Yum! Remember old fashioned sticky buns fragrant from the oven? Now you can relive those memories with this easy to prepare, time saving overnight French Toast. Crispy on the outside, light and fluffy inside, with its own caramel nut syrup layer – delicious! Perfect for your next spring brunch.<!--- custom code start --->
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 T. dark corn syrup (or honey or agave)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 1/2 cups milk
1 t. vanilla
1 t. cinnamon
Dash of freshly grated nutmeg
6-8 slices of one inch thick day-old or air-dried cinnamon raisin or French bread **
In medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Add brown sugar and syrup and stir over heat until thickened, about 2 minutes. Pour into a 9 X 13 inch pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle nuts and raisins over syrup. Arrange bread slices on top in one layer.
In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, milk, vanilla and spices until well blended. Pour over bread making sure all areas are covered. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Bring dish to room temperature (allow about 20 minutes).
Preheat oven to 350º. Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes. Outside edges and top will be firm and somewhat crispy. Let set several minutes out of the oven. Remove slices with a spatula and invert onto plate. May serve as a whole slice or cut diagonally in pan to form triangles. Add a dollop of whipped cream, freshly grated nutmeg, and a sprig of mint as a garnish for an elegant presentation.
We think this is best made with a whole grain, not too sweet cinnamon raisin bread or a sourdough French type loaf from a local bakery that you slice thickly yourself (or they do!) Drier bread works best because fresh bread absorbs too much liquid and is apt to lose its shape or become soggy. Air drying several hours on a wire rack will suffice.