Apr 7
2011

Sugar Rusk: Japanese Sweet Toast Snack

in Bread, Dessert, Fuji Favorites, Japanese, Oyatsu/Snack, Recipes By Region, Recipes by Type

*LFM News: I’m speaking next week at The Family Food Summit, an online conversation about feeding our families.  The Family Food Summit will give you specific ideas on how to achieve health in the kitchen–gain insight on nutrition, trends, and helpful cooking tips.  Some of the nation’s leading food experts have gathered for some interesting perspectives on cooking.  I hope you’ll join us for this special online event, April 11th through April 14th.  You can listen in via telephone or internet, without having to leave the house!  The best part?  It’s FREE!  For more information and to register, visit www.familyfoodsummit.com.

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Simple Japanese Sugar Rusk

Last Saturday evening Mr. Fuji and my friend’s husband were gone attending a meeting, so we decided to take advantage of the opportunity for some “girl” time and take the kids out for dinner.  I decided it was the perfect opportunity to head over to Panera Bread to use a gift card I had received as part of project I’ve been doing with Panera over the past couple of months.  Luckily we arrived before the big dinner rush and were able to grab a large booth to fit all of us.  We spent an hour enjoying good food and company, and laughing as we watched our kids and their crazy antics.

Dinner at Panera Bread

They were especially fond of an extra-large arm chair with an attached circular table that swiveled.  That chair entertained them for at least 10 minutes!

Panera Play

I made sure to grab one of Panera’s baguettes to take home while we were there.  One of the reasons I love Panera is that their baguettes enable me to make one of my favorite Japanese treats.  Rusk (ラスク, “rasuku”) are slices of crisp dry toast coated with butter and sugar, like a giant sugary crouton.  Sometimes slices of rusk are dipped in chocolate, or made with savory ingredients instead, but the end result is always the same—totally and completely addicting.  Certain confectionary companies in Japan make rusk that are very popular, like the rusk made by Gateau Festa Harada.  It is not uncommon to see a line of people waiting to purchase a box of rusk at one of these shops.  Not only are they a popular snack, but they also are a popular gift.  Rusk is very simple to make, requiring very few ingredients, which makes it especially important to use high quality ingredients, because the flavor of those ingredients will not be covered up if they are sub-par.  Because of this, I’m very picky about the baguettes that I use in making rusk, and my options are limited in the area I live.  Panera is the only place I’ve found in town that makes a baguette good enough to make delicious rusk.  Without Panera I’d have to make my own baguettes, but who wants to go to the trouble of making gorgeous baguettes for that purpose?  If I’m going to go to all that work, I want to just slice up that baguette, slather it with butter and have a feast!

Fresh baguette from Panera Bread

Okay, enough of my bread rant and back to making rusk!  Making rusk couldn’t be simpler.  You start out by slicing a baguette into 1/4-inch slices.  Make sure your bread knife is sharp for this task, otherwise getting the slices thin enough will not be easy. It actually helps if the baguette is a day old, which makes the bread a bit drier and thus easier to cut.

thinly slice the baguette

Then you spread each slice with a butter and sugar mixture, set the slices on a baking sheet,

Spread the butter mixture on the slices of breadRusk ready to go into the oven

and pop them in the oven to bake at a low temperature until they are crispy and have turned a golden brown on bottom.

Rusk hot out of the oven

Rusk are delicious dipped in a glass of milk.  Just be forewarned that you may end up eating more than you intended due to their addictive qualities.  Thank you to Panera enabling two moms to get out of the house with their crazy kids, and for enabling me to take care of my craving for my favorite sugary, buttery, crunchy treat!

Sugar Rusk

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Sugar Rusk (Japanese Sweet Toast Snack)

Makes about 100 pieces

1 French baguette, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 cup (8 ounces) butter, softened
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Cream the butter, sugar, and almond extract together in a small bowl. Spread a thin layer of the butter mixture on one side of each bread slice. Place the slices, buttered side up, on ungreased baking sheets.

3. Bake the slices for 1 hour, or until the bread is light brown on the bottom side of the slices and crisp. Remove from the oven and move the slices to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store the cooled slices in an airtight container with wax paper separating the layers.

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* DISCLOSURE: I’m writing this post and creating this recipe as part of a project with Panera Bread.  They have compensated me for my time and expenses, but my opinions and tastes are my own.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }



Alayna @ Thyme Bombe April 7, 2011 at 1:13 pm

I have never heard of these but they sound fantastic! Such a simple recipe, I can’t wait to get my hands on a good baguette so I can make a batch.

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Doreen April 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm

we used to make something similar when I was growing up … except our topping also included cinnamon and we simply toasted the bread in the toaster … yumm! Thanks for reminding me one of my childhood treats!

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AmyS April 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm

This sounds like a nice variation on sweet toast. Never thought of mixing almond extract with the butter. Gonna have to give this a try! :)

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Lyndsey April 7, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Sounds so good to me! We love Panera, and it’s great because we can bring the dog and sit outside when it’s not too hot, and the food. :D I grew up eating Holland rusk with butter and then sugar sprinkled on it. Same, but different! This I must try…it’s hard to get Holland rusk down here in Florida.

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Wokintime April 7, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Your pictures of your food and children are so beautiful. This dish looks totally addicting!

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Joan Nova April 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm

The “sweet” in this post is those beautiful children (but I kinda like the toast too).

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Barbara | VinoLuciStyle April 7, 2011 at 7:48 pm

I love the photos of the kids having so much fun; how can I not smile? When I was little, I loved when my grandmother would make me a simple snack of bread with butter and sugar…now of course wishing for some baking too! What a simple and wonderful idea.

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Donna April 7, 2011 at 11:00 pm

This reminds of a snack I made many years ago at Girl Scout camp. We took slices of baguette, dipped them in condensed milk and then coconut and toasted them over the fire. I know my sweet loving daughter would love this!

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notyet100 April 8, 2011 at 1:40 am

ummm i am gng to make this now,..;-)

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Lydia April 8, 2011 at 7:13 pm

I love this recipe but I was very sad to see in my reader that you switched to a summary feed. :(

I will probably not see many of your posts anymore. I’d love if you’d reconsider. I’m a social media professional, and I consume so much content every day – I can’t click over to each of the thousands of blogs I subscribe to, even though yours is in my top five faves. There’s only so much time in my internet day…

xo

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) April 9, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Thank you for your feedback Lydia. The reason for switching to a summary feed was due to issues with my feed being pirated. I may decide to switch back at some time in the future. I’ll be sorry to lose you as a reader!

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Kate@Diethood April 8, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Awww look at those smiles… they are adorable!!

And you’ve just reminded me of my kiddie days… we used to eat these with just margarine or butter, and sugar on top…beautiful snack!

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Lillian@sweetsbysillianah April 8, 2011 at 10:56 pm

ooh these make me think of the japanese rice cracker snacks i sometimes buy at the asian supermarket… i love that sugar crust on top! who knew it was so easy… i’ll have to pick up a baguette on my next grocery run, thanks for sharing! =)

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Joy April 10, 2011 at 8:41 pm

That is similar to something to what my mom used to make when we were kids all the time. It just brings back memories.

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Darla @ Bakingdom April 11, 2011 at 11:33 am

Oh my. All that crispy, sugary butter looks amazing! And such a simple treat too! Great idea!

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Ben April 12, 2011 at 6:31 am

I miss Panera bread :( I love what you did with the baguette and I bet it was delicious!

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Diane @ OhDiane April 17, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Mmmm. These look so good, and simple to make as well. I want to rush out to Panera right now to buy some baguettes!

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Deanna April 22, 2011 at 4:38 pm

These were a great snack! I want to try them with vanilla extract as well. Thanks for sharing!

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