May 5, 2011

Orange Blossom & Almond Overnight French Toast {Naptime Everyday}

French Toast

What’s Going on Today: Planning family brunch for the weekend, cleaning up the house after the little one goes to bed (!)

Naptime Goals: Prepare french toast for tomorrow, work on a few articles and stain stick the grass stains out of my daughter’s clothes.

Brunch Menu Tomorrow: French toast, bacon, mimosas.

Product of the Week: Planning to serve Mom breakfast in bed? Don’t forget the tray! This cute tray is perfect for serving up delicious treats to deserving Mom while she enjoys a day lounging in bed watching the news. Need one? Buy it here at my Amazon store!

To follow up on yesterday’s Mother’s Day post I thought I should tell you about my most recent french toast recipe. This has been in regular rotation in our house as of late. With the weather warmer again we are outside 24/7 and my daughter is one hot mess by 10am. I mean, seriously, we are talking grass stains, mud in her hair, dirt under her finger nails, the whole she-bang. It is really fun for the most part, except when I have to spend the entire evening with my stain stick in hand. In order to take part in the outdoor bedlam fun I need to be dressed and out the door like a shot each morning. This means there is very little time to cook long, involved breakfasts. My solution to this is simple: overnight french toast. Not only is this perfect for harried mornings, but it works beautifully for surprising someone, like, say, your Mom, with breakfast in bed. Pop it in the oven first thing and rig up a tray with some coffee and a fresh slice and the morning celebration is complete!

There are about a billion variations for french toast bakes and this is one of my newest favorites. I have recently developed an obsession with orange blossom water — you can usually find it for less than $3 in your local baking aisle — and add drops of its delicate floral-vanilla flavor to all sorts of things. I few weeks ago I added it to our french toast custard and was sold. Paired with orange zest and cinnamon it creates sweet, fragrant layers of orange and vanilla flavors that hit all the right notes.

Best of all, preparation after my daughter has gone to bed takes 10 minutes flat and guarantees that my mornings are free to romp around outside with the oven timer stuffed in my pocket. When the toast is puffed up and bubbly and ready to eat I let it cool sufficiently while I spend a few minutes scrubbing little hands and faces. Of course, this effort is all in vain since it is only a matter of moments before she is covered in maple syrup. I just enjoy the few minutes in between, while I serve up breakfast and she drinks her juice and we thank goodness that summer is on its way.

Recipe

Orange Blossom & Almond Overnight French Toast

Ingredients

1 large loaf Challah bread, preferably 1-2 days old so it is slightly hard
7 eggs
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon orange blossom water
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cups sliced almonds
1 large pinch kosher salt

Instructions

1. Thoroughly butter a 9×13 baking dish. Set aside.

2. Using a bread knife cut the Challah into 1-inch thick slices and arrange in the baking dish so that they are slightly overlapping.

3. In a large bowl mix together the eggs, milk, cream, orange blossom water, cinnamon, sugar, orange zest and salt. Whisk well so that everything is thoroughly combined. Pour this mixture over the Challah bread. Gently press the Challah down into the milk mixture so that the bread begins to absorb the liquid. Then, evenly scatter the almonds evenly over the top of the bread.

4. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator over night, or for up to 24 hours. While it rests in the fridge the bread should soak up all of the liquid and flavor.

5. The next day, preheat the oven to 350ºF and bake the toast for 40-45 minutes, or until the casserole is puffed up, bubbly and the top is toasted and golden brown. Serve with warm maple syrup.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

A warm berry sauce or fresh cream would be another delicious way to serve this toast. I love the way it tastes with a fresh sprinkling of powdered sugar!

Naptime Stopwatch

10 minutes prep time, 40 minutes bake time

Naptime Reviews

This is a smash hit with everyone in our family, try serving it for Mother’s Day and you’ll be the hit of your family, too!

 

  • http://shewearsmanyhats.com/ Amy | She Wears Many Hats

    I wish I had some of this right now! Drool.

  • http://twitter.com/merrygourmet merry-jennifer

    I love French Toast in all forms. The combination of orange and almond sounds incredible.

  • http://twitter.com/BluebonnetBaker Amber Bracegirdle

    Oh wow, that’s just beautiful! I’ve made overnight pumpkin french toast before, but I love this flavor combo for Spring!

  • http://www.justapinch.com/kitchen/contests Cooking Contests

    Orange and almonds in french toast?! This sounds like such a good idea! and something I definitely need to try! Thanks for sharing!
    ~Nancy Lewis~

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