Baked French Toast with homemade Raspberry Syrup

This french toast is a slam dunk. Super easy, made casserole style. Huge hit with the fam. The original recipe is a Paula Deen recipe that I came across on TFN. I love looking at recipes online because I can read reviews and learn from the success/failure of others. Luckily this had a ton of reviews, and so I was able to make some alterations and I was really thankful for the feedback because the few changes I made, made this french toast come out just right. 

Paula also suggests a sticky-sweet praline topping (info for that can be found by following the link below, y'all). I chose to go a different route and make a homemade raspberry syrup, and serve with fresh berries and whipped cream. 
The Recipe
Original recipe courtesy of: Paula Deen

Ingredients:
1 loaf Challah bread (original recipe calls for 1-2 loaf French bread)
8 large eggs
2 cups half and half
1 cup milk (I used whole milk because I needed it for other recipes, but reviews suggested low-fat)
2 Tbl sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon (I used this amount, but recommend using more)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Dash of salt

Instructions:

  1. On the day before you are eating the casserole Combine the eggs, half and half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl, and beat/whisk until blended but not too bubbly.
  2. Slice/chunk bread into slices that are 1" inch thick. 
  3. Dip bread into egg mixture, and arrange in a 9x13 baking dish (sprayed with cooking spray) in two rows, overlapping as necessary. Fill in spaces between bread with egg mixture and spoon some over slices. *Be careful with how much you use, I highly suggest that you don't use all of the egg mixture - if you do, your french toast will come out soggy. I used most of it, but did discard a decent amount.
  4. Cover with foil, and refrigerate overnight. If possible, some suggestions said to flip the bread at some point. (I didn't and it was ok)
  5. The next day (the day you are eating the casserole) Preheat oven to 350.
  6. Bake covered with foil for 30 minutes, uncover and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes. Place your baking dish on a cookie sheet to prevent a mess in your oven if it cooks over. 
  7. The top layer should be lightly golden and crispy, the bottom layer will be a little softer. Serve with maple syrup, or homemade raspberry syrup, berries, and whipped cream. 
*BONUS* Homemade Raspberry Syrup: Combine 1 cup raspberry preserves, 3 Tbl water, and 2 Tbl raspberry liquor (I used Chambord) - heat in small saucepan over low heat until preserves melt down. Cook on low for appx 5-10 minutes to reduce. 


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Laugh much, cook often, and always wear stilettos
xoXO ~ Coleen
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