What do you do when you have a host of cousins coming in the morning for breakfast? Before I go to bed I am going to whip up a French Toast Casserole. When the first guest arrives I am going to pop my casserole in the oven, cut up some fresh fruit, fried potatoes and onions and some bacon.
MAPLE FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE
1 (16 oz.) loaf of dried out French bread, cut into 1/2 inch bite size pieces, 8 large eggs, 2 cups milk, 2 1/4 cups half-half, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 3/4 cups salted butter.the cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg to the bowl and mix well. In a large bowl add the eggs and beat, add milk half-half, sugar whisk together.Add the bread to the bowl, put a plate on top of the bread to ensure the bread is soaked in the custard. Cover the bowl with foil and refrigerate for 6-8 hours. Remove the bread from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the bread custard into a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish.
TOPPING: 1/2 cup salted butter, 3 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, 2 cups pecans, chopped. Dump everything into a bowl. With your hands mix well until everything is well mixed and crumbly. Evenly add the topping to the bread custard. Bake for about 60-minutes, remove from the oven and cool for about 10-15 minutes then serve.