Take That, Rural Chuck Wagon Lady

She makes Cinnamon Toast to die for. We make Cinnamon Toast to LIVE for.

The absolute greatest Cinnamon Toast Recipe in the History of Mankind – and womankind, too – isn’t contained on some TV show or found in some cookbook found on the prairie. NO, dear, gentle, highly impassioned toast-loving reader, the absolute greatest Cinnamon Toast Recipe in the History of Mankind was just whipped up twenty minutes ago by some suburban dad who thinks he’s a professional chef but in reality is just running a blog about cooking. Take That, Urban Chuck Wagon Lady!

Cinnamon Toast You know, I’ve always thought of myself as a good “garbage chef.” Give me a kitchen o’ randomness, and I’ll make something that’s pure awesomesauce, except, if it’s not a sauce, then it’ll just be awesome.

For real, though.

Recently, someone sent me a link to Cinnamon Toast from a notable blogger and I thought – wow, people, that’s pretty freaktastic in its apparent goodness. I should try that. So I did, and it was pretty freaktastic in its actual goodness.

But I can do better. You can do better. We all can do better. The secret ingredient? IS LOVE!

Take That, Rural Chuck Wagon Lady!

No, people, the secret ingredient is not love. The secret ingredient was made obvious to me when I learned that the secret ingredient in the Rural Chuck Wagon Lady’s Cinnamon Toast recipe – vanilla extract – was missing. Horrors!

Ingredients

You’ll need four slices of bread. White bread is fine – we’re using what’s left from our Slow Cooker Stuffing the other day. It’s still good. Chef Don’t Judge. Three tablespoons of butter. One tablespoon of cinnamon sugar – make your own if you want, but it was just as easy to use the store-mixed stuff. (OF COURSE, making your own, out of a concoction of cinnamon and sugar, would be preferred, right? But this is just the same, far as I can tell, and it was handy.)

The secret ingredient: Almond Extract. Use about 1/4 of a teaspoon – it’s powerful stuff.

Instructions

Uh, you’re mixing the butter with the cinnamon sugar and the almond extract. Soften the butter for a few seconds in the microwave, then smash it together with a fork. Spread it onto the bread – all the way to the edges because you don’t want any inch of bread to be uncovered with this toasted, broiled, sizzling amazement.

We’ve got a brand-new Breville Toaster Oven (which is a mini-oven, in reality, and does everything; we’re in love with it so far). [ADVERTISEMENT: It was north of $100, so, if you bought one or something similar, use this code: 10% off purchase of $49+ with coupon code SAVE10.] First, we used the “Toast” setting, 4 for darkness and 4 for number of slices. Once that was done, FIVE MINUTES on the Broil setting – which requires moving the rack up one notch, so it’s closer to the broiler.

You want it sizzling, but not burning. Which the few minutes on the broiler accomplish. Watch it closely…but five minutes did the trick for us.

Serving Notes

Kids went ape for this. I’m not kidding – they wanted more. It’s because of my sheer brilliance in running out of vanilla extract a month ago and forgetting to get any at the store. Because I am that type of chef.

Photos

Bask in the glory of the simplicity, the white bread, the Nelson from the Simpsons screaming “Ha Ha” in the direction of Oklahoma or Kansas or Kentucky – whichever rural prairie chuck wagon place that woman lives in. It’s that awesome. Thank me later.

Bread and Butter

Spread that stuff evenly, leave no grain uncovered.

Almond Extract

You do not need vanilla extract. You do not need vanilla extract. You do not need vanilla extract.

Cinnamon Toast to Live For

You have succeeded. The toast is awesome. You are awesome.

I have emerged triumphantly from this challenge, the gauntlet having been thrown down, and the Almond Extract having wrestled Vanilla to the ground. Take That, Rural Chuck Wagon Lady. Your move.

Slow Cooker Stuffing

Our own version of this stuffing is really easy; in fact, the hardest part might be either chopping the onions or wiping away your tears.

First of all, a major shoutout to the website Onceamonthmeals.com; their recipe served as the inspiration for this post. BUT, to be honest, we had to do some tweaking, which we’ll walk you through as we progress. This is a modified version of their recipe – we link to their site to give them props, but we also felt we needed to clarify a few things on their recipe. Enough: here is Slow Cooker Stuffing in all its glory.

Slow Cooker Stuffing

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: you don’t have to have stuffing “stuffed” in something. Doesn’t seem to be the in thing anyway, because there’s always a concern about the proper temperature if it’s inside of a bird.

And, the slow cooker can be a big help – if you’re like us and you don’t have multiple ovens to use, and you’re afraid of crowding your oven.

So the slow cooker it is.

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks butter (equal to one cup)
  • 2 cups onion, chopped (about two small onions)
  • 2 cups celery, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms (pre-sliced are fine)
  • 2 loaves of white bread (day old, or dried out a little), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley (you can substitute fresh, about 1/4 cup fresh)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sage
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups (32 oz.) chicken or turkey broth

Instructions

You’ll need a large frying pan or saucepan. First, melt the butter in the saucepan and, when it’s melted, sautee the onion, celery, and mushrooms. (If you’re using fresh parsley, sautee that with the other vegetables.) Sautee for about ten minutes; you’ll want some translucency out of the onions.

Get the biggest bowl you can find, and put all the bread – there will be a boatload of cubes – into the bowl. Start with the vegetable and butter mixture, and pour that over the bread, then add your seasonings and stir until coated well. (Trust us on the big bowl request – we had to use a bowl AND the saucepan to start our mixing.)

Next, add all of the broth, then the eggs. Stir – don’t worry if you break up some of the bread.

When it’s all stirred up…into the slow cooker. Cover, turn to HIGH and cook for 30-45 minutes on high. Then, turn the heat to low and give yourself anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. (You could even cook it longer.)

Serving Notes

Of course, this is a tremendous holiday side dish. Or a side for a roast – we roasted a pork loin and this was the perfect accompaniment. Serve with gravy if you wish.

You might find the consistency to be too moist or pudding-like for your tastes; after experimenting, we’ve found that you can cut back on the broth by a cup or two if that’s the case.

Finally, if you want to make this a day ahead, we have found it reheated in the oven or toaster oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 is best.

Photos

Spices

Slow Cooker Stuffing Spices

Onion, mushrooms, celery

Slow Cooker Stuffing Onions

Bread cubes

Slow Cooker Stuffing Bread Cubes

Mix it up

Slow Cooker Stuffing Mix It Up

Into the slow cooker

Slow Cooker Stuffing