Tuesday, December 22, 2020

#Christmas Treat Italian Style from Author Cleo Coyle

Next year, Marc and I will be celebrating the publication of the 19th entry in our Coffeehouse Mystery series ☕, but readers of our 12th Coffeehouse Mystery Holiday Buzz might recognize today's recipe. 

If you've never read Holiday Buzz, this is the perfect time to dive in. The "Christmas in New York" theme of the book was great fun for Marc and I to write, and we've heard from many readers who've enjoyed joining our amateur sleuth (coffeehouse manager Clare) as she strives to help solve the murder of an innocent young baker's assistant, found dead after helping Clare cater a glittering holiday party beside the famous ice skating rink of New York's Bryant Park, one of the Big Apple's most festive places to visit during the holidays. Okay, maybe not this year, given the city's struggles with Covid, but next year, for sure, and (we hope and pray because we love New York!) forevermore.

Click here to learn more
about Cleo Coyle's
Holiday Buzz.
In the course of Holiday Buzz, tasty holiday recipes are cooked up, including this special Christmas treat, and we're happy to share it with you today. Not only does it make a beautiful breakfast or brunch during the Christmas season, but it can double as a dessert, too (more on that below). In the meantime...

🎄 To see more of the recipes that we included in our holiday-themed Coffeehouse Mystery, Holiday Buzz
click here or on the image below...

Click for the Free
Cleo Coyle's Holiday Buzz 

Now on to today's recipe...

🎄 A Note from Cleo 

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

"Panettone" is a delicious Italian Christmas tradition. This slightly sweet, domed-shaped bread is amazingly fluffy and laced with candied fruit. Italians have made a tradition of giving the festively wrapped cakes as gifts. The symbolize luck and prosperity through the New Year.

If you've never had panettone, look for it in boxes like the one in my photo above. Many American supermarkets, big box stores, and even drug stores now sell boxes of panettone around the holidays. You can also buy it online (try Amazon or Eataly).

Boxed panettone can keep for months but once it's out of its wrappings, this delicious bread goes stale fairly quickly. When that happens, simply follow our  directions below for a festive French toast. May you...

🎄 Eat with comfort and joy! 

~ Cleo

Click here to download this recipe 
in a free PDF document that you 
can print, save, or share. 

☕ Cleo Coyle's
Panettone French Toast

This recipe is a versatile one. You can use our suggested combo of vanilla and amaretto or simply go with straight vanilla. By all means, feel free to change things up. Instead of the amaretto (for example) an orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier would be outstanding. A bit of nutmeg and cinnamon are also lovely optional additions, along with some orange zest. 

Finally, you don't have to limit our recipe to breakfast or brunch. Panettone French Toast also makes a fabulous dessert. Just scoop a bit of gelato or ice cream over a warm piece, toss on some berries and splash of amaretto or try toasted almonds, chocolate sauce, and a puff of whipped cream. 

Makes 2 Servings for breakfast -- 4 servings for dessert


2 large eggs
1/4 cup whole milk, light cream, or half-and-half 
(optional) 1-2 tablespoons Amaretto 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (if not using any liqueur flavoring, double this amount) 
1 Tablespoon sugar 
Pinch of salt 
1 one-inch thick round of panettone, quartered 
For frying: 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil + 1 tablespoon butter 
To finish: confectioners' sugar

Note: Like any soft bread, panettone will tear if you're not careful. To avoid that, take note of my underlined comments in the recipe.


Step 1—Prep bread: Slice a 1-inch thick round layer from your loaf of panettone (see my photo below). The thickness is important to avoid tearing.

Allow the bread to sit out and become dry for a few hours or overnight. When ready to cook, preheat your oven to 250 degrees F. Slice the thick round into 4 quarters and set aside.

Step 2—Mix egg custard: In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk, liqueur and/or vanilla, sugar, and salt. Place the egg mixture into a pie or cake pan and soak the slices of bread for about 3 minutes on one side, then avoid tearing by using two forks to carefully turn the fragile pieces and soak them for another 3 on the other. At this point most of the liquid should be absorbed.

Step 3—Fry and bake: Into a skillet or sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 of butter. When the butter is melted and butter/oil mixture is hot, use a clean hand to carefully transfer the fragile slices of panettone quarters into the pan. Pour any remaining custard over the top of the slices in the hot pan.

Turn the heat down to medium and begin to time the cooking. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown (do not overcook). If cooking more batches, be sure to wipe the pan clean with a paper towel and add fresh oil and butter for each new batch.

Use a spatula to carefully transfer the fried quarters to a parchment lined baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes. After that time, either serve at once or turn off the oven to "hold" the pieces for 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 4—Serve : Eat the panettone French toast warm with a dusting of powdered sugar and/or serve with butter and pure maple or cane syrup and/or fruit toppings (strawberries, blueberries, etc). For an incredible dessert, add a scoop of ice cream and/or whipped cream, maybe some chopped nuts, and a drizzle of amaretto or chocolate sauce. As for me and my husband, Marc, this is what we'll be eating Christmas morning...

Click here to download this recipe 
in a free PDF document that you 
can print, save, or share. 

Eat with comfort and joy!

New York Times bestselling author
of The Coffeehouse Mysteries &
Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

This is us -- Alice and Marc.
Together we write as Cleo Coyle. 

Visit our online coffeehouse here.
And follow us at these links...

Coming April 2021...

Our new mystery!

Learn more or pre-order at:

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Indiebound * BAM 

More Buy Links

"He is hardboiled in the tradition
of Philip Marlowe, and she is a genteel
Miss Marple; yet the two opposites
make an explosive combination..."

—Midwest Book Review

To learn more, visit our
Haunted Bookshop
clicking here.

Top 10 
New York Times 

A Coffeehouse Holiday Mystery

With Recipes for Holiday Cookies
and Festive food & drinks...

5 Best of Year Lists!

Learn more or buy at:

 Amazon * B&N

Cleo is about to send out
her Holiday Newsletter!

Don't miss her bonus recipes, 
latest book news and ghostly
prize package giveaway!


Free Checklist of Books in Order

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark 
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
18 titles includes the added bonus of recipes.

Click here to download this recipe 
in a free PDF document that you 
can print, save, or share.