The Hubby and I have been married for nearly eight years and have spent about a dozen Christmas together. In order to accommodate everyone, see every family, and kiss every baby during the holiday season we have to get creative. This year we did Thanksgiving dinner with his family and breakfast with my family.
I volunteered to make breakfast for the gang so I made Chile Relleno Casserole and something special for the Christmas season: Eggnog French Toast Casserole.
A couple of years ago I helped host my sister’s baby shower where we served a large brunch. I made a French Toast Casserole recipe from Paula Deen. It tasted delicious, but the recipe called for so much butter that just before the shower the casserole overflowed in the oven filling the house with smoke.
We opened all the doors and windows and tried to fan the smoke out of the house. I felt so terrible to dirty up someone’s oven so badly. Luckily the smoke cleared before the guest arrived, but the homeowner probably spent hours cleaning her oven cursing me the entire time.
For my holiday breakfast I decided to recreate Paula’s recipe with a new festive twist. Instead of using French bread I used Challa bread. Challa bread is a sweet loaf made with lots of eggs. It makes killer French toast even better casserole. For this recipe I used one loaf cut into cubes and placed into a greased 9×13 pan.
Instead of using milk I used two cups of eggnog. Since eggnog is full of eggs I reduced the amount of eggs you would typically use for a French toast casserole to six. I beat my eggs until they were smooth and beat in sugar until well combined. I added in heavy cream, eggnog, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and orange zest for a little zing. I poured this mixture over my bread pieces and let soak over night in the fridge.
In the morning I mixed up a streusel topping with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and chopped pecans. I sprinkled this over the top and popped it all in the oven for about 40 minutes.
When it was time for our meal I brought the casserole dish to the table and served everyone a spoonful. Everyone was pleasantly surprised by my addition. The texture was true to French toast, moist and fluffy, but the flavor was new. It was sweet and eggy with a little twang from the eggnog.
This recipe is so simple and quick to prepare that you don’t mind adding and extra dish to your holiday cooking list. Your guests will enjoy this special recipe so much that they’ll request it every year.
Christmas Breakfast Recipe | Eggnog French Toast Casserole
1 Loaf Challah bread (about 16 ounces)
¼ Cup sugar
2 Cups eggnog
1 Cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons orange zest
¾ Cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ Cup butter
1 Cup chopped pecans
1. Cut bread into one inch cubes and place into greased 9×13 pan. In large mixing bowl beat eggs until smooth. Add sugar and salt and mix until well combined. Pour in eggnog, whipping cream, vanilla, cinnamon, orange zest and nutmeg and mix until smooth and well combined. Pour mixture over bread ensuring all pieces are covered. Cover and place in fridge to soak overnight.
2. In the morning preheat oven to 350. Remove bread mixture from fridge. In a large bowl add in brown sugar, cold butter, and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender cut butter into the sugar until pea-sized crumbs are formed. Mix in pecans and sprinkle over bread mixture. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until top is golden brown and the bread is puffed up. Remove from oven and serve hot. You can even pour over maple syrup if you like. Dig in!