Christmas Morning Breakfast
The last thing you want to do is stress over making sure everyone is fed on Christmas morning, am I right? I’m here to share with you an easy and delicious breakfast that will make sure you’re morning is stress free and simple. This Cranberry-Orange Baked French Toast is a sure bet so you can enjoy the Christmas morning with your (well-fed) family on the slopes at Canyons. The beauty of this french toast dish (aside from it’s custard like decadence) is that you can make it the day before and stow it in the fridge overnight. In the morning all you have to do is throw it in the oven and go back to watching the snow fall and enjoy that second cup of coffee.
Studded with cranberries and pecans, this orange scented french toast is my take on the classic baked french toast casserole. Plenty of orange zest and fresh orange juice to rev up the flavor factor and cut some of the richness. If you can’t find Challah bread (which I found at our local Whole Foods), you could use a good french bread as well.
This is decadent, rich and if I do say so myself, absolutely glorious. It’s exactly the kind of breakfast I want Christmas morning. I can guarantee that you’ll love this recipe. I can not guarantee, however, that you’ll be ready to hit the slopes if you go back for seconds……
Cranberry Orange Baked French Toast:
1 loaf challah bread, cut into 1-inch slices
1 cup half and half
1 1/2 cups milk
zest and juice from one orange
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Generously grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter.
2. Arrange half of the sliced bread in a tightly-packed layer on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle half of the cranberries and pecans (if using) over the bread. Using the other half of the challah, make a second layer of bread. If need be, cut one or two slices into smaller pieces to fill in the gaps.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, half & half, milk, zest and juice from orange, brown sugar, salt and vanilla and pour over the bread. Sprinkle the top with the rest of cranberries and pecans. In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top of the bread.
4. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap or tin foil and refrigerate overnight. The bread will absorb all of the milk custard while you sleep.
5. In the morning, preheat oven to 400F degrees. Pull casserole out of the fridge while the oven preheats. When oven is hot, bake french toast at 400F degrees, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until puffed and golden.
6. Cut into generous squares and serve with maple syrup and fresh fruit.
Serves 6 as main course.
Happy Holidays everyone!