Thursday, December 27, 2012

Cinnamon Bread French Toast Casserole with Streusel Topping

As usual, my timing this week is somewhere south of impeccable.  Now that Christmas is over, the gifts are unwrapped, and your guests have gone home, I am busting out two great, company-worthy, perfect-for-Christmas-morning breakfast recipes.  Yesterday I shared my new favorite cinnamon roll recipe.  Today I am going to introduce you to a mind-blowing French toast casserole recipe.  Typical me!  

I have had French toast casserole on my radar for about a year now.  And I just made one for the first time last weekend.  Once again, typical me!  There are a few reasons I say that this would have been perfect for Christmas morning with your family.  First and foremost, it is delicious.  That's kind of important.  Also, it is really easy to make, and can even be prepared the night before.  Then you can just pop it in the oven in the morning, chill out and sip some coffee, and prepare to be amazed.  

This smells awesome while it is baking.  Maybe even awesome enough to help those who need a little encouragement roll out of bed.  And making a French toast casserole allows you to enjoy the yummy taste of French bread without all the dipping and flipping!

And if you are wondering how this recipe came to be, here's the story.  If you're not interested, tough.  I'm telling it anyway.  Last Friday I got a loaf of cinnamon bread as a gift from a coworker.  She said that it makes great French toast.  That was my plan for this loaf.  But when I cut it open, I discovered that it had big gaps between the layers and pretty much just fell apart with any handling.  This was not going to work for French toast.  And then the little voice inside my head reminded me that I have been meaning to make French toast casserole.  Here was my golden opportunity.

So I quickly came up with a recipe.  I swear I have a recipe for everything.  The original recipe called for a whole loaf of French bread in a 9x13-inch casserole dish.  I figured that my loaf of cinnamon bread wasn't quite as big as a loaf of French bread.  So I scaled back the recipe a bit and baked it in an 8x8-inch dish.  It worked out great!
This was sweet, cinnamon-y, delicious layers of yummy bread.  Oh, and it's topped with cinnamon stresuel.  What a great way to start the day!  I made this just for my husband and myself, and I was amazed at how quickly we polished it off.  I dare say we ate this a lot faster than we would have eaten just a loaf of cinnamon bread.  So that might be this recipe's only downfall.  It is way too easy to down a loaf of bread via tasty French toast casserole!  

Again, I apologize for my failure to share this recipe before Christmas day.  But some of you (like me!) still have family gatherings for the holiday season, so I guess I shouldn't feel too bad.  And there's always next year!  Not that I recommend waiting until next Christmas to make this.  I know I sure won't!

Update:  I have revised this recipe after making this again.  It is now even richer and more delicious!  I used egg yolks because I had some leftover from making a few batches of white cake.  If you don't have any lying around and don't want to use egg yolks, just use 6 whole eggs.  I also added some sweetened condensed milk, again because I had some leftover from something else.  Omit it if you want.  But with these changes, this Cinnamon Bread French Toast Casserole was absolutely spectacular! 

Cinnamon Bread French Toast Casserole with Streusel Topping
1 loaf cinnamon bread
2 large eggs
8 egg yolks
1 1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
For the struesel topping:
1/4 cup cold butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
Grease 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut bread into 1-inch pieces and place in prepared baking pan.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, vanilla, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and mix well.  Pour evenly over bread.
(At this point you can let it soak overnight in the refrigerator to bake the next morning.  If doing so, make streusel topping and let casserole sit at room temperature while oven is preheating!)
To make the streusel:  Combine butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor and pulse until it resembles fine crumbs, or cut with 2 butter knives.  Sprinkle over casserole.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until it puffs up and is golden brown.  If the top is browning too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.  Let sit 10 minutes before cutting.

Serves 8-10

Recipe adapted from Greens n Chocolate

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this! Easter is just around the corner and we can serve this wonderful breakfast treat then!!