Thursday, June 28, 2012

Vanilla Bean French Toast Casserole

Breakfast is Tim's favorite meal of the day. Me- I can't make up my mind enough to choose a favorite! When Tim's birthday rolled around this year, I knew I wanted to make him a big breakfast. I let him choose between baked oatmeal or French Toast Casserole.  Secretly, I was hoping he'd choose the French toast. He came through!!

This is my go-to meal for special occasions. I even made it for Christmas morning this year. It's a simple and straight forward recipe that needs to be prepared the night before.  Perfect for taking stress out of getting breakfast on the table in the morning. The original recipe doesn't call for it, but I make mine with vanilla beans. Like I've said before, vanilla beans take everything over the top! I will never have a spice cabinet that doesn't contain vanilla beans again!
After baking in the oven, it gets all fluffy from the eggs and the bread on the outside gets a nice crisp<--- my favorite part!


Next time you have guests for breakfast throw together this simple casserole to bump your breakfast spread up a notch!

Vanilla Bean French Toast Casserole
Adapted from Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf (1 pound) French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 8 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups milk or half & half
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • beans from 1/2 vanilla bean pod (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • TOPPING:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Maple syrup, optional


Directions

  • Place bread cubes in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt. Pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  • Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Dot with butter. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the top.
  • Cover and bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes. Serve with maple syrup if desired.