We don't often eat breakfast together on weekends. I've normally eaten 3 small meals by the time Ron wakes up! But, I decided that we would have a prepared breakfast for Easter. So, Ron was forced to get up around 9:00. I don't think he had a problem with it though. He was able to indulge in a french toast casserole!
You prep the ingredients the night before, so it was nice to wake up and just throw it in the oven. I opted for a lighter version of the casserole. It seemed appropriate. No one needs in indulge in 1,000 calories before 10am (at least I don't think so). There was still a lot of sugar in the recipe, but it was very, very good. I would suggest baking it for a bit longer. The bottom of the bread was a bit soggy, but it still tasted fine. I really liked the caramel flavor. It definitely added something to the dish without being too overwhelming. I ate mine with bananas and berries. The original recipe called for 2 tbsp of dark corn syrup, but I replaced that with maple syrup. The sugar didn't dissolve quite as nicely as it would have with the dark corn syrup (and I think that's why I had trouble spreading the caramel on the bottom of the pan) but I think it worked out just wonderfully.
Note: because the recipe is a "lighter" version, it uses skim milk and egg substitute. Feel free to replace these with whole/2%/1% milk and regular eggs.
French Toast Casserole
adapted from Cooking Light
Yield: 6 servings
- 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- Cooking spray
- 1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
- 1/2 cup egg substitute
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon grated orange rind
- 2 large eggs
- 6 (1 1/2-inch-thick) slices French bread
- 6 tablespoons frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Maple Extract (or Grand Marnier, or whatever flavor you desire)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
- Combine first 3 ingredients in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook 5 minutes or until bubbly and sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Pour sugar mixture into bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread mixture evenly over bottom of pan. Set aside; cool completely.
- Combine milk and next 5 ingredients (through eggs) in a large shallow bowl; stir with a whisk. Dip 1 bread slice in milk mixture; arrange bread slice over sugar mixture in dish. Repeat procedure with remaining 5 bread slices. Pour any remaining egg mixture over bread slices.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
- While casserole bakes, combine whipped topping and extract. Place 1 bread slice, caramel side up, on each of 6 plates; top each serving with 1 tablespoon topping and 1 teaspoon pecans, or top as desired.
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