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.**

Homemade Coffee Creamers

creamers

I love the idea of flavored coffee creamers but I get a little out grossed out by what’s in them. I’ve tried some of the “natural” ones that they sell now and while they are okay, they don’t have a ton of flavor choices to pick from. So I decided to just make my own!!

I adapted the recipe for these creamers from the link below. I added a touch more vanilla in my recipe and increased the half and half from 1 3/4 cups to 2 cups. Feel free to play around with this recipe until you reach your desired consistency and flavor profile.

Homemade Coffee Creamers

The creamers took me about 5 minutes to throw together and they were delicious! It’s nothing more than sweetened condensed milk, half and half (or heavy cream if you like a thicker creamer) and flavorings. You can make so many different flavor combinations once you have the base down, the possibilities are endless. For the recipe below, I decided to split the recipe and make two flavors, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Vanilla. The creamers are great in coffee but REALLY good in hot cocoa too!!

Store the creamers in a cute Mason jar and give them a good shake before using. They will keep about 7-10 days in the fridge.

**Tip** – If you have any leftover creamer after a few days and you want to use it up, dip a few thick slices of Challah bread in the creamer and grill up some deliciously flavored French Toast. 

Ingredients

  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups half and half or heavy cream

For Cinnamon Vanilla Flavor

  • 2-3 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

For Hazelnut Flavor

  • 2 tsp pure hazelnut extract

Instructions

Combine all of the ingredients together in a Mason jar or other container, shake well to combine, and pour. Store in fridge for 7-10 days.

**Tip** – I like to label anything that I make homemade so I know what it is and when it was made. Ball makes great dissolvable labels for this purpose. You can get them from Amazon using the link below:

Ball Dissolvable Labels, Set of 60