Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Brunch

Easter didn't turn out to be everything I had hoped for this year. Bryan and I spent 5 hours in the hospital emergency room with our daughter instead of enjoying time with the family. Thankfully I had planned ahead and made a few casseroles the night before and Easter brunch went off without a hitch. I have made french toast casserole a few times in the past on Easter, but this year I went with Paula Dean's recipe because it just looked too good to resist! I am SO happy that I made it!!! What a treat it was! Definitely not something I'll be making on a regular basis (I did just lose 16 pounds of baby weight!), but it is certainly something I will make again in the future on special occasions.

Our Easter Brunch menu:

French Toast Casserole



Pancakes


Bacon



Bagels & Cream Cheese

(see those lovely jalapeno and cheddar bagels?! they were amazing!)

Other menu items not pictured were: Banana Bread, maple sausage, honey ham and deviled eggs.

Here is the recipe for Paula Dean's French Toast Casserole:

  • 1 loaf french bread
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • a dash of salt
  • praline topping (see below)
Slice the french bread into 20 slices that are approximately 1 inch each. Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish and arrange the bread in two overlapping rows (I actually used a slightly larger pan and made three rows for mine).


In a large bowl, combine eggs, half and half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Whisk until it is well blended.


Pour the egg mixture over the bread slices and spoon some of the egg in between any overlapping slices so everything is coated. Cover the pan with foil and refrigerate overnight.


In the morning, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Make the praline topping.

  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
I stuck the butter in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds just to take the chill out of it. You do not want to melt it!!

Roughly chop the pecans


Mix all the ingredients in a bowl with a spoon, making sure it is blended well. Use a plastic spatula and spread the praline topping over the entire casserole.




Bake for 40 minutes or until the topping is bubbly and the french toast puffs up!


Paula says to serve this with maple syrup, but it was plenty sweet on its own!
Enjoy!

2 comments:

SweetSavoryPlanet said...

You can always count on Paula D to add a few extra calories to her recipes. It does look delicious though. Kids have a way of changing the best laid plans, don't they?

Veronica Gantley said...

I have made this before and it is oh so good. I usually make it for Christmas morning breakfast.

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