Every family has their own holiday traditions, and the vast majority of them revolve around food. One major exception would be watching old Ralphie here shoot his own eye out, because no Christmas would be complete without that.
In my house, there are two Christmas traditions that we stick to. Messing with either of them doesn’t go over well, especially with myself and my adult siblings.
I’ve already made my love for Thanksgiving food well known, so the fact that we basically duplicate Thanksgiving dinner on Christmas eve is always something that I look forward to. But I think that it is our breakfast tradition that I’ve come to love the most.
On Christmas morning, after fighting to keep the kids at the top of the stairs until the adults can get a few cups of coffee in our system, all hell breaks loose. Once the gifts are exchanged and the dust has settled, it is finally time for breakfast.
And what screams “Christmas” more than a little fondue?
For breakfast every December 25th, the only day of the year that we do this, we have French toast fondue. The fondue is the centerpiece of the meal, and is usually accompanied by a breakfast casserole, and maybe some bacon for good measure.
I called my mom to see if she could send me the recipe, so that I could share it with you wonderful readers. And, like many good southern cooks, she always just “winged it”, and didn’t have it written down. Fortunately, she gave the recipe a practice run and actually kept track of what she was putting in there so that we could at least approximate it.
I hope that some of you can dust off your old fondue sets from the 70’s and give this one a shot.
While we are at it…what are your favorite holiday food traditions?
French Toast Fondue w/ Cream Cheese Dip
Courtesy of: Mom
Electric fondue pot, with skewers (if more than 5 or 6 people, 2 electric fondue pots are better)
Vegetable oil (Canola or Peanut Oil best)
¼ teaspoon of salt, placed in the oil before heating the oil.
1 loaf challah day old bread cut in 1-2 inch cubes (can also use brioche, French bread, etc)
6 large Eggs
½ cup whole milk, or half & half
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
The day before, in a medium bowl, make the egg wash mixture by combining eggs, milk/half & half, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Pour egg wash mixture into 2 -4 bowls for guests to dip their bread into before cooking in the oil.
Heat oil in electric fondue pot to 340-350 degrees.
Using skewers, guests place bread into egg wash, then into hot oil. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
Cream Cheese (or mascarpone) Dipping sauce
1 – 8 oz package of softened cream cheese or mascarpone
¼ cup softened butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat softened cream cheese with vanilla until smooth. Add softened butter and continue beating until smooth, the slowly add powdered sugar (to taste), continuing to beat/whip until smooth.
Serve to each guest in small bowl.
Maple Syrup Dipping Sauce
2 cups maple syrup
3-4 tablespoons softened butter
Heat maple syrup and add butter so butter melts and blends into the syrup.
Put maple syrup mixture in 2-3 creamers and disperse around the table.
When bread is cooked, dip into one or more dips and enjoy.
- Jon Watson writes about Popular Eats for the AJC Dining Team. He also publishes his own blog, Live To Feast