Every year, we have a tradition of making French Toast Casserole on Christmas morning.
The recipe has been adapted over the years (it originally called for Grand Marnier, but that's not something I ever have on hand, and not being a planner I need ingredients that hang out in my pantry and fridge on a regular basis already).
I thought about skipping it this year, as my husband is currently Keto and I'm not a big sweets for breakfast girl anyway, but then my Sadie referenced it the other day, saying, "....and when we eat our Christmas French Toast bake..." I knew it was a tradition we needed to keep.
Years ago, I shared the recipe on our blog, but when I went to pull it up, I realized that it was one that didn't make the transition over when we merged our two websites together (we own both wildruffle.com and shopwildruffle.com, and it wasn't until this fall that the two became one, and a whole lot less confusing for our customers).
Luckily, I still had the old dog eared, raggedy copy in my recipe box so I was good to go. I figured I'd share it once again with all of you, since it's a beloved family favorite here.
One of the things I love about this recipe (other than that it's delicious), is that you can make it ahead of time. I've got mine all ready and waiting in the fridge, so that when Christmas morning rolls around I can simply warm up my oven and pop it in while we open gifts. Once we're done, this yummy breakfast is waiting for us to enjoy.
If you have dietary needs like we do (our youngest is gluten and dairy free), just swap out the ingredients for the ones that work for you. I use almond or oat milk in place of the half and half (it's not quite as rich but it works great for us!) and ghee in place of butter (which is technically dairy but removes the casein, our allergy issue here - you could use butter flavored Crisco as well, coconut oil, etc). And the loaf of bread is simply replaced with a gluten free one of our choosing. We like Canyon Bakehouse Mountain White for this recipe.
French Toast Casserole (serves 8)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons corn syrup
8 slices French bread (we use one loaf of Canyon Bakehouse Mountain White)
1 1/2 cup half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (we add a bit extra cuz we love cinnamon)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Heat brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup in sauce pan over low heat until blended, stirring frequently. Pour brown sugar mixture in a 9x13 baking dish that has been coated/sprayed to prevent sticking. Arrange bread slices in single layer over prepared pan (honestly, I don't arrange nicely. I dump the bread and spread it out to cover).
Whisk half and half, eggs, vanilla, salt, and spices in bowl until blended. Pour over bread. Chill, covered, for 8-24 hours. Let stand until room temp.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden and puffed.
You can serve this with syrup or all on its own - it's tasty either way!