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Apple Caramel French Toast Casserole

Do you ever envision what your retirement will be like?  Maybe you imagine yourself living on a beach somewhere in a small cabana, with your feet nestled in the warm soft sand while you sip on a cool refreshing drink.  Or perhaps your idea of retirement is retreating up to the snowy mountains in a quaint chalet with your better half, a space big enough for the grand kids to come visit but small enough to  live in without getting lost (and if you’re my husband, a back door walkout to the ski slopes wouldn’t hurt either).


Call me crazy, but when I imagine what my retirement will be like, I picture an oversized 1920’s mission style home with three or four spare rooms being used as a bed and breakfast.  We live close to a quaint little tourist town where all the locals know each other.  I tend to the gaggle of chickens pecking around my yard and the vegetable garden out back.  I catch a glance or two at a mountain ridge in the background and listen to the gentle trickle of a stream running gently over the rocks somewhere in the back woods next to my home.   I collect my fresh eggs each morning and bring them into my fully stocked, stainless steal, Martha Stewart”esque” kitchen (a girl can dream, right?) and I cook up a guest worthy breakfast that will have my visiting friends not wanting to leave the table.

Again, crazy I’m sure, but some days I fancy about what will be on my future bed and breakfast menu.  I love to check out the local B&B’s to see what they’re doing and the dishes they’re serving.  I’ve officially added this recipe to the future foodie files so consider yourself warned.  If you ever venture a visit up to the Mommie Cooks bed and breakfast, you may just see this dish gracing your breakfast plate.

For a bed and breakfast worthy start to your morning,  begin by slicing up a loaf of challah bread and a couple of fresh apples.

Place said apples over said bread.  Easy Peasy.

Hunt down a large bowl and whisk in an assortment of ingredients including first and foremost, eggs.  Lots and lots of eggs.

Pour it over the bread and apples, cover with foil and place in the fridge overnight or up to two weeks in the freezer (in an airtight container) until you’re ready to bake it up.  When breakfast officially calls, let the french toast sit out for 30 minutes to bring it closer to room temperature and then place in the oven to cook.  If you’ve frozen the casserole ahead of time, place it in the refrigerator the night before to thaw and then proceed with the 30 minute warm up the following morning.

Heat up the oven and let your apple breakfast delight cook up all crusty and golden brown.  Serve with a pour of syrup over the top and enjoy pure bed and breakfast bliss.

Apple Caramel French Toast Casserole

Yield: About 10 Slices of French Toast

Total Time: 12 Hours

Ingredients:

1 Loaf Challah Bread, Sliced
2 Large Apples, Peeled and Chopped
10 Eggs
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
/12 Cup Heavy Cream (can sub milk or half&half)
1/4 Cup Dulce de Leche
2 Tbsp Butter, Melted
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Cardamom
1/4 tsp Salt

Directions:

Slice the challah and arrange it in an oven safe dish.

Sprinkle the chopped apples over the top of the bread.

In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, cream, dulce, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom and salt.

Pour over the top, cover with foil and place in the fridge overnight.

Let the dish sit out and warm up for about a half hour before cooking.

Uncover and cook in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.

*For instructions on making your own dulce de leche, check out this recipe for German Chocolate Cake.