Cooking with Catherine: French Toast Panini


 Recipe courtesy of


  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cognac (optional)
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt
  • 8 slices Texas Toast or thick bread
  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Powdered sugar (garnish)
  • Maple syrup (garnish)


Whisk together eggs, milk, cream, orange juice, vanilla, cognac, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. Place bread in two shallow dishes in single layer. Pour egg mixture over bread, soak ten minutes. While bread is soaking, preheat grill to medium. Place a flat cast-iron skillet on grill. Brush bananas with butter, cook in skillet until they are browned on all sides, releasing juices, about three minutes. Use spatula to transfer bananas to a plate, wipe skillet clean. Slice bananas. Remove bread from egg mixture and allow excess to drip off. Place on cutting board, top with banana slices, then cover with another slice of bread. Brush skillet on grill lightly with vegetable oil. Add sandwich to pan, place a grill press or heavy pan over sandwich to weigh down. Cook until the bread is toasted and golden, 3 to 4 minutes each side. Repeat with each sandwich, top with powdered sugar and syrup.

Sad toastI had high hopes for this recipe in the beginning. It sounds delicious, right? I took the opportunity to break out my panini press and got right to work in destroying them. I made the mistake of not allowing the egg mixture to completely drip off of the bread before placing it in my press. Between the excess egg mixture and the juicy banana pieces, my French toast was a gooey mess. I cooked them a great deal longer than 3 to 4 minutes on each side, and although the tops were browned, the gooey-ness remained in the middle of the panini. I did make a few pieces of French toast minus the bananas which turned out a little bit better than the actual sandwiches. Maybe under different circumstances they could have been tastier, however due to the thick and heavy ingredients, I was disgusted with myself for consuming them afterwards.


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