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Creme Brulee French Toast

From
1/2 cup salted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp corn syrup
1 - 8 to 9 inch round loaf of country style bread
5 large eggs
1-1/2 cups half and half
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp Grand Marnier (optional)

1/4 tsp salt

In a small heavy saucepan melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over a moderate heat, stirring until smooth, and pour into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Cut six 1 inch thick slices from the center portion of the bread and trim the crusts. Arrange slices in one layer in the baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla, Grand Marnier and salt until combined well. Pour over bread. Chill, covered, from 8 hours to one day.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bring bread to room temperature while preheating. Bake, uncovered, in center of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, about 35 to 40 minutes.