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Monday, August 30, 2010

Make-Ahead French Toast Casserole

This is our go-to breakfast for holiday mornings or for when company is over. You make it the night before, leave the butter out to soften and in the morning just mix the butter mixture together and you have a wonderful breakfast. This is Allison's favorite. When I make it for just my family I will leave the topping off and serve it with syrup and make it with a combination of whole and skim milk but when we have guests I go for the gusto.

1 loaf of white bread (don't do anything fancy, just the regular, cheap, white bread works the best)
8 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
2 cups half-and-half
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) butter softened
1 1/2 c packed (9 1/3 oz) light brown sugar
3 Tbsp corn syrup
1 c (4 oz) chopped pecans or walnuts

1. Toast the slices of white bread.
2. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Make 2 layers of bread in the pan with the slices tight together. Whisk together the eggs, milk, half-and-half, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and pour mixture over bread. Press lightly on bread to submerge in mixture if needed.
3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
4. When ready to bake, heat the over to 325 degrees. Mix together the topping and spread over the casserole. Place the pan on a cookie sheet in case of spill overs and bake for 60 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 to 8 people