OVERNIGHT FRENCH TOAST

There are dozens of recipes all over the internet for overnight French toast – every mom and family has one! French Toast casserole has been a staple in large families for many, many years long before the internet, especially at Christmas and Easter. What better way to use up stale bread, feed a crowd on a busy morning? Whether you are busy opening Christmas presents under the tree or trying to get the crowd out the door for church services this recipe is a winner!

Just pop it in the oven when you get up and then it’s ready when you are. The aroma while baking is only topped by the puffy, golden slice of goodness as you top it with fresh butter and maple syrup and then enjoying that first mouth watering sweet bite.

A dense thick Brioche works well as does leftover panettone or even a plump sourdough, but I LOVE to splurge for Christmas with Thomas’ Cinnamon Raisin swirl bread. This french toast turns out so sweet and yummy that you can slice it and skip the syrup if you want – just eat it like a sweet roll. When we have a crowd I often add some crisp bacon to the side.

OVERNIGHT FRENCH TOAST serves 6-8

2tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for baking dish
1 pound bread of choice, sliced ¾-inch thick (sourdough, brioche, panettone)
¼ cup golden raisins (optional if using a bread already filled with them)
6 LARGE eggs
2½ cups WHOLE milk
½ cup heavy cream
⅓ cup PACKED brown sugar
½ teaspoon QUALITY ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon FRESH ground nutmeg
½teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
⅓ cup pecans, chopped (optional)
PURE Maple syrup, for serving
FRESH blueberries or raspberries, for serving (optional

  • Butter a 2-quart baking dish.
  • LIGHTLY Butter the front sides of the slices of bread and shingle the slices upright in the dish, overlapping as necessary.
  • Nestle the raisins evenly between the slices of bread.
  • Whisk together eggs, milk, heavy cream, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt in a large bowl until well combined.
  • Pour the egg mixture over the bread and press the bread gently to absorb.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

NEXT morning.

  • Heat oven to 350.
  • Remove plastic wrap.
  • Sprinkle with pecans evenly if using.
  • Tent with foil.
  • Bake 30 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake another 20-30 until puffed, golden and set in the center.
  • Let stand 10 minutes.
  • Serve with maple syrup.

NOTE: When I make this for just the two of us I use my small enameled cast iron sauce pan as a baking vessel. I halve the slices and arrange them standing up. Adjust the other ingredients accordingly.

BANANA FRENCH TOAST ROLL UPS

BANANA FRENCH TOAST ROLL UPS Serves 4-5

Deliciously sweet for breakfast or brunch. Crispy on the outside, sweet and creamy on the inside.

10 slices sandwich bread
3 bananas sliced in half and then sliced thinly
3-4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 LARGE eggs
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla

1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
powdered sugar
PURE maple syrup

  • Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and melt 1-2 tablespoons of the butter.
  • Add sliced banana and brown sugar, sautéing until golden and mushy.

  • In a bowl combine remaining sugar with cinnamon and set aside.
  • In another bowl beat eggs with the milk and vanilla. Set aside.

  • Remove the bread crust, and flatten the slices with a rolling pin or a glass.
  • Spread 1-2 tablespoons of the banana mixture along one edge of the bread.
  • Brush the other side with the prepared egg wash.
  • 
Gently, but tightly roll up the bread around the banana mixture and seal to make a roll. Continue with the remaining bread.

  • Melt another tablespoon of butter in a pan.
  • Coat the banana rolls in the egg mixture and place seam side down, cooking 3-4 at a time, turning a quarter of turn each time until all sides are cooked and browned nicely.
  • Clean the pan slightly with a paper towel and repeat until all rolls are cooked.
  • Roll cooked roll ups in the cinnamon sugar mixture or dust with powdered sugar immediately.
  • Serve warm with PURE maple syrup if desired.


SHEET PAN PANCAKES

Hubs LOVES pancakes, but they’re not something I can tolerate much anymore so this is a simple recipe that keeps well for reheating too. It’s also simple enough to reduce for a small size.

SHEET PAN PANCAKES
2 1/2 cups WHOLE milk or half & half
2 EXTRA LARGE eggs
1 tablespoon PURE vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick salted butter, melted
2 cups WILD blueberries
butter & syrup, for serving

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla, blending well. Using a blender or hand mixer works well also.
  • Add the flour mixture gradually, blending until smooth.
  • Add half of the melted butter, blending well.
  • Spread half the remaining butter on a sheet pan, swirling to coat the bottom and sides.
  • Pour pancake batter over the butter evenly.
  • Sprinkle with most of the blueberries, reserving a few for garnish.
  • Bake 20 minutes until golden.
  • Brush entire pancake with remaining butter, cut into squares and serve with syrup or powdered sugar.

GERMAN APPLE PANCAKES

GERMAN APPLE PANCAKES Yield: serves 6

adapted from Ruth Reichl’s recipe

Dousing these apple pancakes in rum and setting them on fire IS optional, but it is not recommended to do so. This dramatic step only enhances the flavor of the caramelized apples so fragrant with cinnamon and nutmeg that you can taste the boozy rolled pancakes before you ever even cut into them.

2 Granny Smith or Honey Crisp apples, peeled, cored, and THINLY sliced
2 tablespoons FRESH lemon juice, plus more for drizzling – 1 LARGE lemon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
¼ cup PACKED light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon QUALITY ground cinnamon
LARGE Pinch of FRESH grated nutmeg
3 LARGE eggs
¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon sanding sugar, plus more for sprinkling
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup WHOLE milk
¼ cup dark rum or cognac (optional)

  • In a medium bowl, add the apples and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, tossing to coat.
  • In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter.
  • When the foam begins to subside, stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Add the apples and cook until darkly caramelized and fragrant, 11–12 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs, then whisk in the flour, granulated sugar, and salt until smooth.
  • Add the milk and continue whisking until a thin, smooth batter forms.
  • In a nonstick 8-inch skillet over medium heat, melt 1 teaspoon butter.
  • When the foam begins to subside, pour in ⅓ cup batter, tilting the skillet to coat the entire surface with batter and form a thin pancake. Cook until just set, about 2 minutes.
  • Evenly distribute one-third of the apples over the pancake, then pour another ⅓ cup batter on top, tilting the skillet to coat the surface and the apples with batter.
  • Cook until the edges of the fresh batter have begun to set, 1–2 minutes, then use two wide, offset spatulas to flip the pancake. Continue cooking until the bottom is evenly golden brown, 1–2 minutes more, then turn out onto a large plate.
  • Sprinkle generously with granulated sugar, then roll the pancake up like a jelly roll.
  • Sprinkle with more granulated sugar, and if desired, drizzle with a few drops of lemon juice.
  • Repeat with the remaining batter and apples to make a total of 3 rolled pancakes.
  • In the skillet used to cook the apples, add the rum and remaining 1 tablespoon butter; warm over medium heat.
  • Add the pancakes, spoon the rum mixture over the top, and remove from the heat.
  • Working quickly and carefully, use a gas lighter or a long match to set the pancakes on fire.
  • Shake the skillet gently until the flame goes out, then transfer the pancakes to a large plate.
  • Serve warm.

APPLE PANCAKE

APPLE PANCAKE adapted from MOLLY YEH
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup PURE maple syrup 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
1 1/4 teaspoons QUALITY ground cinnamon 
Pinch kosher salt 
1 medium HONEYCRISP or GRANNY SMITH apple, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 inch (about 1 cup) 
4 LARGE eggs 
2 tablespoons FINE sugar 
1/2 cup buttermilk**
1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla 
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Flaky salt, for finishing 

  • Preheat the oven to 450°.
  • In an 8-inch nonstick skillet (preferably cast iron) over low heat, combine the brown sugar, maple syrup, butter, 3/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon and a pinch kosher salt. Whisk together and whisk to combine.
  • Turn the heat up to medium and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Allow to boil vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Carefully add the apple slices and toss until the apples are fully coated in the caramel mixture.
  • Reduce heat to low and allow mixture to bubble for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the apples begin to soften and appear translucent.
  • Place the skillet onto a foil, parchment or silpat lined baking sheet to catch any bubbled-over caramel and bake for 5 minutes while you prepare the batter.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and granulated sugar until frothy.
  • Whisk in the buttermilk, flour, vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and the nutmeg to combine until no longer lumpy.
  • Remove the pan from the oven.
  • Carefully pour the batter into the skillet over the apples, swirling around the perimeter and ending in the center. According to Molly beginning on the sides and working inward gives the pancake better structure and will also ensure that the pancake “souffles” evenly.
  • Place pan back into the oven to bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the sides have risen and the edges are dark.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to settle for a minute or two.
  • Carefully invert on a plate.
  • Sprinkle with flaky salt and serve immediately.

**NOTE: Buttermilk can be made by using a combination of whole milk and vinegar.

EVERYTHING BAGEL DUTCH BABY

This is a SUPER simple and seriously savory brunch recipe!

EVERYTHING BAGEL DUTCH BABY
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup WHOLE milk
4 LARGE eggs, room temperature
1 + 1/2 tablespoons EVERYTHING Bagel spice mix
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
2 green onions, sliced thin
Sour cream, for garnish and serving

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Add cast iron skillet to oven to heat.

 

  • In a blender add the flour, milk, eggs and 1/2 tablespoon seasoning.
  • Blend on low until well combined, making sure to scrape down the sides of loose ingredients. Blend again 10 seconds until smooth and foamy.

 

  • Add butter to skillet to melt.
  • When butter is melted add batter to pan and sprinkle with remaining spice mix.
  • Bake 15-18 minutes until puffed and golden brown around the edges.
  • Top with bacon pieces, green onions and a dollop of sour cream.
  • Serve immediately.

BAKED PEANUT BUTTER WAFFLES

BAKED PEANUT BUTTER WAFFLES

¾ cup flour
3 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
3 tablespoon neutral oil
LARGE eggs
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
PURE maple syrup

  • Preheat the oven to 400°.
  • Brush the Waffle Stick Pan with a neutral oil.

  • Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, vanilla, peanut butter, honey and eggs.
  • Whisk the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients JUST until combined.
  • Distribute the batter evenly among the wells.
  • Bake for 11–13 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Let the waffle sticks cool for 5 minutes before removing.

OPTIONS:

  • Add 1-2 tablespoons MINI semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Add 2 tablespoons SMALL WILD blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon


ORANGE RICOTTA PANCAKES with MAPLE INFUSED ORANGE SLICES

ORANGE RICOTTA PANCAKES with MAPLE INFUSED ORANGE SLICES
MAPLE INFUSED ORANGE SLICES
4 navel oranges
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup real maple syrup

  • Zest oranges and set aside for the pancakes.
  • Peel oranges making sure to remove pith.
  • Slice each orange into 5-6 slices and place into a microwave safe bowl.
  • Whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, sugar and syrup.
  • Pour over orange slices.
  • Microwave 15 seconds before serving.

PANCAKES
1 3/4 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice
2/3 cup flour
2 LARGE eggs
3-4 (1+1+…) tablespoons butter

  • Whisk together ricotta, sugar, zest, juice, flour and eggs until smooth.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. Cook 3 minutes until bubble form along the edge and
  • batter appears dry. Flip and cook another 3 minutes until golden.
  • Melt 1 additional tablespoon of butter as needed for each batch of pancakes.
  • Serve with butter and orange slices on top of each plate of pancakes.

LEMON BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

LEMON BLUEBERRY PANCAKES
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
2 1/4 cups WHOLE milk
3 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons PURE vanilla
PURE maple syrup
1/2 cup small wild blueberries

  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice and milk. Let stand 5 minutes.
  • Whisk together the eggs, butter, vanilla and milk mixture until blended.
  • Stir milk mixture into the flour mixture JUST until blended.  Add additional milk 1 tablespoon at a time if batter is too thick.
  • Coat griddle with non-stick spray and heat over medium heat.
  • Spoon 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto griddle.
  • Cook 2-3 minutes until bubbles appear along the edges and batter dries on top.
  • Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
  • Keep warm in low heat oven between batches.
  • Serve with syrup and berries.

EVERY SUNDAY PANCAKES

There is just nothing better than homemade, fluffy pancakes doused in butter and PURE maple syrup for a Sunday morning.

EVERY SUNDAY PANCAKES yields +/- 12 pancakes depending on size
1 ½ cups cake flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 LARGE eggs
¼ cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons PURE vanilla

  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a LARGE mixing bowl.
  • In another bowl whisk buttermilk and eggs together.
  • Add vanilla and butter, whisking until blended.
  • Whisk milk mixture into the dry ingredients JUST until moistened.
  • Allow batter to stand 10 minutes!!!  This step is a MUST for fluffy pancakes!
  • Melt butter on medium hot grill.

  • Lightly grease griddle.
  • Ladle ¼ cup of batter onto hot griddle, cooking until bubbles begin to pop. DO NOT flip pancakes before seeing air bubbles.
  • Flip and cook until golden brown.
  • Serve immediately.

overnight CINNAMON ROLL FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE

CINNAMON ROLL FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE
TOAST
12 slices thick BRIOCHE bread
2 cups whole milk
6 LARGE eggs
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 1/2 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon QUALITY cinnamon

  • Cut bread into 1 inch cubes.
  • Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non stick cooking spray.
  • Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon.
  • Evenly sprinkle the cinnamon mixture over bread cubes and toss.
  • Whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla and sugar.
  • Pour evenly over bread cubes and toss to coat.
  • Fold in raisins.
  • Arrange an even layer in the baking dish.
  • Cover tightly with saran and chill overnight.

TOPPING
1/4 + 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon QUALITY cinnamon
6 tablespoons melted butter

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Uncover casserole.
  • Mix together 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon.
  • Sprinkle over casserole.
  • Drizzle melted butter over casserole.
  • Bake 35-45 minutes until browned and baked though in the center.

ICING
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
4-6 tablespoons whole milk
2+ cups powdered sugar

  • Cream together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add vanilla and 4 tablespoons milk, blending until smooth.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar until well incorporated.
  • Add more milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach a pourable desired consistency.
  • Pour over slightly cooled french toast casserole and serve.

BANANA LEMON BLUEBERRY FRENCH TOAST

BANANA LEMON BLUEBERRY* FRENCH TOAST
1 16 ounce loaf DAY OLD sourdough, french or brioche bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 LARGE roasted bananas (OPTIONAL) see note
1 1/2 cup WILD small blueberries*
6 LARGE eggs
4 large egg whites
2 cups milk
1/3 cup PURE maple syrup
ZEST and juice of 1 LARGE lemon
1 tablespoon PURE vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Powdered sugar, butter and maple syrup for serving

  • Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Spread a layer of the roasted bananas on the bottom of the baking dish

 

  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt.
  • Fold in the bread pieces.
  • Pour mixture into baking dish evenly.
  • Sprinkle blueberries over bread pieces.
  • Cover the baking dish tightly with saran and refrigerate over night.

 

  • Remove baking dish from refrigerator and let sit out while you preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Bake uncovered 45-55 minutes until golden brown and center is set.
  • Serve dusted with powdered sugar or butter and maple syrup.

NOTE:*

  • You can substitute the blueberries with just about ANY other berry, peaches or even apples making this recipe just as delicious!
  • Let the bread cubes sit out on the counter overnight. The dryer they are, the more custard they will absorb. You want them to be crispy like croutons.
  • This can be frozen, but I really don’t recommend it – it always seems soggy to me.
  • This is a GREAT way to use up bananas if you need to, but the recipe works wonderfully even without them.