I’ve always enjoyed cooking shows but after our son was born I got really into it. Those sleepless nights and 4 am feedings turned out to be a really good time to watch Chopped marathons. Even though our son is almost 2 now and has a solid sleep schedule, I still find myself up late watching these shows. They’re great for getting ideas and last week I saw something I just had to make- caramel pecan crusted french toast.
In the show I was watching, the french toast was made at a dinner and looked oh so delicious. I don’t really have time to make french toast in the morning but I knew I could whip it into a sweet and tasty overnight french toast casserole. This is a great meal for special occasions such as Mother’s Day because it won’t cut into family time and it’s still a step up from classic french toast.
You can assemble all the ingredients the night before which is an awesome time saver, but it’s not necessary. I cut the bread into cubes, cooked the pears and poured over the egg and cream mixture and into the fridge it went. I made the pecan topping and stored it in a separate container overnight.
The only thing I made in the morning (which can also be made the night before) is the caramel sauce. I used this RECIPE and it.is.deeeeelicious. This was my first time making caramel sauce and it was ridiculously easy but ….you guys, don’t be home alone with this stuff. You need an accountability partner. It’s just too good and you’ll eat way too much.
*Recipe note: This recipe worked great for me but any caramel sauce, including store bought, would work. When I made this recipe, I found it worked better to leave the pan on low-medium heat to melt the butter and once you add the regular milk keep it cooking until it gets to a darker color. The added milk in the recipe thins it out a bit but a little additional cooking over a low heat will get the consistency you want.
In the morning, I just topped the casserole with the pecan mixture and into the oven for about 40 minutes. Take the casserole out, give it a good drizzle of caramel and let it sit in the warm oven for another 5 or so minutes and perfection!
Caramel pecan french toast casserole is a really easy way to make a special breakfast or brunch for the family. The overnight prep will have you enjoying breakfast with the family without all the morning cooking and dirty dishes. Bleh, dishes! Just watch out for that tasty caramel sauce, it’ll leave you coming back for more. ?
Crunchy and sweet french toast overnight casserole
- 2 pears, diced
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 cups crusty french bread
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ cup caramel sauce
- Over medium heat melt butter and add diced pears cooking until soft
- Dice french bread into 1-inch cubes
- In large bowl, mix eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon
- In 8×8 casserole dish place even layer of bread cubes, pour wet mixture on top
- Cover and refrigerate overnight
- Mix cold butter, pecans, flour and brown sugar in small bowl until combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use
- Preheat oven to 350
- Crumble topping mixture over bread and cream mixture in casserole dish
- Bake for 40 minutes
- Turn oven off and drizzle caramel
- Replace in oven for 5 minutes to let caramel soak in
- Serve hot