Yesterday (the actual Tuesday), I was informed that we were having a 'Treat Day' on Thursday for one of our co-workers who got a job in another department. First of all, this basically brightened my whole day because I now had a valid reason to bake. But when I got back from lunch, I found out that 'Treat Day' had now been moved to Wednesday because of some schedule conflicts. "Uhhhh, okay!" In reality, this really isn't a big deal if you're a normal person. But with me, I seem to take my sweet ol' time when picking out a recipe. I always filter through every book, every folder, every magazine, and every bookmarked on-line recipe, that I have. Which obviously takes a little time. Fortunately, my bacon-loving co-worker (the one I made the Candied Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies for) had given me a recipe a while back and she
So for Tried & True Tuesday (well, Wednesday now, but work with me!), I chose an overnight dish given to me by none other than my dear mom: Creme Brulee French Toast. Since you can prepare this the night before, it's perfect for those busy weekdays. Just pop it in the oven when you wake up in the morning and by the time you're ready for breakfast, a wonderfully filling, sweet morning surprise will be waiting for you!
So what is it exactly? It's basically an organized [best ever!] bread pudding. Aside from the deliciously flavorful bread mixture, this goodie is finished (actually more like begins with) a caramely layer on the bottom of the pan. When you're ready to serve, you simply flip the piece of french toast up-side down to reveal a wonderfully luscious caramelized syrup. I, of course, always take some extra caramel from the pan and sneakily top it over my own piece. But I'm the baker so no one can get mad at me for it.
So before we make it to Thursday, let me get you this recipe. Enjoy, enjoy, and enjoy! .
Creme Brulee French Toast
1/2 c. unsalted butter
1 c. packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp. corn syrup
2 round loaves Cinnamon Chip Bread
3 c. half & half
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
- In small heavy saucepan, melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over medium heat, stirring until smooth and glossy. Pour into 13x9-inch pan.
- Cut bread into 1-inch slices. Arrange 10 bread slices on top of sugar mixture, squeezing tightly to fit.
- In large bowl, whisk together eggs, half & half, vanilla extract, and salt until well combined. Pour half of mixture over first layer of bread slices. Place second layer of bread slices over the first layer. Pour the remaining egg mixture over top layer of bread, letting mixture soak into the entire surface of each slice of bread. Chill, covered, at least 8 hours or up to one day.
- Remove bread mixture from refrigerator 1 hour before baking. Heat oven to 350°F. Bake 45 minutes or until puffed and edges are golden.
- Okay, I must warn you: this dish puffs like NONE OTHER. It's actually quite comical because it looks like the bread is going to explode in the oven. But don't worry, that definitely didn't happen (to me at least...).
- The original recipe simply said 'Bread,' so the amount of bread I specified here is what I ended up using. I personally am head-over-heels for the Cinnamon Chip Bread from the Great Harvest Bread Company, so that's what I chose. They only sell it in round loaves so I sliced and trimmed the bread to fit it in the pan. You can of course use basically any type of bread you like, but I think the cinnamon adds another [tasty] element to the dish. So what I'm trying to say is don't pass it up!
- The recipe says to cut 1-inch thick bread slices and I would follow this recommendation. I sliced the bread a tad bit thicker than that and I found that it was a little harder to get the egg mixture soaked into the top layer. It was do-able, but if you keep to the directions then you'll be just fine.