When the mornings are cold, a hot breakfast hits the spot. But this breakfast staple holds its own on a cold night too, when cooking a full dinner is a little more than you can handle.
CREME BRULEE FRENCH TOAST
Serves: 6 (generously)
Preparation time: 10 minutes (plus chilling time)
Total time: 55 minutes
Serve this with fresh blueberries or other favorite berries.
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
8 ounces country-style bread or Vienna bread
5 large eggs
1 1⁄4 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier, optional
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
In a small heavy saucepan, melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring until smooth, and pour into a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish. Cut six 1-inch thick slices from the bread, reserving ends for another use, and trim crusts if desired. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.
In a bowl whisk together eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, Grand Marnier and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bring the French toast mixture to room temperature.
Bake bread mixture, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, about 35 to 40 minutes.
Serve hot French toast immediately.
Recipe adapted from www.epicurious.com. Tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
530 calories (43 percent from fat), 26 grams fat (15 grams sat. fat), 65 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams protein, 438 mg sodium, 234 mg cholesterol, 127 mg calcium, 1 gram fiber.