Cinnamon toast is one of those classics that’s hard to improve upon. It’s got bread, butter, sugar, and cinnamon—what more could you need? Well, according to Jennifer Garner, you need a little heat.
In a very endearing Instagram video hashtag’d “#PretendCookingShow,” Garner shows off her culinary skills by frying her cinnamon toast in a cast iron pan to create a crunchy, chewy, almost brûléed version of the usually just toasted and sugared childhood classic. It is, in short, a very good and skilled maneuver.
I did not follow Garner’s method exactly, though you are certainly welcome to. (I did, however, use her ratio of 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon.) Instead of buttering just one side of the bread, I buttered and sugared both, then fried the bread in a nonstick pan (cast iron would work too) over medium-low heat, flipping a couple of times and adding a little more butter and cinnamon-sugar with each flip. Once the bread had crisped enough that it felt stiff when scooted around the pan, I transferred it to a plate and sprinkled on even more cinnamon-sugar.
It was one of the best pieces of toast I’ve ever had the pleasure of munching on. The butter had soaked into the bread, while the sugar and caramelized to form a sweet and chewy outer layer. The cinnamon, which is the same cinnamon used by Cinnabon, was toasted, creating a deeper, warmer flavor profile. Finishing with one more sprinkle of “raw” cinnamon-sugar added extra, pure sweetness, making for a complex, warm, and inviting treat.
Whether you follow Garner’s instructions exactly or play around and put your own spin on it, I recommend using a nonstick pan or well-seasoned cast iron, and unsalted butter, with just a pinch of salt in the cinnamon-sugar. (I used salted butter for mine and it was just a tad too salty, which is not a complaint I usually have.) I also recommend buttering the bread instead of the pan, to maximize the the sugar-to-bread contact (and thus your pleasure).