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French Toast Casserole

From
WITH (or without) BLUEBERRIES

Serves 6 generous servings

Ingredients:

1 Loaf (10 to 12 Slices) Cinnamon Raisin Bread (or Cinnamon Bread without Raisins - and Pepperidge Farms bread is good) I also will use the Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Bread by Pepperidge Farms. Brown Sugar is my favorite and the bread is also a bit thicker.
¾ to 1 Cup Blueberries, fresh or frozen (fresh is best), optional
2 Cups milk
4 ounces cream cheese - softened
5 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp. flour
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. Almond Extract
Powder sugar (optional - used as a topping)

Directions: This dish can be prepared the night before and refrigerated overnight. Or, prepared and cooked and served immediately. If preparing the night before -cover and store in baking dish and set out at least one-half hour before placing in preheated oven.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes - until top is lightly browned. (Please note: If baking after refrigerating overnight - let dish set out for 15 to 30 minutes before placing in pre-heated oven and it may requiring cooking an extra ten minutes - until top is browned, as well. Just be sure cooked through.)

Prepare baking dish by spreading butter over the bottom (or spraying with oil okay) - basic recipe calls for a 9 x 13 baking dish.

  • Cube all slices of bread in small cubes and spread evenly in the baking dish.
  • Mix the blueberries into dry cubed bread (blueberries optional)
  • Blend together the milk, cream cheese, eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla and almond extract (works best in a blender but if you don't have a blender then use an electric mixer or food processor) Mix until smooth
  • Pour mixture over the bread and blueberries - press gently with a flat spatula to help the bread and berries soak up the milk mixture before either refrigerating or baking. If baking right away, then let stand 15 minutes to soak in before placing in preheated oven. (Or, cover and refrigerate overnight.) If you have prepared this dish the night before, just before placing in the oven, I use a flat spatula to gently press the mixture and pat it so it is evenly distributed.
  • Remove from oven and let sit for five minutes then cut servings.
  • Cut into either six large square pieces or eight smaller pieces - depending on the size you want to serve.

Enjoy! Rosalie