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Friday, December 4, 2015

Brown Sugar Cheesecake French Toast Bake

Want to wow your guests?
Make this french toast bake.  It puts all other breakfasts to shame.

brown sugar cheesecake french toast bake (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I joined the mini van mama club today.

I swore up and down in college that when I finally got married and had kids I would never, ever own a mini van.  In those years they were extremely uncool.  I was going to own a slick SUV.  I was not going to be one of those moms.

Then life happened.

I joined the world of full-time jobs, and baby spit-up and mortgages.  The world where I spend extra cash on new jeans for the kindergartner and prescriptions for ear infections.

Believe it or not mini vans have come a LONG way and whether my college self would believe it or not, it is an economical purchase for a family of five with three kids under the age of six.

So here is me.

brown sugar cheesecake french toast bake (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

We had the best experience!  Top notch customer service, friendly staff, speedy delivery.  I even got the husband to take me out to lunch after and follow me around the grocery store after.

All in all?  A pretty great day.  I will never complain again about hauling those little munchkins around.

So why not celebrate with some killer french toast?

I made this last weekend, the day after Thanksgiving I believe.  Which looking back probably wasn't the best thing to do, considering we all went to bed stuffed.  But....whatever.  It was a weekend of indulgences.

brown sugar cheesecake french toast bake (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I've made a baked french toast before.  Remember my Stuffed Strawberry Cheesecake Baked French Toast?  Same concept, completely different look.  I've got a thing for cheesecake what can I say?

Do you blame me?

I had bought two loaves of french bread at the store, with visions of panini sandwiches and just a normal breakfast of skillet french toast during the week, and well, that never happened.

I did make some awesome homemade tomato soup {recipe coming!} which were accompanied with grilled cheese sandwiches, but the remaining bread went to this breakfast bake.

brown sugar cheesecake french toast bake (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

And instead of just plopping cubed bread in a dish and pouring an egg custard over it to soak, I, being myself, not able to leave well enough alone....added a brown sugar cheesecake filling.

It's not over powering {I know their are cheesecake haters out there}, it just gives the dish a bit more flavor and creaminess. 

We ate this the morning it baked, and the next morning and a wee bit was left the morning after that. And you know how chili, or any soup for that matter, tastes better the next day? That is what happened here too.  

brown sugar cheesecake french toast bake (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

If you are one of those {you know who you are} who can't handle much sweetness, then you'll be fine digging a bit spoonful of this out and diving in.  But if you live in my house where everyone seems to have a sweet tooth, you'll want to add a small drizzle of maple syrup as well as a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

I'll let you guess what I did.

I'm a bit in the middle.

I may have eaten a few bites cold the next day.  It is what it is.

brown sugar cheesecake french toast bake (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Brown Sugar Cheesecake French Toast Bake

1 loaf of classic French bread
4 oz. cream cheese
2 c. brown sugar
1/8 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. almond extract
2 c. half and half
6 eggs

1.  Grease a deep 8x8 baking dish or a 9x13 baking pan.
2.  In a bowl combine the cream cheese, extracts and 1 cup of the brown sugar.  Sprinkle a bit of the remaining brown sugar in the bottom of the pan, along with half of the creamed cheese mixture.
3.  Cube the french bread and place in the pan.  Top with remaining cream cheese mixture.
4.  In another bowl whisk the eggs, add in the half and half and remaining brown sugar.  Pour evenly over the cubed bread.  With your hands push the bread down to make sure the custard soaks up the bread evenly.
5.  Sprinkle sugar over the top.
6.  Place in the fridge, covered, overnight.
7.  Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until bread is golden brown and knife inserted comes out clean.
8.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar or maple syrup for topping.

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