Sunday, August 15, 2010

Baked French Toast Casserole

I made this the first time five years ago for Karen's baby shower. It is a Paula Deen recipe so you know it is rich and delicious. I make this recipe "as is" and do not use lowfat ingredients, this is a special occassion brunch idea - great for holidays.

1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash salt
~Praline Topping (to follow)~
Maple syrup (optional - I do not use)

Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Praline Topping:
•1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
•1 cup packed light brown sugar
•1 cup chopped pecans
•2 tablespoons light corn syrup
•1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Makes enough for Baked French Toast Casserole.

Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Paula suggests serving with Maple syrup but it is sweet enough by itself, so I do not add it.

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