Sunday, October 4, 2015

Best Dish: French Toast Casserole

It looks like this particular MOPS group has a sweet tooth, because the sweet dish won for the second time in a row! Congratulations to Wendy Zeitler from the green table, and her mouthwatering French Toast Casserole recipe for winning the Best Dish Award!

This was the first time Wendy made the recipe, but judging by the response from the group, I have a feeling it won't be the last. A friend of Wendy's made this for a Sunday-school breakfast, and when she heard how easy it was to make, she knew she needed it in her collection. Lucky for you, she asked her friend for the recipe, and now you guys get to reap the benefits!

Wendy says she loves that almost the entire dish can be prepped the night before. "I can bake it in the morning while I'm getting ready for the day, and it's hot and ready in time for breakfast."

The casserole was such a success at the meeting, that she made it again recently for a family vacation at a beach house in Gulf Shores last weekend. "I made it for them as well, and they loved it too. We ate the whole pan in one morning. It's definitely not on the healthier side of breakfast, but it's fun to splurge every now and again. I think this will become a company and holiday staple in my house."

A quick tip if you decide to make this: make sure to use French bread, as other breads may be too crusty to soak up the egg mixture.

photo courtesy of Food Network

Baked French Toast Casserole
by Food Network (Paula Deen)

1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash salt

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; blend well; set aside)

Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). 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.

Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.

Talk about YUM! This sounds like the perfect dish to serve for Thanksgiving or Christmas morning! Let us know if you make it :) 

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