My friends and I get together for each of our birthday's every year, it is our simple way of staying in close contact and celebrating one another. In our younger days it was for drinks and dancing, then it morphed into an early evening dinner generally with a kid or two tagging along.
Now that we are old and tired and there are lots of kids to account for, we have created a new tradition of a big breakfast at one of our homes. You may be yawning at the thought but, quite honestly I enjoy this simple leisurely time more than any of the the other chapters of our lives!
Our breakfast of choice has been a baked french toast casserole that is absolutely to die for. It is a prepared frozen sort of a deal which is convenient but, not exactly my style- I am more of a homemade sort of girl.
Thus began my mission for a perfect (and easy) baked french toast casserole recipe. Ladies and gentlemen I give you my (old lady birthday)Baked French Toast Casserole!
Let's get to the recipe...
You will need:
1 loaf of French or Italian bread (stale bread is better)
2 cups of whole milk
2/3 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
-Grease a 9"x13" pan.
-Tear the bread into pieces and spread evenly in the pan.
-In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread.
-Cut the butter up into small cubes. I opened the paper on the stick, cut it in half lengthwise, and then cut it across the width many times to make smaller pieces. If your butter is still cold, microwave for about 15 seconds to bring it to about room temperature. You don't want it melted but you do need it soft.
-To make the topping, in a medium size bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
-Add the softened pieces of butter and combine. I start with a fork and then used my hands to finish the job. You want to fully combine the butter with the dry ingredients.
-Sprinkle the topping evenly over the bread.
Bake for 45-60 minutes until the edges start to brown.
You can serve as is or with syrup (though you probably won't need any extra sweetness!) and easily store leftovers in the refrigerator.
These birthday mornings are quite an indulgence for us, we generally go all out and eat as much as we want and of course drink several mugs of K-cup coffee with it. I am a huge fan of combining chocolate and cinnamon so I generally choose Donut House Collection Chocolate Glazed Donut but, some in the group take it even further with a Cafe Escapes Cafe Mocha!