Recipe: French Toast Casserole

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French Toast Casserole 1Easter morning, like Christmas morning, in many homes features a special breakfast or brunch shared by family members, so many of us are on the lookout for simple but sensational recipes to please our loved ones.

This recipe was recently shared with me by a very dear friend.  Penny told me about this wonderfully easy recipe that she uses at the holidays with her family. Not only did she share her go-to recipe, but she took pictures of it for me the last time she made it. Talk about a thoughtful friend!

Penny’s French Toast Casserole looks absolutely delicious with those berries and apples, and you know it smells marvelous with the brown sugar and cinnamon. This is definitely going to become one of my signature all-time brunch favorites! Thank you, Penny!

French Toast Casserole 2Penny’s French Toast Casserole

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 tart apples (Granny Smith or Pink Lady)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or raisins, cherries, etc)–can also add  frozen blackberries or strawberries
1 loaf of cubed French bread
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk

Combine the brown sugar, butter and one teaspoon of cinnamon in a greased 13×9-inch baking dish. Add the apples and cranberries; toss and coat  the fruit well. Spread the fruit mixture evenly over bottom of the baking dish. Arrange the cubed bread on top of the fruit mixture.

Mix the eggs, milk, vanilla and remaining two teaspoons of cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl until the mixture was well blended. Pour the mixture over the bread, soaking it completely. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, and refrigerate it 4-24 hours.

Bake the casserole, covered with aluminum foil, in a preheated 375-degree oven for 40 – 50 minutes or until the center is done, Oven temperatures vary, so adjust your temperature and time accordingly.

French Toast Cassserole 3Uncover and bake additional five minutes to brown the top. Remove from the oven and let the casserole stand five minutes. Serve warm. You can Invert your baking dish onto a plate and can dust the casserole with powdered sugar.

This makes twelve servings. You can adjust this recipe according to your personal tastes or to use seasonal fruits.

You can also turn any leftover French Toast Casserole into a delicious dessert. Mix one to two teaspoons of chocolate or fruit liqueur well and pour over the French Toast Casserole. Reheat the casserole in a 350-degree oven for twenty to thirty minutes, or until very warm. Serve the casserole topped with ice cream or whipped topping.

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