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Cornmeal-Crusted French Toast


French Toast

My sister Kate is living and teaching in Arkansas, and has made a habit of coming home to New York City with gifts for me and the rest of the family. On one of her recent trips home, Kate brought me a new gift: an oversized bottle of sorghum syrup, which I’d admired at a small shop when I was there.

For this French Toast recipe, I added the buttermilk to the milk-egg mixture and the cornmeal as a coating all in a nod to the sorghum’s Southern derivation. Naturally, you can replace the sorghum with good old Northern maple syrup. — Cara


  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Salt
  • Eight 1 ½-inch slices challah (from 1 loaf)
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Softened butter, for serving
  • Sorghum syrup, for serving


Combine the eggs, buttermilk, milk, bourbon, 2 tablespoons of sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt in a large, shallow bowl. Layer in the challah slices, flipping to coat each one. Let sit for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, the cornmeal, and a pinch of salt on a plate. Stir to combine.

Take each slice and let any excess milk mixture drip off, then place it in the cornmeal. Flip to coat both sides.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. In batches, fry the French toast until golden and cooked through, flipping once. It should take 3-4 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining slices, adding more butter to the pan as needed. You can also double team and get two pans going at once.

Top the French toast with a generous smear of softened butter and a substantial drizzle of sorghum syrup.