Recently, Larry and I were guests at the lovely Hazan Inn Bed & Breakfast in Phelps, WI. Each of our four mornings, we were treated to fabulous breakfasts, made by hostess Janet and served by our host Joel. We were waited on hand and foot while Janet outdid herself preparing luscious baked goods, tempting fruit salads and hot entrées.
When I learned that Janet had published a cookbook of her favorite breakfast and brunch recipes, I had to have a copy, of course, for my ever-growing collection of cookbooks. It was hard for me to decide exactly which recipe to make first, but I finally settled on this scrumptious caramel French toast.
What a perfect recipe to make for guests, as the dish can be assembled the night before and is baked as a casserole, avoiding the need to play short order cook and grill each serving of French toast. I opted to use my 7 1/2 x 11 1/2 – inch baking dish instead of the 9 x 13 inch-size that Janet recommends. In retrospect, I wouldn’t do this again. I should have listened to Janet’s advice! Me and my big ideas…
I also added half of a scraped vanilla bean, in addition to the vanilla extract, just because I am a vanilla freak. Be certain to soak up all the egg with the baguette slices. And if you want to go over the top, drizzle a little pure maple syrup over the top of each serving.
This week marked my third anniversary as a food blogger. Many thanks to all my readers who never fail to inspire, encourage and support me in my efforts. See you next week!
- 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- ⅓ cup whipping cream
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- French Toast:
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup 2% milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ vanilla bean, scraped
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 slices sour dough or French baguette, cut on the diagonal, about 1 inch thick
- maple syrup (optional)
- Spray a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish with nonstick canola-based cooking spray.
- Using a medium-sized saucepan, combine the brown sugar, cream, butter and corn syrup. Heat over medium heat until smooth, stirring constantly. Do not allow the the mixture to boil!
- Spread topping in bottom of baking dish.
- Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl. Add the milk, vanilla, vanilla seeds and salt - mix well.
- Dip each baguette slice into the egg mixture, thoroughly soaking and coating each piece.
- Place dipped slices over topping in a single layer. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Uncover baking dish and bake 20-25 minutes, or until dish is bubbly and toast is golden brown.
- Allow to stand 5 minutes, then invert onto a warmed platter. Scrape extra caramel sauce onto the warm toast and serve, along with a warmed pitcher of maple syrup, if desired.