One morning, I sat at my grandparent’s kitchen table and watched as my Pop-Pop put a few slices of bread in the toaster and slathered them with butter when they were golden brown– not a notable breakfast by any means. He then grabbed a shaker filled with a combination of cinnamon and sugar, sprinkled it on the buttered, crunchy toast and put it in front of me. I can distinctly remember thinking I was beating the system because I was essentially eating dessert for breakfast and, from that day forward, cinnamon toast became one of my comfort food staples.
One of the most basic breakfasts I make, cinnamon toast is effortless and practically impossible to mess up. It can, however, get better with a few extra ingredients, a couple extra steps and way more butter.
8 slices of bread
½ cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash softened butter with a fork in a shallow bowl. Mix in sugars, cinnamon and vanilla until completely incorporated. Slather the surface of each piece of bread with butter mixture and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 15 minutes. Remove, cut each piece diagonally and serve warm.
The foundation of cinnamon toast is butter, sugar and bread so, really, how could you go wrong? The compound butter created by combining the sugars and cinnamon with the soft spread ensures each bite is evenly flavored. As the bread bakes until crispy, the topping bubbles in the oven’s heat; the butter mixture slightly seeps through to the bottom of each piece, adding to the illusion you’re eating a pastry and not a measly piece of bread. The end result is so decadent even my Pop-Pop would say the extra steps are worth it.