MARC AND CHARLES GAGNE’S FRENCH TOAST

The Gagnes say that white, challah or light wheat bread works best here. They don’t butter the pan when they make French toast, but we suggest you do to improve the color and prevent sticking. Marc and Charles Gagne, the 11-year-old boys who devised the recipe and the fifth generation of the family that created Mount Williams vanilla, use 2 tablespoons milk. For a more custardy French toast, use 4 tablespoons milk, or more.

Makes 3 slices

Butter or oil for pan

2 large eggs

½ teaspoon sugar

Dash salt

2-4 tablespoons milk

½ teaspoon Mount Williams Original Vanilla Flavor or Autumn Lane Pure Bourbon Vanilla Extract

3 slices bread

Warm a frying pan that can fit the 3 slices of bread over medium heat. Melt the butter or warm a little oil in the pan.

Place all of the ingredients except the bread in a wide mixing bowl and whisk for about 50 strokes, or mix vigorously with a slotted spoon to get air into the mixture. Place 1 slice of bread in the egg mixture, letting it sit on 1 side for about 10 seconds, until the bread is covered and soaked in the liquid, but not doused all the way through. Flip the bread and repeat, then place the eggy bread into the heated pan. Repeat with the remaining 2 slices of bread.

Let the French toast cook for about a minute, or until the bread is golden brown on the bottom, then flip to the second side to color, for about another minute. Remove and serve with pure maple syrup or another favorite topping, and enjoy.

THE GAGNE FAMILY’S HOT VANILLA

The Gagnes use 2 percent milk to make the drink and make it in a crockpot for ease when serving a crowd and to prevent the milk from burning. Christina Gagne recently offered it as an alternative to hot chocolate at a skating party, where she said most of the guests had never heard of the drink. “People are telling me they can really taste the vanilla,” she said. “They like the sweetness. They like the different taste.”

Makes about six (7-ounce) servings

1/2 cup sugar

5 cups milk

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Autumn Lane Pure Bourbon Vanilla Extract or Mount Williams Original Vanilla Flavor

For kids: peppermint stick or cinnamon stick, to serve

For adults: 2-3 ounces per mug of peppermint Schnapps, cognac, bourbon, or dark rum, to serve

Combine the sugar with 1 cup water in a small saucepan, stirring until the mixture reaches a gentle boil and the sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture into a crockpot, then add the milk and vanilla. Cook in the crockpot on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours.

Serve hot, garnished as you desire.

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