At many bakeries, these simple breakfast treats are made for the early-morning staff using day-old brioche. A rich baked almond cream covers the toasts, and sliced almonds on top add buttery crunch.
2 cups sliced almonds, divided
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
2 tablespoons half-and-half or milk
About 1/2 cup jam, any flavor
8 slices brioche or challah bread, 1 in. thick
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°. Whirl 1 cup almonds with 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer mixture to a bowl.
Blend butter and remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a food processor until smooth. Add salt, egg, and half-and-half and pulse just to blend. Add reserved ground almonds and blend until mixture is smooth.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread about 1 tbsp. jam, then 2 tbsp. almond cream, on each slice of bread (you'll have almond cream left over). Sprinkle each with about 2 tbsp. sliced almonds.
Bake until almond cream is golden brown and almonds are toasted, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Make ahead: Chill extra almond cream airtight up to 2 weeks and use for making more pastries (you'll want to).
This is really good, and very easy to make. (I imagine that if one does not have a food processor, you can use almond meal; saw some at Trader Joe's the other day.) I have taken to skipping the jam, as I find it hard to smear one smooshy thing atop another. That could be overcome, of course, if you love the jam. I have added large amounts of vanilla, as I am wont to do (1-2 Tablespoons? I don't measure), and I find that the simple taste of almonds and vanilla is perfect for our family. It's great to have around as an easy leftover treat in the fridge. I suggest putting a dollop of it on the sliced bread and letting that come to room temperature before spreading, or you will ruin your brioche/challah.
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