When I was a little girl my grandfather would come home Friday afternoon from a long week of working hard with a brown bag filled with pan dulce. He would place the sweet bread in a dish on the table in preparation for his weekend routine. I always knew on Saturday morning as I heard the clink of his spoon stirring his ceramic cup that he was enjoying a cup of coffee with a little bit of abuelita chocolate grated in and an entire piece of pan dulce. He would set out a small jar of dulce de leche for me to have as a spread on my pan dulce in the event that I may have wanted to be extra sweet that morning.
Once Sunday morning would roll around the pan dulce would be hard and perfect for a french toast breakfast. I would rise early and watch my grandfather as he dipped the two day old stale bread into a creamy bath of eggs, milk and cinnamon. He would then butter a pan and cook the wedges into Mexican French Toast perfection. He would then place it on a communal platter and drizzle the top with dulce de leche and berries. I would take a plate and so would he, and as I became older I would join him in washing it all down with a warm cup of coffee.
This was our ritual, our bonding time, our time to catch up while the rest of the house still found peace in their dreams. He would share stories of his childhood living in between Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas and how rough it was for him, his single mom, and all his siblings living through the depression. Some of the stories were so unreal and sad that all I could do was be thankful that he made his way via a freight train to Los Angeles to build a life here, and make the best of his situation. His stories play out like a beautiful mariachi ballad drenched in tears and boisterous laughter. He is my hero.
Recently I was at a tasting and the Mexican chef made french toast out of pan dulce. It immediately took me back to the days of living under the same roof as my grandfather and enjoying Sunday breakfast with him drenched in our latin history. I decided to recreate the dish with my own spin to it. As I was shopping for the ingredients I went to grab some coffee-mate for the cafesito, and noticed they now made Dulce De Leche flavor and Abuelita chocolate flavor, yes you read right. Can you believe that deliciousness? I grabbed two of each, one for him and one for me. This past Sunday I invited him over for a pan dulce french toast breakfast and stories of our Hispanic heritage and waited to hear the clink of the spoon against the ceramic mug.
Ingredients for pan dulce french toast in a dulce de leche sabor:
- day old pan dulce
- 3 – eggs
- 1/2 – cup milk
- 1/2 – teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 – teaspoon vanilla extract
- butter to grease the pan
- 3 – tablespoons coffee-mate dulce de leche flavor
- 1 – cup powdered sugar
- fresh berries
- a cup of coffee
- 1 – tablespoon coffee-mate abuelita flavor
- On a large cutting board slice pan dulce into wedges. Set to the side.
- In a bowl whisk eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla extract together.
- Lightly dip pan dulce wedge into egg batter.
- In a pan over a medium flame add a small amount of butter to grease pan. Once melted, add in soaked pan dulce wedge.
- Fry pan dulce in butter on all side until fully cooked about two to three minutes per side.
- Place on a large plate.
- In a small bowl whisk coffee-mate dulce de leche and powdered sugar, until there are no clumps.
- Place dulce de leche mixture in a small plastic bag and cut a small snip in the end. Drizzle over the french toast.
- Top with berries.
- Serve with a cup of coffee and Coffee-Mate abuelita flavor.
WAIT…. There’s more! I am giving away a Coffee-Mate kit! The giveaway consists of 1 hand designed coffee mug (by my buddy Crafty Chica), two coupon vouchers, a set of coffee coasters, and a coffee sleeve (pictured below). Enter for a chance to win!