Overnight French Toast Recipe October 12, 2018 French toast is one of those classic breakfast dishes that everyone seems to do just a little bit differently—from the type of bread you use to what you choose to soak it in. This recipe is great because I can prep the night before and simply put it in the oven the next day, which is a win for me. This french toast is a twist on the classic version, so rather than cooking it in frying a pan, it’s made by soaking bread in cream and sugar overnight, topping it with brown sugar and pecans the next morning, and baking it in the oven. I typically serve this dish with maple syrup, but I’m also sharing a few favorite toppings that I like to whip up when we’re craving something specific. OVERNIGHT FRENCH TOAST Makes 12 servings ingredients + 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, cold, plus 1 tablespoon of softened butter for the baking dish + One 1-pound loaf Italian bread, cut into 1-inch-thick slices + 10 large eggs + 2 cups heavy cream + 1 cup milk + ½ cup granulated sugar + 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract + 1 cup packed light brown sugar + 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans + ½ cup all-purpose flour + Pinch of kosher salt + 1 to 2 tablespoons powdered sugar (optional) + Pure maple syrup (optional) instructions Grease a 9 x 13 x 3-inch (deep) baking dish with the 1 tablespoon softened butter. Arrange the bread slices in the baking dish in two rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Whisk in the heavy cream, milk, granulated sugar, and vanilla. Evenly pour the mixture over the bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Place the brown sugar, pecans, flour and salt in a medium bowl. Grate the stick of cold butter on top and mix until blended and crumbly. Sprinkle the mixture over the bread. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake, uncovered, until browned and the inside is set but soft, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool slightly. Dust with powdered sugar (if using). Serve warm, with maple syrup if desired. The casserole is best served the day it is baked. Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. (Top left: pumpkin butter, top right: chocolate sea salt sauce, bottom right: orange honey mascarpone spread) TOPPINGS ORANGE HONEY MASCARPONE Mascarpone is an Italian cream cheese commonly used in tiramisu and stuffed french toast—it’s light, fluffy, and the orange twist gives the french toast a slightly tangy taste. Yields approximately 1 cup. ingredients + 8 oz mascarpone cheese + 1 tbsp heavy cream + 1 tbsp orange juice, freshly squeezed + 1 tbsp powdered sugar + 1 tbsp honey + ¼ tsp vanilla extract + ¼ tsp cinnamon + 1 tsp fresh orange zest instructions Using a mixer, beat the mascarpone and heavy cream in a large bowl for about one minute until light and fluffy. While mixing, slowly pour in the heavy cream and then the orange juice until smooth. Then add powdered sugar and mix until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and add all remaining ingredients. Mix on high until smooth and shiny. Serve immediately. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in microwave for 15 seconds for a warm sauce. Recipe note: if your sauce breaks while mixing, just transfer to a microwave-safe dish and heat for 10-15 seconds and then whisk vigorously until smooth and shiny. PUMPKIN BUTTER You can spread this pumpkin butter on just about anything and it’ll be delicious. I love it so much that we added it to the fall menu at Magnolia Table here in Waco. Yields approximately 1 cup. ingredients + 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature + ⅓ cup pumpkin puree + ¼ cup powdered sugar + ⅛ tsp pumpkin spice + ⅛ tsp cinnamon + Pinch of salt instructions Using a mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy—about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add pumpkin. Mix for another minute. Scrape down the bowl again and add remaining ingredients. Mix on high until well incorporated. Serve immediately. Store leftovers in fridge for up to 5 days. CHOCOLATE SEA SALT SAUCE This one’s for chocolate lovers, and includes a savory addition of sea salt. Because this is such a rich topping, I usually drizzle only a little bit on top of the french toast before serving. Yields: approximately 1 cup. ingredients + 4 oz bittersweet dark chocolate + ½ cup heavy cream + 1 tbsp unsalted butter + ¼ tsp flaked sea salt instructions Using a double boiler, combine the first 3 ingredients and whisk continuously until just melted. Remove from heat and continue to stir until smooth and shiny. Add salt. Serve immediately or allow to cool and store in fridge overnight. Reheat in microwave for 10-15 seconds. Stir before serving. Optional: sprinkle again with salt to garnish. If you decide to make overnight french toast and any of the toppings, I hope you enjoy!