Not into something so savory for Christmas morning? I’m with you: I think the holidays are the time for butter, carbs and wayyyyy too much cinnamon. This French toast casserole seems like an open invitation to set out toppings and let your family dress their plates however they like. It’s lovely with powdered sugar, maple syrup, molasses, fresh berries or whipped cream. Feel free to set out some sprinkles for fun!
½ stick butter, softened
1-pound loaf Italian or French bread
8 large eggs
3 cups half and half
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 T vanilla
1 tsp. Ground cinnamon
¾ tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. Ground nutmeg (or microplane your own. I promise, fresh nutmeg makes a huge difference!)
½ c. chopped pecans
¼ c. all-purpose flour
Coat a 9”x13” baking dish with cooking spray.
Tear or chop the bread into bite-size pieces (roughly 1-inch chunks). Arrange in the baking dish in an even layer.
In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, half and half, ½ c. of the brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, ½. Tsp. of the Kosher salt and half the nutmeg until smooth. Pour mixture evenly over bread cubes. Press bread down slightly. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
When you’re ready to get cookin’, arrange the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Take the casserole out of the fridge, uncover and let sit for 30 minutes.
Mix nuts, flour and the remaining brown sugar, salt and nutmeg together. Add the softened butter, squeezing to form small clumps. Sprinkle the crumble evenly over the casserole.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes, until golden brown. Let firm up for 5 minutes before serving. (Adapted from The Kitchn)