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Creme Brulee French Toast

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The Camden, Rockport, Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce used this recipe of mine in the "Jewel of the Maine Coast" - our area guide - two years in a row. It's decadent and is always a hit!

1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 T. corn syrup
1 loaf French, Italian, or Challah Bread
5 eggs
1-1/2 cups half & half
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T. Grand Marnier or Brandy

Melt butter in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and corn syrup. Stir until smooth. Pour into a 13-by-9 inch baking dish.

Cut bread into 1" thick slices. Remove crusts. Arrange slices in a single layer over the caramel.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, half & half, vanilla, and Grand Marnier. Pour evenly over bread. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.

In the morning, remove dish from refrigerator and preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Bake uncovered 35 to 40 minutes or until puffed and light golden brown. Let sit for five minutes and cut into squares. Invert squares onto a plate and garnish as desired.