Creme Brulee French Toast

Perfect for a lazy Saturday morning breakfast, this dish is very easy and is prepared the night before so all you have to do in the morning is bake it. I hopped out of bed to put it in, then got back in bed while it baked. It made for a decadent breakfast in bed, and my husband loved waking up to the amazing smell of cinnamon and sugar! It smells absolutely ridiculous coming out of the oven. So so good. The bottom of the toast gets nice and caramelized. Since I'm a sugar junkie I served this with a small drizzle of maple syrup, but it would be great on its own, too.

Creme Brulee French Toast

1 stick unsalted butter (I'm sure salted would be okay too, but I always buy unsalted)
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbs corn syrup
1 loaf French bread, preferably a few days old
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half (you could probably just use milk, if needed)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

In a small saucepan melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over medium heat, stirring, until smooth and pour into a 9x13 baking dish. Cut thick slices (about 3/4 to 1 inch) from center portion of bread, reserving ends for another use. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit. Use as many slices as will fit in the dish. In a bowl whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla, cinnamon 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 F and set bread mixture on counter during preheating. Bake uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 to 40 minutes. To serve, flip bread slices over so caramelized side is on top.

I think mine looks more dry than yours might, because I sliced my bread 1-inch thick and it absorbed more of the egg mixture. If you slice it thinner it might end up having more of the puffy eggy mixture on top. Just FYI. Also, this is obviously easily halved and prepared in an 8x8 pan, as you can see.

Recipe adapted from The Food Network.

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