Strawberry Croissant French Toast Bake!

 
 
I love breakfast casseroles that you can prep the night before and then just pop in the oven the next morning.  I especially like these for holiday breakfasts or brunches or when you have company to prepare breakfast for.   You see, I am not really a morning person.  It takes several cups of coffee and some time for me to come alive first thing in the morning, so cooking breakfast works best for me when most of the thinking is done the night before!   Here is what you will need for this recipe:
 
6 large croissants (slightly stale works fine)
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half cream
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 Tbs. butter
 
Strawberry syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond flavoring
1 Tbs. butter
 
Slice the croissants in half and place the bottoms in a 9"x 13" baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.   Beat the cream cheese with the confectioner's sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla.   Spread each croissant bottom with the cream cheese mixture, dividing equally among the six.   Sprinkle the two cups of sliced strawberries evenly over the croissant halves.
 
Top each croissant with the other half.   Whisk the eggs and half and half cream in a bowl until well combined.  Pour over the croissants.  Press each croissant down slightly to get them down in the cream mixture. 
 
Top each croissant evenly with the butter cut in thin pats.   Cover the baking dish with foil and refrigerate overnight. 
 
The next morning, remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.  Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes, covered with the foil.  Uncover and bake for 30 more minutes.   After baked for a total of 1 hour, remove from the oven and serve immediately. 
 
If you are serving with the Strawberry Syrup, while the casserole bakes, place the sugar, water and cornstarch in a saucepan on medium heat.  Heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Add the strawberries and bring just to a boil.  Turn the heat down and heat until slightly thickened.  Don't over cook this.  The strawberries shouldn't be cooked down too much.   Remove from heat and add the vanilla, almond flavoring and butter.   Stir until the butter melts. 
 
Serve each croissant with the Strawberry Syrup and whipped cream or maple syrup and whipped cream is also very good!
 



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