There are some recipes that make me want to squeeze my eyes shut and click my heels together to mentally escape as I add the sinful ingredients. They’re so bad, yet so good. Naughty recipes like these are the equivalent of a drunk dial in college; one has to be in the right state of mind to make them.
If you watch The Food Network, you know Southern cook Paula Deen is known for her distinct recipe style: butter with a side of butter. I usually avoid her concoctions, but I simply can’t resist her French Toast Casserole.
Eater beware: if you consume too much French Toast Casserole you will regain the Freshmen fifteen, but the occasional hook up won’t do you any harm.
New Year’s resolution (bikini ready by June) be damned; I just had to eat some this morning after my in-bed-before-midnight New Year’s Eve snoozabration. I am sure it was still December 31, 2010 somewhere in the world when I gave in to temptation, right?
Happy New Year!
French Toast Casserole
- 1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Dash salt
- Praline Topping, recipe follows
- Maple syrup
Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking or casserole dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup (though you don’t really need it with this recipe because it stands on its own, some people like it).
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well.