This dish is SO worth the extra time in the morning, and far better than plain ole toast and eggs.
It has this caremlized crunchy crust over the top, reminiscent of monkey bread. Swoon.
Oven French Toast with Buttery Nut Topping
1 loaf french bread, thickly sliced (about 15 slices)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup half and half
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
For the Topping
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup half and half
1 cup sweetened and roasted pecan or walnut pieces
Let the bread slices dry on the counter overnight, or for at least 6 hours. In the morning, about 1 hour before you want to serve the dish, beat the eggs and then add all the ingredients through the cinnamon. Mix well. Grease a large baking dish (I used a large roasting pan or you can use two rectangular pans) and place the bread on the bottom, slightly overlapping. Pour egg mixture over top and let sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes, being sure that all pieces are covered with the mixture. Flip bread about 15 minutes through to make sure all sides are soaking up the egg mixture. Preheat your oven to 350.
Meanwhile, make the topping by mixing the butter, brown sugar, half and half and nut pieces in a small bowl. Right before baking, drizzle the topping over the top of all the bread slices and use a spatula to spread it out gently so you have bits of nuts over each slice.
The drizzle oozes happily over the bread.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until all your edges are a beautiful golden brown.
Serve with warmed syrup and a puff of powdered sugar. Some fresh bananas and strawberries and maybe some spicy breakfast sausage wouldn't mind being alongside, either.
Oops...sorry. You have a bit of drool...