Ultimate Bacon-Maple French Toast "A savory update on baked French toast, this is an easy make-ahead dish that is excellent for brunch and showers. The combination of maple syrup, bacon and nuts makes it impressive and satisfying." — John Whitehead, Greenville, South Carolina
Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 40 min. + standing
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half cream
1 cup 2% milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash cayenne pepper
1 loaf (1 pound) French bread, cut into 1-inch slices
6 thick-sliced bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Grease a 13x9-in. baking dish; set aside.
In a large shallow bowl, whisk the first 10 ingredients. Dip each slice of bread into egg mixture. Arrange slices in prepared dish. Pour remaining egg mixture over top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, combine the first eight topping ingredients. Spread over top.
Bake, uncovered, 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Drizzle with syrup. Yield: 10 servings.
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