a toaster oven for 3-5 minutes or in the microwave for a few seconds.

Enjoy!  :)