What a beautiful May morning to round out the wonderful month it has been! Mr. Cozy has been on vacation for almost 2 weeks now, and he's about finished with his second year of residency! Can I get an AMEN and praise my sweet Jesus for this??! We've had so much fun together as a family this month. I celebrated Mother's Day officially as a first-time mom to our two precious kids, but all of that is for another blog post!
This morning we ate this scrumptious overnight French toast bake topped with farm fresh strawberries and real Pennsylvania maple syrup! What a dreamy breakfast to eat on the patio with the family.
This French toast bake is a great idea for a special breakfast to make ahead of time so your morning can be spent being with the people you love instead of just being in the kitchen. It comes together quickly the night before and rests in the fridge. All the bread pieces soak up the brown sugar and butter on the bottom of the pan and the vanilla-cinnamon custard poured overtop! It's sprinkled with chopped pecans for the crunchy finish I love, but you can leave those out if you like. In the morning it bakes until puffed and golden, and it's ready to eat with your favorite syrup or fruit and whipped cream... Or a little of it all!
We enjoyed it with sliced cantaloupe and a mug of dark roast coffee while the kids had cold milk. I hope this is a breakfast you will find the time to make on one of these lovely summer mornings!
Overnight Cinnamon-Pecan French Toast Bake
Adapted: Virginia Willis, Bon Appetite Y'all
1 loaf Italian, French, Challah, or Brioche
3/4 c. Brown sugar
4 Tbsp. Butter, melted
1 c. Milk (I used skim)
1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Apple Pie Spice
Pinch of Salt
1/2 c. Chopped Pecans
Topping (Optional): Maple Syrup, Fruit, Whipped Cream
Cube the bread into 1 inch pieces. Set aside. Combine the melted butter and sugar and pour into butter 9x13 in. pan and spread out. Put the cubed bread on top.
Combine the eggs and remaining custard ingredients and whisk together until well combined. Pour this all over the bread and lightly push down bread to soak into egg mixture. Sprinkle pecans over the top.
Cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for 3-13 hours. Take out of fridge and sit for 20 minutes before baking in a 350 degrees oven for 30-45 minutes. (I baked 45 minutes.)
Cut into squares and enjoy warm with your favorite topping.
** I like to put my cold French toast bake in the oven as it preheats to prevent the dish from cracking. Therefore I bake it the full time, and it saves time letting it come to room temp first!
The creator of this recipe, Virginia Willis is the real deal! She is classically French trained Southern style chef! So take it from me, this is yummy!!!