Several years ago my friend, Diane, introduced me to this delicious breakfast/brunch treat. Kevin and I have made it several times since then, tweaking it here and there as we've gone along. We've come up with what we think is an outstanding recipe.
Kevin's office brought treats today for the staff and he signed up to bring our famous Creme Brulee French toast. He arrives at work every morning at about twenty minutes after 7:00. This morning, as soon as he arrived, he set the casseroles (we made 2) first thing with all of the other breakfast goodies. By 8:00 a.m., both casseroles were completely gone - not a crumb left in sight. Apparently we're not the only ones who love this treat! He brought the casserole in around the holidays, but at that time, it was just for the office staff - they loved it, too!
It's a super simple recipe - and when it's baking, it makes the whole house smell warm and delicious! We've made it over the holidays using panettone and it's wonderful, too. Here's the recipe:
Creme Brulee French Toast
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter/margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups Creme Brulee flavored coffee creamer
2 tablespoons corn syrup (or maple syrup)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 loaf thick-sliced cinnamon bread
½ teaspoon cinnamon
In small pan melt butter, brown sugar & corn syrup over medium heat, stirring until smooth. Pour into a 13 X 9 inch baking dish. Trim the crusts from 6 or 7 slices of bread. Cut each slice into five strips and then slice strips into small cubes. Arrange bread cubes into baking dish, squeezing to fit. Whisk together eggs, half and half, coffee creamer, vanilla, cinnamon and salt until combined. Pour evenly over bread, pressing mixture into the bread to soak it in.
Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day. Before baking, bring bread to room temperature. Bake at 350 degrees uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and pale golden, about 35-40 minutes. Serve warm. Enjoy!!