Walnut Jam-Stuffed French Toast (Kifli French Toast)

Every year I make a Hungarian traditional pastry called kifli. While in Hungary kifli can be anything from a savoury pretzel-like snack to sweet stuffed crescent-shaped pastries, in my family growing up, kifli meant a sweet walnut jam stuffed pastry coated in icing sugar.
Also every year, I end up with way more filling than I need. I can nail the pastry to filling ratio about once in every ten batches, so I’m invariably left with a lot of the filling.
While enjoying some kifli with coffee on a lazy Sunday, it struck me that the filling is like a jam. You can make the argument that any ground nut paste is like a nut butter, but because the sugar component is rather high, when it blends together, the mixture gets more jam-like than nut butter-like.
This conclusion led me to the idea that it could be sandwiched between slices of bread and made into a stuffed French toast. When I do any stuffed French toast, I’m quite enamoured with the idea of encrusting it with oats for an extra crunch. They keep in a low oven beautifully while you make a big batch of them so entertaining with them is easy!

Walnut Jam-Stuffed French Toast (Kifli French Toast)
Recipe type: Brunch
For the Walnut Jam:
  • 1-1/4 cups walnuts
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • Juice and zest of ½ lemon
  • 3 Tbsp water
For the Walnut Jam-Stuffed French Toast:
  • ½ cup Walnut Jam
  • 8 slices whole wheat sandwich bread, crusts cut off and remaining bread cut in half lengthwise
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups regular (old fashioned) oats
  • Butter, for griddling
  • Icing sugar, to serve
For the Walnut Jam:
  1. Place the walnuts, sugar, lemon juice/zest and water in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is a nearly smooth purée with only the slightest bit of chunkiness remaining. Set aside.
For the Walnut Jam-Stuffed French Toast:
  1. On half of the slices of bread spread 1-2 Tbsp of Walnut Jam. Top with the other bread slices to make little sandwiches. Crimp the edges of the bread to seal the filling in as best as you can.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon and vanilla extract. In another medium bowl place the oats.
  3. Place a heavy bottomed skillet (I like a cast iron skillet the best for this), over medium low heat and allow to heat up for at least 5 minutes.
  4. Dip each "sandwich" in the egg mixture. Allow each side of the bread to soak in the mixture for 45-60 seconds per side to get very moist. Carefully move to the oats and dredge, coating the eggy sandwich completely. Set aside on a plate while the pan heats up.
  5. Place a tablespoon or two of butter in the pan. When the butter melts and sizzles, place two of the oaty sandwiches into the hot skillet. Brown on all sides for about 90 seconds on each side until deeply golden. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and keep warm in a 100C/220F oven. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches. Serve with a dusting of icing sugar. Serves 4-6 with Walnut Jam leftover 😉