French Toast Casserole

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I have been making this French Toast Casserole for years, especially around the holidays. Since it can be made the night before it makes serving up a hot, homemade breakfast a cinch! It’s super easy to pull together and it’s always a big hit with everyone! I’m sure it will become a breakfast staple in your home as it is in mine.

I came across this recipe on Pinterest, it’s from the Lovin’ in the Oven blog and the original recipe can be found right here . It’s perfect “as is” but don’t be afraid to make small ingredient changes in order to create a whole different flavor profile. You can substitute the vanilla extract with other flavors such as amaretto or almond extract which is really delicious. My favorite thing to do around Christmas is to substitute the milk with eggnog and sprinkle the top with a little nutmeg. It’s the perfect Christmas morning breakfast with all of the flavors of the holiday. You could even add in some chopped dried fruit or mini chocolate chips to the bread mixture for an even sweeter treat. You really cannot mess up this recipe so go ahead and experiment to find a flavor combination that you and your family will love.

I like my French Toast Casserole a little more on the drier side so I use a little extra Challah bread (about 1 1/2 loaves) and I bake it for a full hour. If you prefer a moister, more soggy french toast then use one loaf of bread and decrease the baking time to about 45 minutes. Enjoy!

Ingredients

For the french toast

  • 1 to 1 1/2 loaves of stale Challah bread
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tbs pure vanilla extract or paste

For the topping

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cubed

Instructions

Grease a 9X13 pan. Tear the bread into chunks and place them in the greased pan. Set aside.

Combine the eggs, cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk until well combined. Pour the mixture over the bread, cover and refrigerate overnight.

In another bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the cold, cubed butter and mix until the ingredients come together forming small “pebbles”. Store in the fridge until morning.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Sprinkle the crumb topping all over the top of the french toast. Bake for 45-50 minutes. If you prefer a firmer, less soggy french toast then bake for an hour.

 

Serve warm with syrup.

**Tip – A quicker and easier way to make the crumb topping is to melt the butter and then add it to the dry ingredients. Mix until combined (it will be “liquidy”) and then pour into a Ziploc® bag and store in the fridge. By the morning the mixture will have hardened, gently squeeze the bag to break up the butter mixture into chunks and then top the french toast as directed.**

Mom’s Sweet Potato Casserole

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Thanksgiving is only a week away so naturally I am beginning to daydream about all of the delicious food I’ll be gobbling up in just a few short days. One dish that is a staple at our Thanksgiving dinner is my Mom’s Sweet Potato Casserole. It’s hands down the BEST I’ve ever had! I don’t even like sweet potatoes but I could eat this yumminess all day long. The sweet pecan topping is really what makes this dish, it adds just the right amount of crunchy sweetness to the potatoes without being too overpowering. It’s perfect! Consider adding this side dish to your menu, I promise you’ll be the star of Thanksgiving if you serve this casserole at your next holiday feast!

Ingredients

For the sweet potatoes

  • 3 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes (from 2 lbs raw OR two 16oz cans)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 large eggs, well beaten
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk

For the pecan topping

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp melted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Combine the mashed sweet potatoes, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and milk. Mix well. Spoon into a 2 qt. casserole dish.

Combine the brown sugar, flour, butter, and pecans until well mixed. Sprinkle over the top of the sweet potatoes.

Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through. Makes 8 servings.

**Tip – You can assemble the casserole in advance and bake later. The casserole can be refrigerated uncooked for up to 2 days. Increase the cooking time if baking the casserole directly from the refrigerator**

Kitchen Must Have – Sur La Table Stoneware Casserole with Lid

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(Photo courtesy of Sur La Table)

Let me start by saying that I absolutely adore this piece of bakeware. It was one of those things that I didn’t even know that I needed until I got one and now I absolutely cannot live without it. My mom got me this little beauty (mine is an awesome burnt orange) for Christmas last year and it was truly the best gift that I received. It’s such a versatile piece and the perfect vessel for almost anything you can think to make. I’ve used it for roasts, veggies, cakes, baked ziti, Brown Butter Chocolate and Vanilla Krispie Treats“Saucey” Italian Sausage and Peppers, and it’s even perfect as just a beautiful serving piece. If you’re limited on space and want one dish that can pretty much do it all then this is the one to get!

Because it’s stoneware it will retain the heat very well which means your food will stay hotter for a longer period of time, especially if you use the domed lid. I love that it can go from the oven to the table and then right into the fridge. Less mess in the kitchen! Not only does it cook and bake well, it’s also very well made so don’t worry about having to be extra delicate with it, it can stand up to a lot. The best part about this casserole dish is that it cleans up like a dream. I’ve braised short ribs in it for HOURS and by the time it came out of the oven I would’ve sworn it would never be clean again but after a little soaking with warm water and dish soap everything wiped away with ease. I highly recommend this casserole dish and I think you will find that it will quickly become an invaluable little workhorse in your kitchen too!

Sur La Table sells this casserole dish for $60 however, it does go on sale from time to time and you can use their 20% off coupon on it as well. If you would like to purchase one you can get them in their store or right here.

Pictured below is Chicken Lombardi that I made in my casserole dish.

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