I really like breakfast dishes that can be made the night before and just popped into the oven in the morning. It makes having a nice breakfast for overnight guests or just family really easy and hassle free. This French Toast casserole needs to be assembled the night before and then all you have to do is bake it and maybe cook some bacon or sausage to go with it. Here is what you need for this:
8 slices bread (slightly stale bread works best)
1 stick butter, divided
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups half and half (can use whole milk)
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
1 cup chopped pecans
Melt 6 Tbs. of butter and mix with the brown sugar.
Lay the other 4 slices of bread over the first 4 and sprinkle with the rest of the butter/brown sugar mix. Dot with the other 2 Tbs. of butter and sprinkle the cup of chopped pecans over the top. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Pour this mixture over all. Press the bread down to get it all wet with the egg mixture. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. The next morning remove from refrigerator and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 40-45 minutes. If it starts to brown too much on top, cover with foil. I usually remove it at about 40 minutes and it never browns too much, but all oven are different.
Remove from oven and let stand for about 5 minutes before serving. You can sprinkle with some powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup. This serves 2-4 people, if you have a bigger crowd, just double everything and prepare in a 9"x13" baking dish.
French Toast Casserole!