Ok friends, I’ve been so excited to share this Almond Cranberry French Toast Casserole recipe ever since I served it to a table of my friends last week. I combined 3 different recipes to make this one, and I was pleasantly excited that nearly each of them asked for the recipe before we were done. I told them it was coming on the blog–ASAP! I have recently realized how much I LOVE cooked cranberries, though you could exclude them and just make a casserole if you’d like. The almonds could also be optional if there are allergies, I just LOVE me some TEXTURE in my food!
You see, it was my friend Tracy’s birthday, and I hosted a little birthday breakfast in her honor. Tracy lives around the corner from me, and we’ve become dear friends. There are 5 of us ladies that live close by, and she has been hosting lunches for us for over a year. The other 4 of us always say we are going to take turns hosting (and we have a little), but she will eventually send out a group text letting us know that she will be making one of her fabulous gourmet meals, and we make sure we are available to be there.
It isn’t just delicious food, the conversation is so delightful, and she has a way with entertaining presentation. The 5 of us come from different faiths, and each lunch ends up become a multi faith devotional discussion by the end. I love those discussions, we are all open and inquisitive about how each other was raised, and how we currently worship. I cherish my friendship with these ladies.
Back to the breakfast. I wanted to make something special for Tracy on her birthday, but I also had her scrumptious cooking and presentation to live up to, so I had to deliver! I have another Baked French Toast recipe that I often make and love, but I wanted to do something different. I also wanted to step up my entertaining game, and use my nice dishes. I just got the most beautiful cobalt blue Le Creuset Covered Casserole dish, and I planned the meal and everything around it. I love how the red cranberries POP up against the blue dish.
Since this meal is generally assembled the night before and left to blend overnight, it was great to have a sturdy dish with a lid that I could shove other things in my fridge on top of. Because lets be honest…who has that much empty space in their fridge?!?
Easy prep with the bread, it can be sliced or cubed, pour the egg mixture over the top, and just toss the brown sugar covered cranberries in, then in the morning bake it to perfection!
It also has a cream cheese glaze poured over the top, which is a pure slice of heaven! The cranberries are cooked and softened, but they still POP in your mouth, which is a delightful experience. Ha! That sounds like I’m describing a musical I saw or something…
- French Toast Mixture:
- 6 eggs
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 T cinnamon
- 3 cups milk
- 1 pound/loaf French Bread/sliced or cubed
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup fresh uncooked cranberries
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- 1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese (room temperature)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- French Toast:
- Whisk together the eggs with the sugar and cinnamon until blended.
- Whisk in the milk.
- Coat 9x13 dish with cooking spray.
- Place the bread in the bottom of the pan.
- Sprinkle with cranberries and almonds.
- Pour the egg mixture evenly over bread.
- Gently stir it around.
- Beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon in large bowl with electric mixer on medium sped until well blended.
- Drizzle over dish filled with bread.
- Refridgerate overnight
- Bake at 325 for 30-40 minutes, set to broil 3-5 minutes until slightly toasted.
- Serve with maple syrup or whipping cream.
I’d like to also mention about this Le Creuset casserole dish–I LOOOOOVE that it is smooth on the inside like glass, and dishwasher safe! I thought it was porous like a stone, but it’s not. Super simple to clean! It’s also safe in the freezer AND microwave!! Add it to your Christmas wish list (Amazon link below)!
Let me also add that I was sent the dish by Le Creuset, but the opinions are my own.