Banana Bread French Toast with Peanut Butter Maple Syrup (and brown sugar whipped cream)

If I could, I'd take you all to Dallas right now to eat brunch at one of our favorite places, Bread Winners.  From what I understand, they've opened a few locations since we lived there, but we'd go to the original location on McKinney.  It's quaint and hip and cool, without being pretentious...multi-level with a gorgeous, plant-filled, open-air atrium (where I never sit because I don't want my hair to frizz).

Here's what we'd order: Banana bread French toast and mimosas.  Mr. E always gets some sort of egg dish, but me....I just can't get past that French toast.

Inspired by Bread Winners, I made Banana Bread French Toast at home.  Like theirs, I piled mine high with clouds of whipped cream (I sweetened mine with brown sugar)...but for the syrup, I made up a little peanut butter maple syrup.
{I think I was channeling Elvis.}
{I certainly might resemble Elvis in his later years if I eat this every day.}

First, you'll need banana bread.  If you have a banana bread you love, by all means use it.  I'll provide one for you below.
{Do you love that "crack" in the top of bread like I do?}

You'll want to bake the bread and let it it COOL COMPLETELY before making the French toast...the warm bread may fall apart on you.

Banana Bread French Toast with Peanut Butter Maple Syrup

for the bread:
{adapted from King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion}

 2 & 2/3 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup mashed, ripe bananas
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup milk

for the syrup:

1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter

for the brown sugar whipped cream:

1 cup heavy cream
3 TBSP light brown sugar

for the French toast:

3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
dash kosher salt
butter for the griddle

make the bread:
Grease a flour a 9 x 5" loaf pan.  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 350.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, and oil until well combined.  Add in the bananas and vanilla bean paste and mix.  Add in the flour mixture on low speed, just until combined.  Stir in the yogurt and milk.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  If the bread is browning too quickly, tent with foil.

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

make the syrup:
Whisk the maple syrup and peanut butter together in a small saucepan.  Keep over low heat, whisking occasionally.

make the whipped cream:
Add the brown sugar to the bowl, breaking it up with your fingers.  Add the cream. With the whisk attachment, whip the cream with the sugar until peaks form.  Set aside.

make the French toast mixture: 
Heat a griddle or pan.  Whisk together all of the ingredients, except the butter, in a shallow dish. 

cook & assemble:
Slice the banana bread into thick slices.  Dip both sides of the bread in the egg mixture.

Butter the hot griddle, and cook the bread on both sides, until golden.

Place 2 slices of bread on each plate.  Add sliced bananas, if desired.  Drizzle with the syrup.

Add massive dollops of brown sugar whipped cream.

Unbutton pants. (Optional.)

{No, this post was NOT sponsored by Bread Winners. Yes, my love for them, and banana bread French toast, runs deep.}
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