Every single holiday season, without fail, this happens: I get a deep craving for eggnog, resist until I can't resist any longer, buy a carton, pour myself a small glass, and find satisfaction in just a few sips. The problem is I leave myself with the majority of the carton left over after I've fulfilled my craving. What the heck do I do with all the rest?
That's when I end up scouring the internet for recipes using the remainder. Here's the recipe I'll now turn to. This French toast casserole not only tastes of the holidays, but it's also a make-ahead dish that's a welcome addition to your breakfast roaster this time of year.
Eggnog French Toast Casserole: Watch the Video
A Sweet Breakfast Casserole for Holiday Mornings
This casserole has all the rich, custardy goodness that classic French toast has, but it's geared to serve a crowd. Assemble it the night before you're expecting hungry mouths to feed at the breakfast table. Then all you have to do it toss it in the oven in the morning. A glug of bourbon enhances the eggnog flavor of the dish, but vanilla is a great substitute if you'd rather avoid it. Just don't forget the dusting of cinnamon and powdered sugar on top before bringing this to the table — it is the holidays, after all!
Make-Ahead Eggnog French Toast Casserole
Serves 8 to 10
challah or brioche (about 16 ounces), cut into 1-inch-thick slices
unsalted butter, at room temperature
whole or 2% milk
bourbon or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Powdered sugar, ground cinnamon, and warm maple syrup, for serving
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Spread the bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast until dry and very lightly golden-brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
Coat a 3-quart or 9x13-inch baking dish with 1/2 tablespoon of the butter. Spread the remaining butter on one side of the bread slices. Cut or tear the buttered bread slices into roughly 1-inch pieces and place them in the prepared baking dish in an even layer.
Whisk the eggnog, milk, eggs, sugar, bourbon (or vanilla, if using), and salt together in a large bowl. Pour evenly over the bread cubes and gently press down with your hands to make sure all of the bread gets saturated. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
To bake, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F.
Uncover the bread pudding. Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the tips of the bread are lightly toasted, 45 to 50 minutes in a metal pan or up to 55 minutes in a glass or ceramic pan. If the crust seems like it's getting dark before the custard is done, tent the dish loosely with foil.
Transfer the bread pudding to a wire rack and let stand at least 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cinnamon and serve with warm maple syrup.
Storage: Leftovers will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator. Serve cold, room temperature, or warmed in a 350°F oven, covered loosely with aluminum foil, until warmed through, 10 to 15 minutes.