Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pumpkin French Toast Bake

Every year for Christmas morning, I make a breakfast casserole.  Sometimes it’s a quiche-like casserole, but that got deep-sixed a few years ago because younger daughter apparently doesn’t like eggs.  

What, no eggs, that’s okay, I make bread. 

Forgive the movie clue….

So for the past few years, I’ve made a bread-based casserole.  It is usually something praliney,gooey and oh so good, but definitely not good for you. 


So this year, I scoured my cookbooks and internet typed “breakfast casseroles” into Google and this little ditty appeared….

And – bonus – it gave me an excuse to try yet another outstanding Stonewall Kitchens product…

This recipe is from the minimalistbaker.com.  My photos aren’t nearly as interesting or well-composed as hers, so I invite you to visit her blog for a complete visual and culinary experience, but, I can say confidently that my end result was surely as delicious as the inspiration.   The aromas that filled the house during baking were a treat for the senses.  The pure comfort of the bread, the crunchiness of the pecans, the gentle zip of the pumpkin pie spice and the sweetness of the syrup all blend ever so nicely to make this a perfect morning indulgence.   I served with fresh strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.

Pumpkin French Toast Bake
Serves 10 (or fewer depending on the slice size!)

Ingredients

3 1/2 – 4 1/2 cups 1-inch bread cubes (I used French bread)
7 large eggs (I used 5)
2 cups milk (I used skim)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup pumpkin BUTTER
3-4 tablespoons brown sugar for topping
Pecans,walnuts and/or craisins for topping

Directions

1. Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes and scatter into a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and pumpkin butter until well combined. Pour over bread and push down with a spoon or your hands until it’s all soaked and mostly covered. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees, uncover and top with brown sugar and nuts and/or craisins. Bake for 35-45 minutes or golden brown and no longer wet.
4. Serve immediately with maple syrup or honey.

There won’t be any leftovers but in the unlikely event there are, this recipe will keep in the refrigerator covered for a couple days.
Bonus #2, myfitnesspal.com includes the nutritional content for this very recipe on their site…110 calories per slice!  Of course you will need to double (or triple) accordingly....

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