Cinnamon Roll French Toast
¼ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup half & half
2 large eggs
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
12 slices of brioche, ½-inch thick*
Cream Cheese Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup half & half
*If you are slicing your own loaf of brioche, freeze it overnight so it’s easier to cut into thin slices.
Make the Filling
In a small bowl, mix together the butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar to form a paste. Set aside.
Make the Batter
In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the half & half, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and a pinch of salt, until the brown sugar has dissolved. While whisking, drizzle in the melted butter until combined.
Assemble the French Toast
Using three slices of brioche for each serving, put a thin layer of filling between the slices of brioche, then set aside. Repeat with remaining brioche slices, making sure to use up all of the filling amongst the bread.
Cook the French Toast
Preheat a nonstick skillet over low heat. When the skillet is hot, gently submerge each stack of brioche into the batter so it absorbs some of the liquid, then carefully place onto the hot skillet. (Depending on how big your skillet is, you may have to do this in batches. Simply keep the cooked batches warm in the oven.) Cook each side for about 4-5 minutes, until golden brown. (This may seem like a long time, but the sugar and butter in the batter is prone to burning before the toast is done cooking, so the way to prevent this, while still getting a golden crust, is to cook it on low heat.)
Make the Icing
In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract, and half & half until smooth. It will be tough to combine at first, but keep mixing (and adding tiny amounts of half & half, if necessary) and it will come together. Drizzle over the French toast right before serving.