Friday, April 1, 2016

Overnight French Toast

Dear Lauren,

I have dearly loved French Toast my entire life. I've seen overnight French toast recipes from time to time for years but thought, why would anyone want to mess up a perfectly amazing breakfast by letting it sit overnight in a casserole? I imagined a soggy mess.

Recently, as you know, Grampa and Cojo sold their house and had a truck full of their furniture and housewares they wanted to send to us. Dad flew to Austin and drove for 15 hours straight to bring all of these treasures home. Yes, he is the best husband in the world! I knew we'd have a few people here to unload the truck so I figured I would make them some breakfast. I know the usual fare for moving parties is pizza and beer, but not at 9 a.m.!

I was thumbing through a new cookbook and landed on the overnight French toast page. Well, why not? I'm so glad I made it! In the last 5 minutes of baking, call your guests over to the oven door to oooh and aaah over the puffiness of the dish! It's gorgeous!

Overnight French Toast
adapted from Farmhouse Rules

12 eggs
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 stick salted butter, melted
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
pinch of coarst kosher salt
1 cup grade B maple syrup, plus more for serving
1 loaf challah bread, sliced

Mix together the first seven ingredients in a large bowl with a whisk. Pour the maple syrup in the bottom of a large (9 x 15) baking dish. Place the slices of the challah in the dish, yes, all of them, they should fit in tightly together. Pour the egg mixture evenly over all of the bread slices. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove all racks above the center rack in your oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Place your baking dish on a baking sheet in case any of the contents should spill over, butter is the usual culprit and you don't want it on the bottom of your oven! Bake for about an hour or until the bread rises and is nice and brown on top and you can insert a fork in the center and it comes out dry. Serve with additional maple syrup or a little sprinkle of powdered sugar or both! You can add a nice fresh fruit salad and some bacon to the table, but make no mistake, this casserole is the star of the show!


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