I'm not a morning person...so this French toast casserole made the perfect entree, since it is prepared the night before and baked in the morning. It was actually the only thing I cooked...I prepared an Easy Brunch Menu: I just used a fancy trail mix and such for appetizers, cut up some fresh fruit and added bagels, along with flavored and plain cream cheeses from a good bakery. Well, you get the idea...I had fun shopping! For meat, I used a good sliced beef salami. Oh, outside of coffee and orange juice, I offered bottled sparkling regular and pomegranate-blueberry lemonade...perfect for adults and children! Dessert was brought by the new in-laws...an extra layer from the wedding cake! I have to say, it was probably the best wedding cake I've ever had...an Italian cream cake with a true homemade taste (and beautifully decorated)!
Back to the overnight French toast casserole...since the recipe calls for canned peaches, you can serve it year-round. It is an easy dish that makes a tantalizing presentation, so enjoy it during the holiday season!
So, What Are We Waiting For...
As adapted from bettycrocker.com Peaches 'n Cream French Toast Casserole
Serves approx. 12
- Butter-flavored non-stick cooking spray
- 1/2 c. (1 stick) salted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 c. packed light brown sugar
- 2 TB honey (I use whipped clover honey (fancy, pure white honey...Kroger carries it at a reasonable price)
- 1/ea. 29 oz. can, plus 1/ea. 15.25 oz. can sliced peaches, drained (I used Freestone)
- 1/ea. 16 oz. loaf day-old French bread, cut into 1/2" cubes
- 1/ea. 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, cut into cubes
- 1 doz. eggs
- 1 c. whole milk
- 1/2 c. whipping cream
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
The Cinnamon Whipped Cream
- 1 1/2 c. whipping cream
- 3 TB powdered sugar
- 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon (plus about 1/8 tsp. for garnish)
- 3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- This recipe from allrecipes.com uses about 4 cups of pecan halves, and you'll need about two cups for the french toast casserole.
Son Got A Little Artsy With My Camera...
- Lightly coat a 9"x13" glass baking dish with the cooking spray.
- In a 1 qt. saucepan, whisk and stir the butter, brown sugar and honey over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted. Pour this mixture evenly into the glass baking dish.
- Spread the drained peaches equally over the sugar mixture.
- Top the peach layer evenly with half of the bread cubes, then top equally with the cheese cubes. Spread the remaining bread cubes evenly over the casserole.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, 1/2 c. whipping cream, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla until well combined. Pour evenly over the bread cubes in the casserole. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
- The next morning, uncover the casserole and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, Preheat The Oven to 350º.
- Place the casserole in the oven and bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out almost clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Serve warm with the cinnamon whipped cream and cinnamon-sugar coated pecans served on the side as toppings (optional).
- In a large bowl, beat 1 1/2 c. whipping cream, powdered sugar, cinnamon and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Serve in a bowl, on the side, with about 1/8 tsp. cinnamon sprinkled on the top for garnish.
- Chop after baked and serve about two cups in a bowl on the side.
- You can freeze any leftover casserole in individual portions and heat in the microwave, using a microwavable dish, for about two minutes on 70% power.
- The whipped cream topping can be frozen in dollops and slightly thawed before using.
- Keep any extra pecans in an air-tight container.
I Said It Was Casual...