The downside of blogging is that my family rarely eats the same thing twice. I’m always exploring and testing new recipes which makes it hard to hit “repeat.” A major exception to this norm is the Holiday French Toast from “Tables of Content: Service, Settings and Supper” a cookbook compiled by The Junior League of Birmingham, Alabama. This cookbook was given to me by my not-just-yet sister-in-law back in 2006, long before she knew how much I loved community cookbooks. I think that these tomes (usually spiral bound and homespun) are treasure troves of family gems, decidedly unfancy but reliably delicious. “Tables of Contents” is several steps above the community editions, as it is hard-covered and perfect bound, but the lack of photographs, template format and amateur contributions keep it in the genre.
I’ve served Holiday French Toast on Christmas morning for the past seven years and will do so yet again this year. My children look forward to it and more than any other recipe, it has become one of our holiday traditions. It is the perfect sweet treat on a morning sweeter than all the rest. The magic of being able to assemble the day before and pop into an oven that was set to preheat before the kids charge down the stairs, makes it all the more perfect.
With this, I wish you a merry, merry Christmas and I will be back in the new year.
- 1 c packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 c (1 stick) butter, melted
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
- 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1 3/4 lbs)
- 1/2 c dried cranberries
- 1 (8-oz) loaf French bread, cut into 1” slices
- 1 1/2 c milk
- 6 eggs
- 1 Tbls vanilla extract
- maple syrup, for serving
- Combine brown sugar, butter and 1 tsp cinnamon in a bowl and mix well.
- Add apples and cranberries, toss to coat.
- Spread the apple mixture over the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
- Arrange the bread slices cut side down over the prepared layer.
- Whisk the milk, eggs, vanilla and 2 tsp cinnamon in a bowl until blended.
- Pour the milk mixture over the prepared layers and chill, covered with foil, for 4 to 24 hours. Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Bake, covered, for 40-45 minutes or until brown and bubbly.
- Let stand 5 minutes and serve with warm syrup.