Thursday, December 8, 2011

French Toast Strata

The yolk's on you!!  (I doubled the recipe...)

Today’s feature: the dream breakfast or brunch entrée.  It’s hard to believe that there could be an item (or two) that people request over and over again for breakfast, but this is one of my mama’s recipes, which always ensures that it is spectacular (SPECTACULAR!), and that it’s reliable even for an okay baker like me.  I’ve talked about this before (because it is brunch-tastic), but here’s the secret family recipe…

French Toast Strata

1 lb loaf of unsliced French bread
8 eggs
6 T butter, melted
8 oz. of cream cheese, cubed
2 and ½  C milk or half and half
¼ C maple syrup (plus more to serve)

Easy ingredients, right?  Even easier directions…

Cut the French bread into 1” cubes (makes about 12 cups).  Then, grease a 3 quart baking dish.  I like to coat it with butter (of course), but you could use a spray.  Place half of your bread cubes into the dish, then top with your cream cheese cubes.  Top off with your remaining bread cubes. 

Next, combine your eggs, milk, melted butter, and maple syrup in a bowl and mix well with a hand mixer or blender.  I like to fluff it up on high, but just make sure that it’s well combined.  Pour the mixture over your cubes. 

Use a spatula to slightly press down all the layers to make sure everything is well moistened.  (Ew.  I hate that word.  Do it just the same.)  

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours, but you can go up to 24 if you’re really well prepared.

That morning, removed the plastic wrap and bake at 325 for 35-40 minutes.  I like to broil for the last minute or so to crisp up the top, but that’s a personal preference.   Just bake until the center sets and your edges are lightly golden.  Let stand for about 10 minutes, then serve it up with warm maple syrup.

I promise that this is a winner every time.  It’s the perfect combination of French toast with cream cheese, and it is so easy that you won’t mind making it every time someone requests it (because you really love eating it, too!).

Seconds, please!

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