Saturday, November 22, 2008

crême brulée french toast

we've got friends staying over this weekend, and in our tiny apartment that means they get to sleep in the living room.  which also happens to be the kitchen and the dining room.  :-)  i wanted to be able to make breakfast for all of us this morning, but didn't want to bother them with early morning banging around in the kitchen.  this french toast is perfect since you put it together at night and bake it the next morning.  it's super delicious, too!

crême brulée french toast*

1 stick unsalted butter
1 c packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup ( i didn't have any, so i used maple syrup)
large loaf of Italian bread (no seeds)
5 large eggs
1.5 cups half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (i might kick this up to a half teaspoon the next time)
1/4 teaspoon salt

in a small, heavy saucepan melt butter with brown sugar and corny syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth and pour into a 13x9 baking dish. cut 1-inch thick slices of bread, reserving ends for another use. arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.

in a bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla, and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.

preheat oven to 350 degrees. bring bread to room temperature.

bake bread mixture, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden (35 to 40 minutes). flip once halfway through.

*thanks to nestie LaurenK for the recipe! :-)

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