November 23, 2008

Just Too Good Not to Share

Sometimes, something is just too good not to share. In fact, this something is so good, I’ve decided to break my self-imposed blog rule of never sharing recipes and other domestic tips to share the wonderful-ness with you.

Now, I know most of you belong to incredible churches; each one possessing different gifts that nourish your congregations. But, I assert you’d be hard-pressed to find a church that serves better food at congregational get-togethers than we do at Woodside! I’m not talking church basement potlucks or even catered events, but meticulously-planned, mouth-watering, gourmet feasts. All made from scratch by the talented volunteers who magically make it all happen.

This morning our congregation gathered for a celebration breakfast to commemorate the end of our 52 Days with Nehemiah study. And once again the menu earned rave reviews!

So here’s where the something-too-good-not-to-share comes in.

For the past several years, a staple at church breakfasts is Crème Brulee French Toast. Let me tell you, it’s even better than it sounds. (Probably because “low fat” and this recipe share little in common.) But, the yummy noises from my breakfast companions told me they agreed—calories be damned!

If you’re looking for a special occasion breakfast/brunch item that’s easy-to-make, but deliciously memorable, look no further. We adopted this recipe as our own and now it's became a Christmas breakfast tradition with my family. We make it the night before and pop it in the oven while we open presents. Simple and delicious. Yum!

So, without further ado…drum roll please…

Note: Any country-type loaf, Italian or French bread will work, but challah bread is my personal favorite.

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
an 8- to 9-inch round loaf country-style bread
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half-and-half (I use low-fat milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
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 9x13-inch baking dish. Cut six 1-inch thick slices from center portion of bread, reserving ends for another use, and trim crusts. 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 oven to 350° F. and bring bread to room temperature.

Bake bread mixture, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve hot French toast immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Enjoy! Let me know if you make it and what you think. By the way, I think this recipe is originally from


Chatty Kelly said...

Yummy! (sounding). I wonder if you could use a long loaf instead of round? Just seems like it would be easier.

I'm not much of a cook, so I doubt I try it, but I'm free for breakfast any time. LOL!! Well, I'm in Virginia, so maybe not.

Runner Mom said...

Oohh!!! That sounds simply amazing!!! I will give it a try over the Christmas holidays!! Thanks for sharing.

Oh, by the way, Debby's biceps come from being a personal trainer!! She works out each day and is paid to do so!! Yours truly forgot to even flex her biceps in the picture!!! I was trying to set the timer and jump in the frame before the flash went off!!

Love ya,

Dan said...

Kel - I think you are underselling the obvious nutritional aspects of "CBFT." I mean, it's got eggs, which are clearly good for you. And, while man may not live on bread alone, well, there it is anyway. As for the half-and-half, last time I checked the food pyramid, we need dairy in our diets, and this is just a highly concentrated form of it. As for other ingredients, a little - OK; a lot of sugar - never hurt anyone. And, in a little-known and seldom-quoted Bible verse - I believe it was the Wedding at Schenectady - I'm pretty sure Jesus turned water into Grand Marnier. (I don't know my Good Book as well as many of you blogger-types - can anybody verify this for me?)

Kelly said...

Thanks for the recipe, Kelli!

Blessings from the sunny south!


Peggy said...

1. for Chatty Kelly, I have seen it made with thick sliced French, or Baggette bread (just as yummy).
2. for Dan, well...........yes Dan there is a Santa Clause!!!!!!
3. as a Woodsider, this is the bestest stuff ever made, no matter what you make it with.
4. thanks for the recipe, I always wanted to know what was in it.
Have a great Thanksgiving everyone.
Blessings abd Love.....Peggy

Karen said...

Thanks for your kind words about the brunch. Each year I wonder if we should make a different French toast recipe but I think Woodside would rebel! We have made it with baguettes and it is easier to serve but the challah bread is the best -- It's just too expensive when you have to buy 30 loaves of it! I also cut the bread thicker than the recipe's 1 inch size -- probably more like 2-3 inches thick. And I often use maple syrup instead of the corn syrup since it is usually in my house already. Also Grand Marnier comes in those little bottles at the checkout for only a couple dollars.

Now onto the Advent Dinner -- that's on December 7th. Hope you will be there! Karen

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

You must venture my way. This sounds delightful, but Miss Christine's Swiss Mocha cake is to die for...I promise.

Church food wars. Oh dear, as if we don't argue enough. What's next?


Terri Tiffany said...

I want to come eat at your church!!
This sounds wondeful!
Have a good Thanksgiving up there in PA! I see some of you are getting some snow!

Sit A Spell said...

I love french toast, will try this...

Mary DeMuth said...

I'm going to try this at my yearly girlfriend holiday brunch!!! Thanks.

San said...

Mary DeMuth DID serve this at her brunch and it was fan-tab-u-lous! Thanks for sharing the info!