I’m going to share with you my sure-fired brunch dish. I have made this for every morning get-together that my family has had in the past two years, and it is always meant with rave reviews. And by rave reviews, I mean yummy noises and other unintelligible happy eating sounds as actually words are not possible at that moment. It is incredibly easy, and even easy to make sugar free, as I do for the diabetics in the family.
Just know that if you invite me for brunch, I’m bringing this with me.
Overnight French Toast Casserole
1 loaf bread (16 oz.), cubed – French, challah, or even sandwich bread, whatever you like for French toast
1 pkg. cream cheese (8 oz.), cubed
3 ½ cups milk
½ c. sugar or sugar substitute
½ c. butter or margarine, melted
¼ c. maple syrup (I use sugar free to make it, well, sugar free)
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 ½ - 2 cups fruit – I have used diced apples tossed in cinnamon and bananas, but go with your fancy
Place half the bread cubes in a lightly greased 13x9-inch casserole dish. Sprinkle cream cheese and fruit evenly. Top with remaining bread cubes. (Or just mix them all together and dump it in the pan.) Whisk together eggs, 3 c. milk, sugar, butter, syrup, and cinnamon. Pour over the bread cubes, pressing so the bread absorbs the liquid. Cover & chill for 8 hours or overnight or however long you need.
Before baking, check to see if the casserole seems dry. If so, pour remaining milk over the top. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. Bake covered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Bake uncovered for 30 more minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
*One of the recipes I used for inspiration called for something like 6 eggs & 4 c. milk, which I felt was excessive, and it works with less. Add or subtract eggs & milk as desired.