After our kids go to bed the night before Thanksgiving, Ben and I team-up in the kitchen to prepare this amazingly delicious dish that requires overnight refrigeration. Aside from the pleasure our taste buds receive, we love this recipe because it gives us time to putz around a bit in the morning, start watching the Macy's Day Parade, then pop our lasagna-dish-sized breakfast into the oven before preparing for Thanksgiving dinner at my mom's house.
As the aroma of cinnamon & sugar waft into our living room, our "Remembrance Box" rests on our dining room table ready to take-in another year of the things we are individually grateful for. After a plate of warm Caramelized French Toast, we each write our current year's notes, then read (out loud) what we recorded the previous Thanksgiving. We now have a stack of 8 years' worth of thankfulness inside our box, going back to the days when my youngest child could only draw the things she was grateful for! Years from now I believe we will read through what we've written and remember how deeply faithful God has been in our lives over and over again...
Caramelized French Toast
From: Victorian Rose Garden Bed & Buffet
1 stick butter or margarine
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup pure maple syrup
16 slices bakery raisin bread or kuchen
4 ounces Neufchatel or cream cheese
6 large eggs
1 2/3 cups milk, regular or skim
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
- In an 11x17 pan, combine brown sugar, butter and maple syrup. Cook until dissolved and bubbly, approximately 5 minutes. Do not let butter burn.
- Meanwhile, spread 8 slices of bread with cheese and sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Place remaining 8 slices on top to make sandwiches, and cut sandwiches in half diagonally to fit the pan (do not overlap).
- Blend eggs, milk, and vanilla; pour over sandwiches.
- Cover and let set for at least 40 minutes or overnight in refrigerator.
- Uncover and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
- Flip bread over when removing from pan. If a crustier top is preferred, place back in oven for a few minutes longer. Top with a spoonful of yogurt or sour cream and sprinkle with fresh berries.
NOTE: We use this recipe on Christmas mornings as well! It cooks in the oven while we open gifts in our PJs :-).